Jorge Juan RodríguezJul 20, 2023
Sharing Lessons From His Working-Class Parents
A Conversation with Dr. Jorge Juan Rodríguez
New Books Network 2023
Why are students encouraged to move far from home and family, to attend “the best school”? Why aren’t the emotional and physical costs of this disclosed to students and their families? Dr. Jorge Juan Rodríguez joins us to talk about his article, “Lessons From My Working Class Parents,” and the graduate school sacrifices he wouldn’t make. This episode explores:
- The personal costs first gen students make when they leave family behind.
- How lived experience can influence your field of study.
- Why stories from his parents led to his dissertation topic.
- What led him to prioritize his family and his home life in graduate school.
- Lessons from his parents.
Our guest is: Dr. Jorge Juan Rodriguez, who is the son of two Puerto Rican migrants. He grew up in an affordable housing community outside of Hartford, Connecticut. His lived experiences in that community influenced his academic work, leading him to degrees in biblical studies, liberation theologies, and a Ph.D. in history where he specialized in the intersections of religion and social movements. While engaging public scholarship and teaching courses in U.S. Religious History, Latinx Religious Activism, and 20th Century Social Movements, Dr. Rodríguez also serves as the Associate Director for Strategic Programming at the Hispanic Summer Program. He consults with institutions of higher education across the country on matters of policy development, grant systems, curricular reviews, social media management, and internal operations. In all that he does, he invites people to critically assess the histories that shape them, the communities that ground them, the challenges of our current systems, and the possibilities of dreaming new systems into existence.
Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.
Listeners to this episode may also be interested in:
- How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship and Community, by Mia Birdsong
- How to Human: An Incomplete Manual for Living in a Messed-Up World, by Alice Connor
- Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, by Nedra Glover Tawwab
- Dr. Jorge Juan Rodriguez's blog post entitled Careerism and the Lessons of My Working-Class Parents
- The Academic Life podcast on community-building and How We Show Up, with Mia Birdsong
- The Academic Life episode on the Field Guide to Grad School
- The Academic Life episode with Virgie Tovar on body acceptance and ending fatphobia
- The Academic Life episode on barriers to tenure for women of color
- The Academic Life podcast on the benefits of living a "good-enough" life
- The Academic Life podcast on belonging and the science of creating connection and bridging divides
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