My breakup letter to academia

Can you be a librarian without a library? I am.

Can you be a researcher without an institution? I am.

Can you be a teacher without any students? I am.

I am other I now.

But who?

I started working in academic libraries in 1998. I qualified as a librarian in 2008, and began my first professional post in the same month. In 2018 I became a postdoctoral research fellow in higher education pedagogies. And in 2020 I experienced burnout for the final time and walked away from academia. This chapter both records that journey and is the final step in it.

Download repository version (preprint)

Coonan, E.M. ‘From survival to self-care: performative professionalism and the self in the neoliberal university’. In Lemon, Narelle, ed. Healthy Relationships in Higher Education: Promoting Wellbeing Across Academia. Routledge, 2021.


Image credit: A. J. Booker

1 comment so far

  1. playgroundofideas on

    Hi Emma,

    It’s Matt Lane here. We used to work together – briefly – at Cambridge. I just wanted to say that I found your blogpost really thoughtful and thought-provoking. I know we haven’t spoken in years, but if you’d like a virtual cuppa and a chat about it and just to say hello, really, that would be wonderful. I have many questions about this blog.

    More important, really do hope you’re all safe and well?

    Bests,

    Matt

    >


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