Weekend Reading: Uneven Emotional Labor

Weekend Reading: Uneven Emotional Labor

May 4, 2017
Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book

The relentless focus on productivity feels like an inevitable part of the academic experience. How much you publish, how regularly you write, and at what conferences you present are treated as defining characteristics of a scholar’s worth. Since this structure is so firmly in place, we constantly struggle to produce more, work more efficiently, and maximize our output. What higher ed ignores, however, is the immensity of emotional labor necessary to sustain the productivity it demands. We in academia, at any level, are not taught to contend with how these expectations require not just intellectual, but emotional labor. Our reading for this weekend brings together reflections on navigating this terrain, and its crucial intersection with the structural inequalities that prop up academic spaces.

Academic burnout is real; Caring about your career too much takes an emotional toll.

Admitting you are hurting is a radical act, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Checking in with yourself is a strategic act of self-care that can help you navigate the stresses of the day. Here’s a thoughtful checklist to work through.

It takes a lot of emotional, physical, and intellectual energy to survive institutions that weren’t created for people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and anyone who doesn’t fit a cis-gender, heterosexual, able-bodied norm.

A crucial part of the work of changing such institutions is telling the stories of those who are consistently made to feel they don’t belong there.

Conversations on the experiences of faculty of color should be more inclusive to those not on the tenure track.

Even within progressive discussions on race, there is still some debate around who does—and doesn’t—count as a woman of color.

Here’s a powerful reading list for white educators working to support students of color.

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