In this episode of the Unconditional Teaching Podcast, Tyll and I talk to Jessica about her experience of writing and defending her Ph.D. thesis and the severe strain it put on her mental health.
Because we had so much to talk about, this episode is split in two parts: In this first part, Jessica talks about why writing and defending her Ph.D. thesis was a traumatic experience for her and what the completed thesis means to her, but also about the conflicting demands that are inherent in academic testing mechanisms in general and how they produce effects that lead to mental health issues.
In the second part of this interview, we talk about the genderedness of discourses of resilience and suffering and why it is so difficult to acknowledge traumatic experiences involved in pursuing an academic career. Finally, Jessica tells us more about how she exercised agency to create her actual Ph.D. defense as a situation of security and support for herself by inviting students, colleagues and friends.
Music © by Lily Olason.