Finding comfort in discomfort: How two cross-disciplinary early-career researchers are learning to embrace ‘failure’

Aurélie Broeckerhoff , Maíra Magalhães Lopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this intervention, we, two cross-disciplinary early career researchers (ECRs), reflect on our paths into academia, focusing on how our experiences of ‘failures’ are intertwined with feelings of shame, fear or disappointment. We turn our attention towards the “cluster of affective modes that have been associated with failure” (Halberstam, 2011: 23). We join those whose voices seek to move beyond the individualising negative affects often associated with failures towards recognising their productive and insurgent potential. We share how failures have been constant companion to our academic journeys so far and reflect on our own embodied experiences of discomfort and comfort associated with our failures as we navigate through multiple normativies in academia. We then outline why, as we continue along our academic paths, we may choose to seek out, embrace and celebrate failures. Finally, we realise, like Halberstam (2011), we not only want to fail more, but better by failing together with others.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100671
JournalEmotion, Space and Society
Early online date27 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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