Finally, I can announce the news: I am the new PostDoc at the Social Justice Research Institute at Brock University. Brock is a big university in St. Catharine's, Ontario- (for my American dears, its in Eastern Canada- or at least, more East than Vancouver. Don't worry I had to have a geography lesson about this as well). I'll stay in the Bay Area for now, and commute a couple times a year.
And I will write. Oh gosh will I write. I will write and write and write.
I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now and I'm doodling about all the things I will write about. Multiliteracies and youth media production and digital worlds and social media and activism and justice and gender and girls and all the things. It feels like possibility has broken wide open again- like I cracked open a stone that I had given up on, and inside, there were those beautiful purple crystals just waiting to be discovered.
I cannot wait to really do a deep-dive into the way high profile girl activists are narrating gender justice issues in digital social networks, and to spend some time tracing how their creations move in across social networks. I cannot wait to sift through ideas and write back to the literacy research world about youth and media and digital.
I was just about to throw in the towel- to say, you know, I wanted academe, but academe didn't want me. But then this happened. Which is to say, when you reach what you feel like is the end of your own once-upon-a-time-vision, apply for that one last thing that probably won't work anyway. Because it might crack open possibility. (Also, note to self: take this advice yourself.)
This last application? I was really seen. My work was seen for exactly what it is: knowledge about youth, video and photo production, and social justice. I'm at the Social Justice Research Institute with a mentor (Canada Research Chair of Multiliteracies, Dr. Jennifer Rowsell) where I can, quite simply, do exactly what I love the most: writing on youth, media and social justice. That is good enough. That is inspiring. That is real. That involves young people and schools and literacy.
I'm also seriously looking forward to working with a prominent scholar who is also a mama, and who can show me the mama-academic ropes. I've often wondered how academic women with children do it- how do they manage to continue to think and write about literacies and digitality and youth even as they change four cajillion diapers and simultaneously feed babies in the middle of the night, cook child-friendly meals, and manage shot appointments and swim lessons? How do they show up as writers to think carefully and critically as much as they show up as mamas to love with abandon and protect sticky little fingers from getting into every single electrical outlet there ever was?
I am so, so excited. I'll be posting here regularly as I write- previews, working-throughs, ideas, happenings- and I hope you'll join me for this adventure!
Chelsey is a digital storyteller, geek, mama, researcher and yogi. She loves to make things and her favorite food is artichokes.