on academia

In October, as I was starting grad school, I put out a call via Facebook to my friends working inside and outside academia asking--to/for whom are you writing?

My undergrad mentor was Lauren Berlant, whose work (broadly around affect, public intimacy, and citizenship) I really respect. She responded, "So the question is how to make your own vernacular, your own ethics of exemplification and explanation. But the other thing is that we write so other people can find our way of being in knowledge and use it. Which other people? is it possible for you to think a longer term arc? Now I'm learning this register of x question, now I'm accessing other people's great minds, and their disappointing minds, and later I'll find ways to take this stuff and make a different communicative context for it."

I've been thinking a lot since about what it means to "make [one's] own vernacular"--and in there, the work of translating in and between different friends, fields, groups of people which make up a life. In my undergrad studies in linguistics I learned about this as 'codeswitching.'

More to say about this but that's good for now.