Introduction: situating imposter syndrome in higher education

Maddie Breeze, Yvette Taylor, Michelle Addison

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This Handbook is about people and how we can find and feel ourselves positioned in and out of place in educational institutions. In entering higher education (HE) students and staff might experience a sense of comfort and familiarity, an insider status, and a sense of smoothly, easily fitting-in. In contrast, a feeling of unease can alert us that we are in unfamiliar waters, uncertain and unknowing. Experiences of being inside and/or outside might be constant companions, lingering, following, and haunting us. Experiences can also be felt more fleetingly as momentary realisations or brief awareness, just as feeling like an imposter can conflict and overlap with different registers of (not) belonging. The work gathered in this Handbook explores educational presences and absences through the prism of 'imposter syndrome' to understand how it refracts contemporary HE. Throughout, authors attend to how experiences and understandings vary across different identities and social locations, subject disciplines and institutional status. In doing so, we aim to pay particular attention to the socially structured aspects of feeling like an imposter in the university.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Imposter Syndrome in Higher Education
EditorsMichelle Addison, Maddie Breeze, Yvette Taylor
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030865696
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Handbooks
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • introduction
  • imposter syndrome
  • higher education


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