On not Writing

Erika Gisela Abad has a Ph.D. in American Studies, and works at Center for Puerto Rican Studies investigating intersectionality, cultural experience, and oral history among Puerto Rican communities and families.  In this post, Erika reflects on how her research in Puerto Rican Chicago sparks tension and memory in dialogues and debates with her mother.   I […]

Tag, You’re Ill: My Decision to Wear a Medical Alert Bracelet

In this week’s post, Xan reflects on medical sign equipment and the self through the example of decision-making regarding medical alert bracelets. I started my year in South Tampa with a dead car battery, a small moment of panic, and a series of tough realizations about my health and life. Turning 32 during the winter […]

Comprehensive Exams are a Glorified Hazing Ritual

  The following anonymous guest post is by a doctoral candidate at a public research university in the United States.  In this post, he discusses experience with comprehensive exams often required for doctoral study, and the ways such exams mirror hazing patterns in other institutions and groups.   As many graduate students know, comprehensive exams […]

Call for Submissions

Write Where It Hurts – an online forum for scholars doing deeply personal teaching, research and / or activism within and beyond the academy – invites guest blog posts (500 – 1500 words generally) regarding navigating the emotional, political and inequitable aspects of scholarly practice and experience. As part of our ongoing efforts to shine […]

There’s No Manual for This: Surviving Rape Apologists in the Classroom

The following anonymous guest post is by a sociology instructor at a public university in the United States. In this post, she reflects on experiences confronting trauma and rape apologists in the evaluation of student assignments. When I began graduate training, I was inundated with advice about how to survive in my chosen profession. Specifically, […]

All the Pain Money Can Buy: How Far We Haven’t Come with Pain Control

Editor Xan Nowakowski, whose own experiences with a painful chronic disease have inspired much of their own research, reflects on seven years of scholarship on clinical pain management, and what they have learned from lived experience along the way. When I started doing pain management research as a graduate student at Rutgers in 2008, it […]

Teaching Where It Hurts

In this post, Xan Nowakowski and J. Sumerau reflect on their experiences personalizing sociology in the classroom (see their recently published Teaching Sociology article on this topic here) in hopes of facilitating dialogue and debate about the benefits and limitations of incorporating professor biographies into sociological curricula. As people who write about, teach, study, and […]

Caught in a Dream: Discovering an Integrated Self After Dissociation

This post will be the first of two focusing on ties between sociology and popular music. In this first entry I use the music of one of my favorite artists (Alice Cooper – all the block quotations below come from Alice Cooper’s songs and may be found here) to explore and narrate my experiences of dissociative identity. […]

We Write Where It Hurts

Welcome to Write Where It Hurts, a community for scholars doing deeply personal research, teaching, and service! In this inaugural post, we thought it might be wise to introduce ourselves and explain our expectations for the ongoing development of this blog. Like many scholars (some say all), we initially embarked on academic careers seeking to […]


Many people are drawn to teaching and research because they seek to understand aspects of their own lives and / or make a difference in social arenas that matter to them on a personal level. Countless graduate students, teachers, professors, and researchers note that their own life experience directly or indirectly influenced their decisions about […]