Drift and desire
defamiliarizing academic subjectivities
Keywords:measurement, algorithms, citational politics, subjectivity, speculative fiction
In this commentary, we invite ourselves to create speculative fictions of the good life in academia. We take note of the ways that academic platforms and counting practices orient us, and perhaps other academics, toward a good life that is achieved through maximum production of citations, mentions, and connections. Through a close reading of N.K. Jemisin's Non-zero Probabilities, we consider the refrains and rituals that structure our interactions with academic platforms as junior tenure-track professors and our desire for recognition. Then, we put forward two innovatory practices, drift and desiring ambivalence, that prompt us to turn to other poles of valorization in a process of defamiliarization, turning affirmatively toward another good life.
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