Call for Chapter proposals

Proposed book series with Routledge

Words + Images: Stories of wellbeing and self-care in higher education

Editor: Associate Professor Narelle Lemon, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Extended abstract proposal due: 31 December 2019 via

For those working in the context of universities in the contemporary climate we are often challenged with where we place our own wellbeing. It is not uncommon to hear about burnout, stress, anxiety, pressures with workload, having too many balls in the air, toxic cultures, increasing demands, isolation, and feeling distressed (Berg and Seeber, 2016; Lemon & McDonough, 2018; Mountz et al., 2015). The reality is that universities are stressful places (Beer, et al., 2015; Cranton & Taylor, 2012; Kasworm & Bowles, 2012; Mountz et al., 2015; Ryan, 2013; Sullivan & Weissner, 2010; Wang & Cranton, 2012). McNaughton and Billot (2016) argue that the “deeply personal effects of changing roles, expectations and demands” (p. 646) have been downplayed and that those working in higher education engage in constant reconstruction of their identities and work practices. It is important to acknowledge this, as much as it is to acknowledge the need to place wellbeing at the forefront of these experiences and situations.

Wellbeing can be approached at multiple levels including micro and macro. In placing wellbeing at the heart of the higher education workplace, self-care becomes an imperative both individually and systemically (Berg & Seeber, 2016; Lemon & McDonough, 2018). Self-care is about taking care of yourself. It is a proactive action (Reading, 2018) involving steps to develop, protect, maintain and improve health, wellbeing or wellness (Self Care Forum, 2019a). It is, however, complex as the practice of self-care involves factors that support change or actions that require modification, while also acknowledging limitations in the individual’s ability to take action (Gbhardt Taylor & Renpenning, 2011). Furthermore, although self-care is about individual repsonsibility (Adkins-Jackson et al., 2019; Denyes, Orem, & Bekel, 2001; Reading, 2018) it is not an entirely individual act, as it is reliant on. relationships with others (e.g.: family, dependants, community, workplaces, and/or culture, etc.) and also systems such as healthcare (Duggan et al., 2018; Eller, Lev, Yuan, & Watkins, 2018b; Gbhardt Taylor & Renpenning, 2011; Narasimhan & Kapila, 2019; Regional Voices, 2017). Self-love, self-compassion, self-awareness, and self-regulation are significant elements of self-care. But what does this look like for those working in higher education? In this collection authors are invited to respond to the questions: What do you do for self-care? How do you position wellbeing as part of your role in higher education?

In thinking about these question authors are invited to critically discuss and respond to inspiration sparked by one or more of the questions:

• How do we bring self-regulation to how we approach our work?
• How do we create a compassionate workplace in higher education?
• What does it mean for our work when we are aware and enact self-compassion?
• What awareness has occurred that has disrupted the way we approach work?
• Where do mindful intentions sit?
• How do we shift the rhetoric of “this is how it has always been” in relation to over working, and discrepancies between workload or job tasks and approaches to workload or job tasks?
• How do we counteract the traditional narrative of over work?
• How do we create and sustain a healthier approach?
• How can we empower the “I” and “we” as we navigate self-care as a part of who we are?
• How can we promote a curiosity about how we approach self-care?
• What changes do we need to make?
• How can we approach self-care with energy and promote shifts in how we work individually, collectively and systemically?

This proposal is for expressions of interest for chapters to be included in an edited series of books. The edited book(s) will be based on chapters that are narrative informed, located within literature, and focused on sharing a strategy or strategies for self-care connected to a visual narrative (in this case a black and white image (e.g.: photograph, artwork, drawing, etc) and written text paired together) that draws out the context of the author(s) and provides a unique connection for readers (see description below for tips on approach to this part of the chapter).

The purpose of this edited collection is to:

● Place wellbeing and self-care at the heart of discussions around working in higher education.
● Provide a diverse range of strategies for how to put in place wellbeing and self-care approaches for those working in higher education.
● Provide a narrative connection point for readers from a variety of backgrounds in higher education.
● Provide a visual narrative that supports connection to authors’ lived experience(s).
● Contribute to the conversation on ways that wellbeing and self-care can be positioned in the work that we do in higher education.
● Highlight new ways of working in higher education that disrupt current tensions that neglect wellbeing and self-care.

Chapter Format:
Abstract (150 words)
Key words (4 - 6)
Visual Narrative (image (e.g.: photograph, artwork, drawing, etc with author copyright) with narrative) that represents your focus/strategy/self-care routine
Context of who you are connected to the visual narrative
Literature (positioning of the strategy/self-care focus)
Strategies or strategy unpacked as a tip(s): advice for others in how they can work with your focus of self-care

4000 words total plus references

APA6 format

Tips on approach to visual narrative:
Visual narratives will be a unique part of each authored chapter in this collection, with strategies/tips for immediate and long term change offered at the conclusion of each authored chapter.

Your visual narrative could be an image of a drawing, painting, sketch, sculpture, craft creation, meme you have generated, or photograph etc that you have created and/or own the copyright to that supports the focus of your chapter.

The visual narrative may be an image and text that when placed together is:

- An expression of your self-care,
- An example of you in the act of self-care,
- A motivation for your self-care,
- A reminder for you to enact self-care,
- A representation of how you enact self-care,
Or has been
- Created in response to your self-care,
- Created as part of your self-care.

An example for inspiration:

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 8.47.11 am.png

Proposed Timeline:
Oct to Dec 2019 – call for extended chapter abstract proposals.
Jan 2020 – collation of proposed series and outcome for the proposal to Routledge.
Jan – Feb 2020 – proposal for series to Routledge including external review.
April - May 2020 – invitation to write chapter and identification of how your chapter sits within series and subsequent deadlines.

This call for chapters is for a proposed book series and as such diverse contributions across various areas are called for. A matrix for this call for expressions of interest in chapters seeks to see how you would identify where your chapter might fall within the following areas:

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 8.51.37 am.png

Call for chapter proposal deadline requirements:
1. Extended abstract 500 words approximately
2. Bio for each author (200 words)
3. Identify where your proposed chapter sits within the matrix

How to submit:
Submission is online through the following link:

Due date: 31 December 2019

NB: Authors will be called upon to be blind reviewers within the book series.

Questions or clarification: Please contact Narelle at