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Academic Guilt

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Academic guilt plagues me whenever I am not working. In this profession, after all, there is always something to do: new publications to read, a book, article, proposal, conference paper, or even an annual update to write, grading, lesson plans, and course development—and that’s only in between teaching, office hours, faculty meetings, and other on-campus obligations. The seemingly endless demands on my time blur the line between my professional and private lives. To say I take work home would be an understatement. Almost every room in my house bears the mark of my professional life, whether in the form of stacks of student essays on the dining room table, read and unread issues of PMLA on the television stand, or the pile of interlibrary loans in the foyer. Books I’m reading for fun (but really for a new course I’m teaching next semester) sit on my nightstand. These ever-present reminders of work undone fuel my academic guilt, acting as specters of my professional life even in the most private of settings.


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© 2015 Greg Colón Semenza and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr.

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Lobo, G.I. (2015). Academic Guilt. In: Semenza, G.C., Sullivan, G.A. (eds) How to Build a Life in the Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.

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