Thank you all for being a part of this experiment in reading, reflecting, and learning in community. As this space grows and takes shape, I want to offer some different ways to connect.
The monthly reading group has proven to be an incredibly nourishing space. But I know it has been hard for some people to get involved, especially since we’re in a range of timezones and with different commitments within and beyond our workplaces (a strength!). Plus, a newsletter is one-directional and I’d like a way to hear other voices.
To that end, I’ve set up a Discord server so that people can dip in and out as desired, and so that conversations can be more fluid. Join me here!
(And… I know. More platforms, more accounts. If you’re new to Discord, like I am, there are lots of guides for getting started; here’s one example. I think it’ll be worthwhile as a community-oriented space.)
We’ll still gather monthly to talk about a specific reading, too. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on timing. Our next session will be on Tuesday, February 15, from 2-3pm EST. Please register here if you’d like to come.
For the next session, I’d like to talk about the nature of work in the academy—especially care work, precarity, and racial and gender inequity. Please join me in reading/listening to these two texts:
Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Fobazi Ettarh. Not just for librarians! An excellent consideration of the risk that people in mission-driven work experience when it becomes impossible to critique their workplace or labor conditions.
Tasked with the responsibility of sustaining democracy and intellectual freedom, taking a mental health day feels shameful. Awe is easily weaponized against the worker, allowing anyone to deploy a vocational purity test in which the worker can be accused of not being devout or passionate enough to serve without complaint. —Fobazi Ettarh
We Don’t Have the Same Job, from the Hear to Slay podcast. In this episode (available here courtesy of Luminary), hosts Tressie McMillan Cottom and Roxane Gay speak with Patricia Matthew, editor of Written/Unwritten: Diversity and the Hidden Truths of Tenure.
As we approach the two-year mark of life disrupted by COVID, the Visionary Futures Collective and I are hoping to team up to host a day of rest and resistance. Save the date for March 10-11, 2022, and watch for more info to come. It’ll be a collaborative effort, so if you’re interested in helping us plan, let me know!