The norms of professionalization, viewed through a queer lens, are seen as a means to regulate affect and to banish queer forms of pleasure—much to the detriment of the academic profession. A queer, medievalist approach may help us with the project of building happier doctoral student selves. By looking at the indeterminancies and contradictions within medieval theories about “professions,” and by examining the queer valences of the first recorded use of the word professionalism (1856), we might open up spaces within our doctoral programs for productively “unprofessional” behavior.

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