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The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics

ISSN: 2472-7318

Writing through/as Emergency: Seeking, Performing, and Accepting Care in Semi-Private Genres

Lesley Erin Bartlett

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Keywords: sick children; child care; nontenured faculty

Categories: Parenting as (Im)possibility in Impossible Circumstances; Writing the Process of Writing

Content warning: sick children

I intended to write a short personal essay about becoming a mother during a global pandemic. Instead, I spent 11 days at the hospital with one or both of my 7-week-old twins. What follows is some of the writing I did during that time. The first image is of a note I tapped into my phone in the wee hours of a morning a couple of days before our emergency. While I fed a baby, I had been thinking about the essay I hoped to write, and I wanted to capture the thought. Social media posts were in a private group for academic mothers.

I got permission from all the people whose text messages are included and from the admins of the private Facebook group (all posts are mine).


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Lesley Erin Bartlett is an assistant professor and Interim Director of ISUComm Foundation Courses in the English Department at Iowa State University.

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