29 March 2021

Playing a Different Game of Ball: Postdoc Memories

Friederike Landau

n this contribution, I trace the three years in which I worked, thought and changed within academia as a postdoc. Via a variety of poetic vignettes, I unpack feelings, thoughts and mo(ve)ments of irritation, growth, collaboration, success and failure within institutional structures of interdisciplinarity, intersectionality and different degrees of precarity. While these postdoc memories very much stem from my own lived experience, hopefully, they also stick and resonate with other academic workers such as postdocs-to-be, post-postdocs, or possibly postdoc supervisors. This poetic intervention gives insights into the working and living conditions of the many different postdoc positionalities, and aims to visibilize some of the stories, concerns and challenges that emerging academics struggle with.

06 March 2021

Writing Pandemics: A COVID Autoethnography

Gowri Vijayakumar

What I had not predicted about a COVID diagnosis was the guilt.  I had spent months rearranging my life to protect myself from this virus.  I had lectured my relatives about being “more careful.”  I had passed judgment on people I thought were overly cautious, and I had passed judgment on people I thought were not cautious enough.  Now it was finally here.  If I die will you finish my book?  I texted a friend, adding an ironic crying emoji to blunt the emotion.  It was a kind of melodrama that I try not to betray myself to entertain.

05 March 2021

Baking my way through ethnography: cakey encounters with diabetes during a pandemic

Pallavi Laxmikanth

These cakes took my interlocutors ‘back’ to the time when they could eat sweets, or rather weren’t medically advised not to. It reminded them of the freedom and privileges they’d enjoy – perhaps nostalgia was an important part of the lived experience of prohibition. The remembrance of taste past is essential to the sense of self. They would go into details – “have you eaten cutlet at Ohri’sBefore it became famous?”, “You put a plate of jalebis in front of me, I would eat the whole lot. Now I restrict myself to one or two”. My accidental “cake-carrying” behaviour, which came from being habituated to never going to someone’s house empty handed, turned into a point of conversation and a key to the materialization of my relationships with interlocutors…

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