In this article I seek to reflect on a rupture that happened in my college-level writing classroom in India when a student chose to write about her experience of rape and accompanying life-long trauma in a literacy narrative assignment. This rupture, and the ways in which I struggled to engage with it, were initially discomforting but eventually led to strong convictions about the need to reposition academic writing and labor in Indian universities in a manner that sees the epistemic value of emotions in academic writing and the ethical value of care-work in academia as essential ingredients required to create a socially just world. Both ingredients have the potential to counter the debilitating effects that trauma has on students' abilities to learn and succeed in college, especially for those who are at a higher risk for mental distress due to their marginalized positionalities. Through a thick description of my experiences, I explore the rationale for the call to reposition academic labor; share some practically feasible suggestions which teachers and administrators motivated to work towards social justice can use to experiment in their classrooms; and end by reflecting on the limitations and challenges involved in such experimentation.
"Emotions in Academic Writing/Care-Work in Academia: Notes Towards a Repositioning of Academic Labor in India (& Beyond),"
Academic Labor: Research and Artistry: Vol. 5
, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.humboldt.edu/alra/vol5/iss1/7