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Lessons from a Lived Labour Life

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10:30, Mardi 9 Mai 2023 EDT (20 minutes)

This paper is a personal reflection about ‘learning labour’ within the context of a twenty-year relationship with my late partner, Mary-Jo Nadeau (1965-2021). As an academic, self-identified labour geographer, I give recognition to a number of lessons that I learned from Nadeau, herself a feminist sociologist, anti-racist activist, and labour organizer. The paper borrows from a largely feminist inspired literature on academic relationships and how such relationships influence intellectual development and pursuits. The paper explores a number of questions including: How do these relationships work? Do they increase professional success? What is the intellectual impact on each other’s work, even if you do not write together? And also important, what are the effects of gender and other relations of power in such a relationship? The paper concludes that reflection upon engagements with intimate partners is something that geographers and other scholars should be more open to. Further such reflections must go beyond mere acknowledgement of the intellectual contributions of those who are too often rendered invisible in research processes to how such intimacies shape research and scholarship.  

Steven Tufts


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