“It’s not really considered a job right? Aren’t you still a student? When will you get a proper job?” / awkward family conversations
“How come they let you teach undergrads, you’ve never been to teaching college? Do you have to take a test” / actually legitimate question
“Research is not really work right? You’re just writing on your own and you can make up things, nobody knows.” / yes inculcation opportunity
(I’m actually enjoying these conversations. Practising graceful, elegant, polite ASSERTION bam!)
My job allows me to get through convoluted theory by the river, teach in bright yellow pants, and write articles at 0400hrs. Still a job no?
“[the function of the intellectual is] no longer to place himself ‘somewhat ahead and to the side’ in order to express the truth of the collectivity; rather, it is to struggle against the forms of power that transform him into its object and instrument in the sphere of ‘knowledge’, ‘truth’, ‘consciousness’ and ‘discourse’”
– Foucault, ‘The Intellectuals and Power’, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, 207-8.
Academica Dramatica x
Intellect is currency
Pride is the bedrock of celebrity
Condescending Wonka wins
I some times wonder if I will be able to enter into/survive in this industry. When I fall in love with things, ideas, concepts, places, peoples, I fall dramatically, effusively, obsessively, passionately. When people ask me ‘why academia’, I always tell them it’s because it has the ability to hold my interest long enough to keep me up for hours on end; it makes my brain run 24/7 and I find myself increasingly inapt in the arts of nonchalance and apathy. I love it. I loathe it. Rinse and repeat. But four buts.
How much of this ivory tower musing actually matters in everyday life?
Is good enough is good enough but never enough?
What differentiates an academic from an intellectual?
What am I chasing and where are the pit stops?
I feel so middle-class, self-important, self-indulgent, frivolous, waxing lyrical over multi-syllabic mutant nouns manufactured in the nomenclature race against other supposedly inferior multi-syllabic mutant offerings.
I might spend my whole life (voluntarily) engaging in intellectual banter, hopefully more for understanding and reasoning rather than nursing some inflated territorial bravado.
I could spend years on research work that only 5 people in the world would care about (2 being my supervisors obvs).
Is that okay? Am I okay? Are we okay?
Yes, because I (still) love all of this and have the stamina for it. But what differentiates an academic from an intellectual? Am I okay with perhaps never being able to make the leap?
No. Where to from here?