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April 2 | #MeTooAcademia: The Learning Curve

Event information

Type: Theatre and dialogue

Date: April 2 (Tuesday) 2019

Time: 13h – 15h (doors close at .12h55)

Location: Auditorium Albert II at the Academy palace in Brussels

(Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Bruxelles – 700m from the Central train station)  See the map below for the shortest route.

Registration: Free. Deadline for registration is Friday the 29th of March




SPIRIT has invited The Actor Society (Het Acteursgenootschap) to re-enact cases of harassment in academia, all based on real life experiences at universities. After the play, different academic stakeholders and the audience will discuss what you can do if you find yourself, your colleagues or members of your team in such situations.

Harassment in academia is of all times, but it has been made urgent by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement. Many of us think academia will provide a safe, sensible and intellectual environment in which #metoo behaviour is absent. Fortunately, it often is but evidently it sometimes isn’t. Through the play, the SPIRIT partners seek to create awareness of harassment in academia – which tends to impact young researchers or support staff in particular – while also exploring individual and institutional ways to address these issues and create a safe working environment.

About The Actor Society
Het Acteursgenootschap is a theatre company that creates theatre for science. It is well known for its play on integrity in science (the ConScience App). It has performed #MeToo scenes for the Dutch Association of Female Professors, and produces customised plays. The Learning Curve has been made at the special request of the dean of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Professor Liesbet van Zoonen.


13h – 15h:      Doors close at 12h55

13h                  Welcome by Professor Liesbet van Zoonen, coordinator SPIRIT

13h05              Theatre play

13h35 – 14h30 Panel/audience dialogue


About the play

The Learning Curve is a 30-minute theatre play about sexual intimidation and abuse of power in the university context. It’s both humorous and bleak, and is written to be followed by a discussion led by a moderator.

Developed from scenarios originally performed as #MeTooAcademia for the Dutch Network of Women Professors, it has been specially commissioned in an expanded version by the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities (EGSH).

The play is fictitious but is based on interviews recently published in Science Guide, as well as confidential interviews conducted in the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR).

The story
Suzanne De Jong is a talented second-year graduate student. When her promotor returns from sabbatical she’s delighted. The internationally renowned Professor Loek Dekker is amusing, approachable and inspirational. But during a conference in Berlin Suzanne encounters a darker side of the famous academic. And when the great man doesn’t get his way the consequences for her become catastrophic. Where can she turn for help?

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