In the last 2 decades, the Latin American university has embarked on a shift toward increasing scientific production, following a pattern common to much of the Global North. Few studies have analyzed how this process has had a differentiated impact on male and female scholars. In dialog with previous studies, we explore the changing nature of the “ideal academic,” accounting for its gendered character in an historically and culturally specific context. Based on a qualitative study, we describe the crisis of a model that idealized theoretical work and exclusive dedication to academia, and show that, in a broader context of feminist mobilizations, a critical discourse is emerging, stressing the need to bridge academic life and professional and political concerns. We seek to contribute to studies on changes in the Latin American academy illustrating the gendered ways through which the neoliberal university ends up being contested in the Global South.
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We would like to acknowledge the many questions and comments we received throughout the writing process of this work. Among others, we received valuable comments from Felipe Portocarrero and Cynthia Sanborn. We would also like to thank those who provided feedback on this paper in settings such as the Universidad del Pacífico and the Universidad de San Marcos. We also appreciate the thoughtful comments made by the anonymous reviewers and the journal editor, which helped to substantially develop this work. Furthermore, we would like to thank all the persons who agreed to share their thoughts and experiences with us for this research.
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