Douglas Dowland’s “How Academe Breeds Resentment”

from Vincent Sardon’s The Stampographer (Siglio Press, 2017).

Surrounding each step in academic life — graduation, employment, publication, promotion — is a labyrinth that draws out our vulnerability and makes us feel powerless. And with this powerlessness comes the idea that power is something others have — perhaps the tenured, or those in administration. Someone benefits from your hard work — and that person is not you. Thus academe plants the seeds of our resentment […] It would be naïve to think it entirely possible to avoid resentment among the drama and flutter of everyday academic life. And it would be foolish to dismiss as mere resentment the legitimate anger felt by those trapped in academe’s cycle of exploitation. What we need is to reflect inward with an eye toward solidarity. This is difficult, given how we have built our identities around the traps that academe has baited for us: status, rank, output. Resentment distracts. It aspires to make trust impossible and to blind us to alliances that are in plain sight. But what we need most is a sense of self-awareness: that we are not alone; that our stories are complex; that we have more in common than we might think. We need to stare resentment in the face.

-from Douglas Dowland’s “How Academe Breeds Resentment,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 4, 2018.

~ by Michael Leong on February 12, 2018.

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