Thoughts About Work

Living Bibliography

“This project is, of necessity, wildly but carefully undisciplined.”[1]

My living bibliography practice stems from a frustration and tension of talking most about my work to “non-academic” audiences while being pushed to strive for professional heights within my sector. I have observed and felt the viciousness of “owning knowledge”. The drive to be the first, and only, writer, speaker or thinker to say something has tainted our practice and continues the cloister-like culture of higher education. It makes our writing and our thinking exclusive, insular, and (often) extractive. As a person researching, enjoying, and consuming popular culture, I find this barricading of knowledge both harmful and counterproductive. I also reject the notion that only I should hold space on any topic. The environment I trained in and engage challenges me in this rejection every day. We are taught to be fearful of consensus, of shared knowledge, and of communal understanding in almost all areas of academic research.

            This project is an experiment. It is fluid and organic and I may have to change how I go about it. What I know is that I want to document the development of my thinking as I transition from one part of my research to another. I want others who may wish to follow, engage, or disrupt my path to be able to see and trace the materials that I am working through. I also want those who are not lucky enough to work with scholars who have access like I/we do to have a more transparent window into how we develop into who we are. This living biography is autoethnographic, meaning that it is inextricably tied to me, to my progress, and to my process. Although I hope to develop writings and teaching resources from this process of documentation, the living bibliography itself is an evolving record. It is for me and for anyone who is interested. I anticipate that it will include short notes, key terms, and reflections as I go, but this is not a funded or metric’d concept. This is a way of me exploring what it means to attempt knowledge democracy while operating in a system where this queer, demigender, mixed-heritage, neurodivergent person is always a walking target. I hope you will enjoy and share it with me.

[1] Shana L. Redmond, Everything Man: the Form and Function of Paul Robeson (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2020), 8.

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