“There’s No Crying in Academia,” Acknowledging Emotional Labour in the Academy

Originally posted at Hook & Eye (here). Cross-posted with permission.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the demands made on graduate students and the emotional labour that is required as a result. Academia privileges and glorifies mental labour (from the qualifying exams you have to take to the dissertation that you will write). But in my experience, the academy is mute when it comes to the question of the emotional labour that these acts of mental and intellectual rigor entail. Nobody talks about his or her feelings. If, as Tom Hanks famously proclaims in A League of Their Own, there’s no crying in baseball,” then there is certainly no crying in academia. And so academia requires maintaining a vow of silence as you fight to live in this Darwinian “survival of the fittest.” Yet the dirty secret that no one wants you to know is that there is actually much crying in academia. But we do that crying in private. Our suffering takes place in bathroom stalls, in our private offices, or in our homes. We suffer in private where we cannot be shamed. Continue reading ““There’s No Crying in Academia,” Acknowledging Emotional Labour in the Academy”