Journal Article — Concluding Reﬂections—A Dialogue: This Bridge We Are Building: “Inner Work, Public Acts” — by Chris Bobel, Tim Sieber, Karen L. Suyemoto, Shirley Tang, and Ann Torke
I suppose it is still a risky business for those of us in academia to expose and express too much of our inner, authentic selves, right? But why should it be like this?? What does it do to us? I’m glad that we had a chance to explore a little about our true selves with each other and out in the public at the conference! Gloria Anzaldúa was always ahead of her time. She has given us a powerful language to reflect on our experiences, and once again, it is Gloria who has made this intimate space possible for all of us! (Shirley Tang). “Thanks again to Shirley and Tim for organizing this. It adds another layer of conocimiento about who we all are, don’t you think?” (Ann Torke). “But there was/is something different about the work I did for this panel. I didn’t simply use a personal insight or struggle to frame my talk or to draw the reader/listener in, I stayed with myself and my experience throughout. I didn’t rely on the scholarly literature to lend my insights legitimacy (thanks to Karen who encouraged me to close the damn books) and that led me to feel like a boat lost at sea (how we academics bolster our self confidence with the work of others–and what a false sense of security this creates!). The talk, that is, was itself a rupture–a movement toward conocimiento.” (Chris Bobel). “I’ve been thinking about our presentation and what it has meant to me. I think one of the most illuminating learnings I am taking from this experience is that being in “Nepantla” isn’t a stage one goes through, it is in some ways the goal–being able to live and breathe and move and connect to others from within the borderland and having that space take on a different meaning of possibilities, rather than of limitations” (Karen Suyemoto). “I can’t help wanting to think and write about why it seems so unusual, fresh, and even liberating to tell the truth about our own human practice as academics. As you all have suggested, this terrain is usually off limits in academic discourse, and I think Karen gives some good reasons for why academia fosters divided, sometimes inauthentic, and dissatisfying selves in our professional lives. Gloria’s framework for addressing conocimiento, however, I believe is what saved us in this case, since it insists on the integration of the spiritual, intellectual, political, and personal dimensions, as well as situating all these within historical and biographical process” (Tim Sieber).
Bobel، Chris, Tim Sieber, Karen L. Suyemoto, Shirley Tang, and Ann Torke. 2006. “Concluding Reﬂections—A Dialogue: This Bridge We Are Building: “Inner Work, Public Acts.”” Pp. 371-376 in Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Special Issue, 2006.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).
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