Construction of the Blackademic: An arts-based tale of identity in and through academia | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2045-5879
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5887



The act of making a doctoral gown is a response and metaphor to describe the construction, reinforcement and intersections of racial and academic identity within a probationary period of employment in academia known as tenure-track. A collective arts-based autoethnographic project inspired my garment-making to examine three salient racializing moments during my transition from a Ph.D. programme and into the first four years of a tenure-track position. I use concepts of garment construction – marking, pinning, measuring, pressing and stitching – as aesthetic interludes to illuminate and organize moments of intersubjective dialogue, which ultimately lead to an ascribed racialized academic identification. The construction of a Blackademic identity emerges, inspiring the creation of academic regalia. This arts-based project describes a hypervisibility of racial experience within academic spaces and acts as a visual representation of systemic and intersectional factors, which have guided my movements in academia.


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