Last week, we lost a powerful voice in the queer academic and dog-friendly blogosphere: Roxie Smith Lindemann of Roxie’s World announced her final departure from the blogosphere, only a little less than three years after her death. However, her typist Moose has decided bravely to carry on blogging under a human pseudonym at a new blog called The Madwoman with a Laptop.
The Madwoman at MWAL, otherwise known as noted Willa Cather scholar Marilee Lindeman, describes herself on the new blog as “English prof, blogger, queer, feminist, non-geek fascinated by social media, making life up as it goes along. Play on. Tenure means never having to say you’re sorry.”
Her second post at the new blog is a thoughtful reflection on mid-career funks, the (corrupt) business of higher education, and the cardboard management-speak slogan of “rebranding.” She writes:
Why, then, do I resist seeing rebranding as a solution to the challenges of mid-career slumps, funks, and stalls? It could simply be that I am reluctant, in this rare instance, to call a spade a spade. Denial aside, though, my resistance is also rooted in a desire for other ways of naming and framing our selves and our work lives.
. . . . .
So, if you’re in need of a mid-career pick-me-up — and, really, who isn’t? — , don’t think of it as rebranding yourself. Think of it as a recommitment, maybe even a reinvention. Go Mad if you have to and just do it if you dare, but bear in mind that your self is not a tennis shoe. And neither is your soul.
Welcome (again) to the blogosphere, Madwoman! I think you’re right to be skeptical of rebranding as a concept applied to anything other than consumer items or livestock. (Take it from this cowgirl: branding and rebranding hurts!)
Readers, share your thoughts on post-tenure recommitments and reinventions over at MWAL. Me, I’m jonesing for the eighteenth century right about now, so it looks like it’s time for me to get back to my uncompensated and unrewarded yet still compulsory work as a scholar. We must may hay while the sun shines and convocation is still a few weeks away, right, friends? It’s a droughty year, and we don’t know what the winter will bring.