Virtually Undisciplined: Diversifying Higher Education and Research through interconnectivity

Conference 31st March – 1st April 2022

Women in Academia Support Network Conference

Virtually undisciplined is the bi-annual conference for Women in Academia Support Network (WIASN). WIASN exists to promote gender equity in Higher Education and Research.

The theme of this conference is situated around interconnectivity and diversity; with particular regard to an intersectional approach to gender diversity that must include race, religion, sex, disability and class.

Of course this conference takes part in the context of the Covid global pandemic. The pandemic has already had a disproportionate impact on women and other marginalised and Systematically excluded groups and the fall out of this will be felt for many years to come.   The Covid 19 pandemic has raised potentials and problems with regard to interconnectivity and diversity. For example, the online pivot enabled us all to work from home but also exposed ableism, where the reasonable adjustment of homeworking that was denied to many disabled academics was suddenly easily granted to all.

WIASN assert that global issues can only be properly addressed by a diverse and interconnected research culture.  So how can a more interconnected (globally, digitally, interdisciplinary) research and academic community foster ways in which we value, embrace and leverage diversity (which includes the unconventional)? This conference asks what are the potential and pitfalls to achieving this?

Sponsors: We are delighted to announce our conference partners and sponsors.

Emerald Global Publishing have a close relationship with WIASN on mutual projects to support academic and research development Emerald will be hosting workshops on publishing.

Institute for Gender Studies Royal Holloway University opened in 2020 with funding from the British Academy under the Directorship of Professor Laura Sjoberg; British Academy Global Professor of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway University of London and Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida.


In this conference we particularly welcome papers, performance, artistic representations, play/games/playful activities and practical workshops that address either of these strands or a combination.

Diversity of:

  • The academic/research community: Equality, diversity, inclusion and access – particularly personal stories of gender in/equity and also asking what policies, support, and culture change could or have helped.
  • Research Methods
  • Teaching
  • Impact and Engagement
  • Academic and research culture (how can we envisage Higher education and research differently?, failure as thriving, caring institutions, celebrating the unconventional)
  • Thought -Extreme interdisciplinarity (anything goes!)

Diversity through:

  • Interconnectivity /networking
  • Collaboration
  • Engagement
  • Social media (Academics on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, social media as method etc.)

*Selected papers will be included in a conference book published by Emerald Global Publishing. Timescales tbc.

Presentation formats/timings

You can present your paper/performance/playful provocation etc. in the following ways. Please indicate which in your conference submission.

  • Workshop /round table (multiple presenters)                           1 hour
  • Presentation / performance / playful provocation                   20 minute presentation
  • Pecha Kucha (20 images  / 30 seconds)                                    6 mins 40 seconds

Slides change automatically and the speaker must synchronise their speech with the images. It’s sometimes also called a 20×20 presentation. So the entire presentation always lasts for exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

  • Posters, artistic renderings (photographs, drawing, sculptures etc.) must be submitted as high resolution images i.e. PDF or Jpeg.

Submission: Please complete the online form with an abstract of no more than 300 words detailing your contribution. Please select the type of contribution you will be making and indicate if you are willing to chair a session.

Submissions open:                     Monday 6th September 2021.

Submissions close:                     Friday 12th November 2021.  

Outcomes communicated:      Friday 10th December 2021.

Submission form: Virtually Undisciplined Proposal Submission Form (

Cost: Free to £99: Pay what you can afford pricing policy

To be inclusive and accessible for independent scholars, the precariously/under employed and those with limited resource and department budget this conference is operating a ‘pay what you can afford’ pricing structure. This will mean some will attend for free and you select at payment stage how much you are able to pay. The suggested full price is £99

To enable the conference to be accessible with free places, paying for the I.T support with closed captions and BSL interpreter we hope those who are in the fortunate position to be able to contribute financially do so and those who have departmental/CPD or personal budgets for conference will make the suggested full price payment of £99.

The conference programme and booking link will be available from Monday 13th December 2021 via

Accessibility and Equity

The conference will be presented online with closed caption and a BSL interpreter.

Sessions will take place over a 24 hour period to enable scholars from a range of time zones to attend. 

Sessions will be spread out with lots of break times to move away from the screen.

Sessions will be recorded and made available to attendees after the conference.

Have other humans at home? Small ones, older ones; furry pet friends who stroll across the keyboard just when you’re presenting – no problem. Don’t worry if they are virtually attending the conference with you. Ours will be too.

Any slides used by presenters must consider accessibility. You can follow this link for information on how to do this

Please let us know if there are any other ways we can make the conference more accessible for you.

For any further questions please email with ‘Conference Query’ in the email title.