I named my intellectual history project, Unofficial Student Transcripts, because, although it is a record of my student work within the academy and while I’ve included many documents that might show up on an official transcript, the accounts that I give are unofficial. My perspectives and approaches to understanding the work that I did and the value of my education are not authorized by the academy or the institutions that I attended. In fact, my accounts frequently come into conflict with the “official” story about why and how one gets an education, earns a Ph.D and trains to be an academic intellectual.
Moreover, the work that I’ve chosen to value in these transcripts are not my grades or degrees or the products of scholarship (like my thesis or dissertation) that enabled me to earn those grades and degrees, but it’s the (often) invisible thinking, feeling, engaging and resisting work that occurred in the midst of my official academic labors. In a series of sections on my early years, college, masters, Ph.D and post-Ph.D, I write about a lot of different work, including: how I performed one of my first acts of resistance to my education in elementary school; how my failure to get into my dream graduate school might have helped me be a better troublemaker, how I’ve spent over 15 years trying to make sense of a passage that I first encountered in a book by Judith Butler in 1997; how I felt intimated and devalued by academic culture as it was practiced by some graduate students in my philosophy classes and how my dissertation, which was only read by a few people and was never published, gave me a plan for living beside/s the Academy.
[editorial note: Write a few more sentences about how it’s structured…documents, accounts]
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