Pandemic Space Invaders

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As an invader, COVID-19 concentrated postgraduate researchers’ (PGRs) lives into the boundaries of our homes where our digital dis/connectedness loomed over us as constant reminders of frustrated research. Digital connections were the only pathway into fieldsites and we waited in the same space day after day. We waited for our research projects to become enlivened. Yet the longevity of the pandemic lockdowns and the protracted waiting weighed heavily on PGRs, affecting their physical and mental health. Confined spaces became existentially congested as the pre-pandemic boundaries of home, work and social life dissolved.

My paper explores the digital exhaustion experienced by PGRs in the UK and Republic of Ireland whose research was interrupted or curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. PGRs laptops and mobile phones became constant reminders of our frustrated research projects or served as memories of grieving for lost plans. The increased constancy of digital mediation was exhausting as PGRs were confined in isolated spaces and our envisioned research was confined to the digital. Our digital lives rarely left our sight teasing us to do more to push our research forward. The pressure to continue to research in zoned-off fieldsites created a vicious circle of depression by digital dis/connectedness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2022
EventDigital Exhaustion Symposium - University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 May 202227 May 2022


ConferenceDigital Exhaustion Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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