Anger, academia, and shame

I am so angry. I just spent a whole -very productive day- angry, angry as hell.

A- A week ago news came out about a key figure in Middle East studies being investigated for harassment. Besides a friend of mine who-it turned out- has experienced his abhorrent behaviour, no one cared to share the news. In fact I am sure nothing consequential will happen.  His work will continue to be cited and referenced, he will still be relevant because he gets funding for his projects. I was more angry not the reception or the bureaucracy of investigation, but at the fact that he will maintain a knowledge authority, he will still appear on reading lists, that somehow he is rendered in-disposable. I am so enraged that I want to render him disposable. If I spend a life time and my whole career I want to write him off as an academic authority.

B- I am also more broadly angry with the shameless lack of passion shown by academics being in academia. The very instrumentalisation of knowledge as a job. The covering of all bases attitude that just fits the working hours one is payed. I understand that this is the inevitable outcome of neolibralising academia as take-away service. But I am just so angry that I want to do it the hard way, just to remind myself that it was meant to be hard, and even if you mess up and  are ill prepared you should experience shame. I want to shame some people.

C- In my other academic context , back home, it is quite ok to not be politically correct. It is quite funny to be a  misogynist. And I am angry, because if you point and say “a misogynist” you perpetuate a misogynist joke. I want to break the discourse. I want to point and shame.

A decade ago I once wrote a Facebook status “I want to keep my angry 20s forever”, it was after meeting a male privileged academic whose lack of passion enraged me in the meeting. I am very glad that my angry 20s made it into 30s. May I always be angry, and may I get the courage to point and shame. May all the violent rage I harbour today render at least one academic  parasite (or hopefully more) disposable -in my life time.

Advertisements