In the interest of
1) having content for a webpage that I need to build for a DH class,
2) journaling my research process for my postcolonial class, and
3) writing somewhat more than I absolutely have to
I am starting this tumblr. I think I eventually want to be able to mostly integrate my personal/professional tumblr/social media output, but for now they seem somewhat irreconcilable.
It’s a bit of an ethical and political problem for me that these things have to be separate.
I am not comfortable exposing my personal online connections to my academic output. This is partly because I don’t want to overload friends with information that doesn’t constitute a shared interest, but also because I’m not confident that the ideas I engage with and the way I’ve been trained to communicate will not be harmful in ways I generally try to avoid.
The more obvious concern, perhaps, is what forms of discourse from my personal life are at odds with professionalism — that is are a threat to future economic well-being. It seems like there is more and more space for academics to openly discuss sensitive topics without assuming a veneer of false objectivity. I have in mind the recent first issue of the Porn Studies journal, but I can also think of a few academics I know in person who seem to be capable of merging the personal and professional.
I’m thinking about this as a work in progress, because I admire those who are capable of performing this unified identity. For now, I struggle most with the idea of tone and contextualization. The types of texts that appeal to me in a fandom sense are often those that I want to write criticism about. I can’t imagine always having the energy to analyse every gif I reblog, though. More importantly, trans bodies are directly relevant to my research, but I’m horrified at the idea of trying to provide a critical commentary to a reblogged friend’s selfie for the sake of my own professional respectability.
So I guess my hope for my projects this term is to try to figure out how to create academic work that will be publicly electronically available and directly useful to non-academics. I’m fairly sure that that is somewhat unrealistic, but it seemed like an appropriate ending to this cheesy mission statement type post. Ultimately, I think this post will be long enough for me to fiddle with the formatting of my website and that any readers won’t make it this far in.