Feeling like a philosopher of education: A collective response to Jackson’s ‘The smiling philosopher’
Research & Innovation | May 10, 2023
Author/s: Liz Jackson, Nuraan Davids, Winston C. Thompson, Jessica Lussier, Nicholas C. Burbules, Kal Alston, Stephen Chatelier, Krissah Marga B. Taganas, Olivia S. Mendoza, Jason Lin Cong, Addyson Frattura & Anonymous and P. Taylor Webb
The article “Feeling like a philosopher of education: A collective response to Jackson’s ‘The smiling philosopher” (2022) aimed at responding to philosopher Liz Jackson’s earlier work, “The Smiling Philosopher: Emotional Labor, Gender, and Harassment in Conference Spaces” (2019). Philosophers from various institutions, gender, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, and family background wrote about how our identities bear on our experiences of academic spaces, such as classrooms, conferences, workshops, offices, etc. Reflecting on their unique identity profiles, each of the authors ask, What does being a philosopher of education feel like? This piece of collective writing is both a response and extension of the earlier “The Smiling Philosopher” (2019) which mainly focused on the experiences of young and junior women scholars in conferences. In such academic environments, inequitable professional beliefs and practices around emotional labor produce gendered and sexual harassment. Young women are pressured to act and feel as the “sexy girlfriend,” “supportive mother,” “sunny daughter,” “little sister,” or “feminist killjoys.” In the 2022 collective response, the experiences of people of color, young men, and older women scholars were considered, in light of their own ideas of what it feels like to become and be a scholar, seek belonging, and sustain a career in philosophy of education.