I used to be an academic. Ten years of graduate school, then six years of teaching at a university. Now I’m not. Gradually, I came to realize that my training was turning me into a particular sort of Critical Thinking/Academic Self. A self who thought too much and too narrowly about my particular area of study. A self who was unable to speak with anyone, even non-academics, without citing all my sources or name-dropping at least two theorists or classifying my ideas within a particular school of thought. A self who was trained to pick apart ideas and authors instead of engaging with them and who felt increasingly distanced from the people, ideas and sense of purpose that had motivated me to be a student/scholar in the first place. So I left.
Since leaving at the beginning of 2012, I’ve dedicated a lot of labor to cultivating my ex-academic self. Finding ways of living beside/s the academy. Rejecting the most harmful academic values. Remembering and repurposing the values and practices that could be helpful for my flourishing. This labor has taken many forms, most notably the intellectual history of my educating and educated self which I’m crafting into a parody of an academic promotion portfolio or dossier.
This online dossier houses all of my academic work. Papers, exams, accounts of student and teaching life. Lectures. Syllabi. Course Blogs. My CV. And workshops. It also houses my post-official academic research on virtues.