Multi-Classing IRL: Gamers, Academics, Mothers
Hesse observed in 2013 that Rhetoric and Composition has “collectively jacked up expectations for individual agency, success, and status, in ways difficult for all aspirants to achieve or the profession to sustain” (18). This tension is particularly vexing for parents, who often compete with their own vision not just of an ideal scholar, but also with societal depictions of ideal parenthood (Comer 100). This panel explores the intersection of three identities: Gamer, Academic, Mother, and takes a critical look at how each informs and sustains the others. While gaming is certainly not a way to cut the Gordian knot, the panelists’ collective experiences as gamers offer some insight into the intricacies of the problems that are faced by scholars who exist in the interstices between these identities. This insight offers us ways to begin to loosen that knot.
Embracing the interstitial space between identities means both revisioning traditional scholarly work and work spaces and calling into question current pedagogical and tenure practices. There is no model academic mother, as there is no model academic, we have chosen panelists from different types of institutions, at different moments in their academic careers, and at different stages of motherhood to represent this diversity.