6 Months Later…

My latest blog post: thoughts on leaving academia and returning to art…

“The melancholic space into which I veered after leaving the course onto which I had so forcibly tied my adult self was – in actuality – the space in which time-as-progress receded enough to allow my childhood love for art to reenter my life.”

Priya J. Shah. Artist.

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-dsc04278.jpgAnniversaries can be funny things: overdetermined occasions on which we attempt to fit ourselves into a narrative or trajectory of progress. I tended to think of my academic career in this way: judging where I was by an abstract idea of where I thought I should be (based on yet another abstraction of what counts as success). The problem is, of course, that life doesn’t really work this way. The concept of uniform progress toward a pre-determined goal tends to preclude the formation of new relationships and ideas, to shut out alternative possibilities, and to disallow failure. As I learned intimately last year, failure is simultaneously the cause for acute distress, a personal testing ground, and perhaps – if we let it be – a space of generation and creativity.

Leaving academia nearly a year ago was the most difficult thing I have ever done. For twenty years I had worked toward the goal…

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About priyajshah31

I'm Priya J. Shah, Ph.D. I taught courses on gender and sexuality, imperialism, globalization, and the politics of style for over five years and am currently pursuing my other passion for the arts.
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