In the garden of dreams: Transgressive careers

Bristow, Alexandra (2024). In the garden of dreams: Transgressive careers. In: Robinson, Sarah; Bristow, Alexandra and Ratle, Olivier eds. Doing Academic Careers Differently: Portraits of Academic Life. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 237–240.



Transgression arguably constitutes the most radical departure from prescribed career norms, short of leaving academic employment completely. The academics in this gallery share the impetus to transgress boundaries between academic and non-academic careers, but also between disciplines, and between academic careers and personal lives. Their stories are brimming with creativity and wonderment, and portray two activists, a philosopher, a journalist, and two performing artists, all combining these with their academic work. Pain as both the cost and the means of transgression is a theme that echoes through all portraits here. In the idyll of the garden in which this gallery is set, the dreams of openness and freedom are grown on the roots of suffering. As the garden is explored, its darker undertones get more obvious and yet it somehow becomes more alive and vibrant for it. The transgressive dreams it grows are full of sharp thorns and yet are deeper and more hopeful.

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