Bodies in pain in academia

I write and talk about bodies, but one which I’ve left aside is my own. Yesterday Lorna Richardson () published a hard-hitting piece in The Independent on her own experiences as an endometriosis sufferer, and this made me reflect on my own experiences.

‘How do you live a public life when you are very ill with a disease that isn’t visible?’ wrote Lorna. ‘I’m riddled with scar tissue, inside and out.’

The reason why I find Lorna’s piece extremely important is that it shows the frailty of our bodies and beings, and it lifts the veil on things that go hidden in the life of some/many academics. At first I doubted if I should scribble these thoughts, as I asked myself what would be the message (still the academic in me). But I think it all comes down to a plain reason and simple message: sharing personal experiences like Lorna’s (see also 3 other great posts on living with disability in academia, under various forms, by Alison, David and Doug) brings forward the humanity in us, which is important given that all we do is research humans of the past/and present, humanity in its unfolding.

 

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