Proposal Title

Blogging Through Failure: Public Accountability and Personal Growth

Presentation Type

Regular Presentation

Location

OM 3632

Start Date

18-2-2020 12:40 PM

End Date

18-2-2020 1:20 PM

Proposal Abstract

In the classroom, one of the most powerful things we can do as faculty is to model failure: to show how we cope with not knowing and model how knowledge acquisition works. And yet in our professional practice, there remains such stigma around disclosing failures that often the process by which success occurs is rendered murky and mystical. Much of what is anxiety-producing about the academy lies in the hidden curriculum and unexpressed expectations that seem to haunt each turn; in my experience, it is the scholars who are willing to share their vulnerabilities and failures who make the most effective mentors and guides, because they render human the superheroic feat that is survival – thrival – in the academy. In moments of great transition in my career – when starting graduate school, accepting my first faculty position, becoming disillusioned with my department and institution, and transitioning to a new discipline – I have turned to blogging, microblogging, and personal newsletters as a way to build community, particularly around career-related anxieties and failures. This presentation charts my own professional development from blogging pseudonymously, to blogging under my own identity, to placing my pursuit of tenure entirely in the open, in order to make a case for being more transparent about process and failure in academia. Acknowledging my own subject position and accommodating the needs of participants in the session, I will discuss frankly the risks and rewards (mostly rewards!) of an open embrace of failure in public spaces.

Statement

This is a presentation, quite literally, about "opening up" and exploring an ethos of openness that demands not only public celebration of success, but public accountability for and honesty about failure.

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Feb 18th, 12:40 PM Feb 18th, 1:20 PM

Blogging Through Failure: Public Accountability and Personal Growth

OM 3632

In the classroom, one of the most powerful things we can do as faculty is to model failure: to show how we cope with not knowing and model how knowledge acquisition works. And yet in our professional practice, there remains such stigma around disclosing failures that often the process by which success occurs is rendered murky and mystical. Much of what is anxiety-producing about the academy lies in the hidden curriculum and unexpressed expectations that seem to haunt each turn; in my experience, it is the scholars who are willing to share their vulnerabilities and failures who make the most effective mentors and guides, because they render human the superheroic feat that is survival – thrival – in the academy. In moments of great transition in my career – when starting graduate school, accepting my first faculty position, becoming disillusioned with my department and institution, and transitioning to a new discipline – I have turned to blogging, microblogging, and personal newsletters as a way to build community, particularly around career-related anxieties and failures. This presentation charts my own professional development from blogging pseudonymously, to blogging under my own identity, to placing my pursuit of tenure entirely in the open, in order to make a case for being more transparent about process and failure in academia. Acknowledging my own subject position and accommodating the needs of participants in the session, I will discuss frankly the risks and rewards (mostly rewards!) of an open embrace of failure in public spaces.