Episode #4: Professor Crystal Feimster

On her research and the importance of mentorship :"This was a political project, it wasn't going to just be about the book but about being in the classroom, being at the university, having more black women in the profession"

Southern Horrors:Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching by Crystal Feimster (Harvard University Press, 2009)

Southern Horrors:Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching by Crystal Feimster (Harvard University Press, 2009)

How does one begin a professional life as an academic? This has been one of the foundational questions for The Lower Frequencies and in this episode Professor Crystal Feimster beautifully explains her own trajectory. Never following a straight line, Feimster explains how she pivoted from an interest in literature and performance as a student to a scholar dedicated to understanding and reshaping history. This episode, then,  looks at the ways in which projected career paths are never necessarily all that stable. For Feimster, this came to the fore when she moved from North Carolina to attend graduate school.

Keenly aware of her own position as a black female graduate student at Princeton, Professor Feimster explores the dynamics of the classroom space and stresses the necessity of forming important communities. That network of support stretches from colleagues to mentors to friends. These are the relationships sometimes overlooked in thinking about a career, but as Professor Feimster suggests they may be the most important. Recounting with admiration and love the relationships she has had with scholars such as Nell Irvin Painter and Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Feimster's words illustrate just how important one's personal history is in understanding one's present. After all, no one came from nowhere. With detail and humor, Feimster traces her own intellectual journey, one that remains in motion as she continues to push scholars to rethink America's history.

 

 

Listen below:

Artwork provided by Claire Schwartz.

 

Music in this episode provided by Daniel Fears and ccmixter.org (licensed by Creative Commons)

Introduction: "The Lower Frequencies Theme Song" by Daniel Fears

Transition: "On the Earth (and of the Tree)" by SackJo22 2015 -- Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0)

Outro: "The Lower Frequencies Theme Song" by Daniel Fears