fbpx

Right Effort

Work, Work, Work, Post-Work

Dear Editors,

Lifetime n+1 member, first-time letter writer. I’m grateful to you for publishing “Spadework,” as well as the other academy-related pieces, in Issue 34. Alyssa Battistoni’s granular approach to describing organizing in the era of Obama and Trump reminded me of the defeated feeling that I often had doing Graduate Employees and Students Organization (GESO) work during the late Clinton and early Bush years (1999–2003), when I was a grad student in the French department at Yale. Plus ça change!

Depending on whom you ask, I was either railroaded from the program in 2003 by my professors due to my union organizing or I chose to leave the program ABD after no tenured professor in my own department would agree to steer my thesis about the influence of the EU on French literary and cinema culture. Or maybe it was a mix of those two things, plus a few others. In any case, I remain angry and bitter at the institution, though profoundly grateful for my time in the union.

More from Issue 35

Issue 35 Savior Complex
Issue 35 Savior Complex
On the Mueller Report, Vol. 1
Issue 35 Savior Complex
Issue 35 Savior Complex

I usually worked with a camera in the room. That didn’t mean that the content of my work was performance rather than service.

Issue 35 Savior Complex
Parasite Air
Issue 35 Savior Complex
Predatory Inclusion
Issue 35 Savior Complex

I wasn’t selling furnace and duct cleaning. I was selling my voice, the fantasy it could embody. I was selling a myth of…

Issue 35 Savior Complex
The Feminist
Issue 35 Savior Complex

Is it weird to think that one day I could photoshop you out of all this? he said. That I could obscure your face with a brush,…

Issue 35 Savior Complex

In my dreams, I think I can conquer death.

Issue 35 Savior Complex
Dreams Are Lost Memories
Issue 35 Savior Complex
On Design Thinking

More by this Author

January 13, 2009

You just find you’re standing athwart History, and History’s like, “I want to review the Susan Sontag diaries.”

Issue 19 Real Estate

They looked like some army of the damned, out to fight zombies—but in fact they were facing down their own police.

Issue 10 Self-Improvement

The MFA beast has at last been offered a look in the mirror, and may finally come to know itself as it is.

Issue 16 Double Bind

Cultural considerations wax as political hopes wane.

Issue 20 Survival

Privilege discourse offers a way for members of the same class to discuss differences in the same room.

March 6, 2012

How often we are told to read for pleasure! Pity we so rarely take this advice literally!