20 February 2020
And yet again – it’s been a while since my last post. There’s a few things to catch-up on. I’m going to focus on the academic ones for now. In my last post I was midway through my MA program. Full of academic energy and inspiration. I’m in a different place now and that’s ok –I’m finally looking down the final long stretch of my M.A. and beginning (after a lot of paperwork) in earnest to work on my thesis.
Some highlights on this journey. Over the last 2.5 years I’ve:
- Written 3 ‘major’ papers – “The Limits of Sisterhood: An Intersectional Analysis of Mathilde Franziska Anneke’s Social Thought from 1847-73”, “Through the Eyes of Black & Indigenous Detroit: History and the American Colonial Project in the 19th Century” & “Going Green in the Kerngehäuse: The Politics & Perceptions of Squatting as Environmental Action from 1979-1984”
- Co-produced a Podcast – Döner & Roses (I interviewed the brilliant organizer Cathy from GABRIELA Alliance of Filipino Women)
- Taught a class (co-designed with a fellow MA student) during which my students made a zine
- Presented the beginnings of my thesis project at a Conference “Unwieldy Archives: the Past, Narratives, & History” at the University of Toronto
- Published – a conference review & co-written essay
- Moderated panels & facilitated large group discussions for our Global History Student Conference
These are the academic tangibles I’ve produced. There’s also hours and hours on projects that didn’t come to fruition. There’s the uncounted time processing my anger at these institutions I chose to exist again in while trying to critique, and not just critique but be part of working to transform at least the spaces that I have been part of (co-founding a Committee on Inclusion & Empowerment, giving professors unpaid facilitation advice & coaching, facilitating sessions, and then teaching my own class, bringing movement & inviting honesty to too often physically and mentally stiff academic conversations). There’s the time I want to reclaim. The time I spent being used for others gain and then healing in order to continue on. There’s been moments of excitement, clarity, learning, and many many more of utter frustration at these institutions, which are hierarchical & patriarchal and learning space that is wasted when space to learn together is so precious. And yet, here I am. Almost on the other side.
Right now, I am figuring out how to make time for this last big step. I’m turning all of what’s left of my academic energies toward finishing my thesis project (and all the attending paperwork). I’ve made progress in fits and starts on this project. It got started in summer of 2018 with a class and paper that are its grounding. Then it was pretty much on hold until Spring of 2019 when I started to re-write the paper for a conference (Unwieldy Archive in Toronto). These new energies got again put on hold and my thoughts and feelings kept mulling all Summer until the Fall of 2019 when I put into putting together an expose/proposal.
These days, I’m dividing my time between paid work for NADA and academic work – namely the thesis. I spent my first day ‘working on my thesis’ mostly avoiding it like the expert avoider that I am. Part of the writing process or something?
intention & inspiration
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from people that working on the M.A. is a miserable process. From previous projects I believe them. However, I am also setting the intention to try to enjoy working on this as much as I can and to remember to pay attention to what inspires me.
Today, I am particular inspired by the Kundalini yoga challenge I’m taking part in and this blog post “dreaming an adjustment” by adrienne maree brown. The former got me out of bed in the morning and the latter got me out of bed again mid-afternoon when I succumbed to napping with my new puppy roommate (Watson – he’s dangerously cute & far to easy to cuddle and nap with).
And I have one more intention – part of feminist praxis is sharing academic labor and knowledge production publicly. So I am resuscitating this blog yet again to hold space for me to process and share this process with this small corner of the internet. Cheers to the journey – I hope you’ll come along with me.
[Written now almost three weeks ago, finally took the time and found the courage to post.]