When our friend potato first suggested the idea of this blog, it inspired me and gave me an outlet for the accumulated stress and defeat of navigating within Western academia for the past 15 years – it gave me a place to express my deep sense of disappointment with this world, and feel affirmed and less alone within this small group.
But at the same time, I am ashamed of my own posts and don’t want anyone to read them. My concerns are small and egocentric, and ultimately petty and pointless (a spoiled child whining about a toy that could feed a village). The academic life (at least the version of it that I’ve seen so far) seems designed for irrelevancy. And if I stay here for another 5 years, I will end up fat and bloated – continually fed on grand ideas but with no useful outlet to exercise them; obsessed with pointless fights about race-class-gender that should have been resolved several centuries ago.
My very wise friend’s last post expressed perfectly this persistent sense of discomfort and went to the heart of the matter. It also raised the intriguing possibility that there might be a way to usefully marry academic life with activism. How can one do this? What are good models for this? I would love to hear thoughts/stories on how this might be possible.