This is me as a baby feminist theorist in 2008. I am standing outside Harvard's Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. It is my very first time in the archives. The sun streamed in, the kind and hospitable librarian brought me the very dusty box I wanted, and I held in my own hands suffragist Alice Paul's letters to her mother from prison. I was ecstatic and wide-eyed to start to learn feminist history.
This is me recently checking out 40 books from Columbia's Butler library to prepare a feminist theory class I am teaching. I promise I am still inwardly ecstatic (and grateful)—but I am tired because that is what rigorous scholarly engagement does to you! I recognize more and more the costs of this kind of work over the years, especially inside traditional education systems trying to disconnect our mind from our body.
But I still savor the immense privilege to be inside academia, have access to resources, then redistribute these resources outside these spaces in creative, collaborative ways.