Spiritual solace

taking what we can get

Good morning, friends,

Did you all see that thing on twitter about how when animals hibernate they don’t literally sleep all the time, they just slow their metabolisms?

Apparently whatever we’ve been doing for the last month isn’t technically “hibernation,” but the days have been short, and we’ve been having a lot of feelings, and I can’t speak for the entire VFC but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in bed right now.

Still, we thought it was time we checked in with you, the extraordinary people who make up this community. It’s a new semester, it’s a new year, the US has a new government, and we even have some fun news to share.

To our new subscribers: welcome! And to everyone: grateful, as always, to have you with us.

Hannah for the VFC

This week in feelings

Take this week's survey

Last time we checked in it was the end of 2020, approximately 100 years ago. It’s kind of hard to think about that time, before the vaccine, before the insurrection, before the inauguration, before the lawyer cat. But as far as we can tell, overwhelmingly, we were tired. So tired. So very, very tired.


We are just blown away that our Academic Tarot project was featured in Hyperallergic, an online forum for “serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today.” Here’s what the amazing author Stephanie Malak had to say about us:

The “Academic Tarot” is a project of the VFC’s Academic Psychic Friends Network, which circulates a biweekly newsletter about the state of affairs in higher ed. It includes data visualizations sourced from an open access COVID-19 response tracker; student-reported stories on how the pandemic is impacting their work; and “feelings surveys” that report on campus workers’ emotional responses to re-openings. Key word: feelings — the VFC’s starting point, rather than an after-thought, making the VFC’s ethos a pathos. The organization prioritizes the feelings of individuals who teach others how to interpret “being” in text, in art, and now, in themselves. It puts the human back in the humanities.

We love Stephanie’s writing, and it’s so extraordinary to see our project out there in the world. Thank you! 🌱

Read about us in Hyperallergic

VFC Action Round-Up

forthcoming events

Are you interested in exploring your relationship to higher ed and collectively envisioning a better future? Join us on March 9 from 5-7pm eastern for a virtual conversation and tarot reading. Email for details — deck not required. 🔮

the caregivers survey

We’re finalizing the materials for phase II of the caregivers survey. We’ve already updated the data in our name-and-shame database, which shows how academic institutions across the world are supporting (or failing to support) caregivers on campus. We’re working on making this information more readable, but in the meantime you can preview the data here.

new work in advocacy & international experiences

We’ve got two new projects in the works: one developing advocacy-centered materials about labor and higher education; the other about developing support for international students. If you have expertise or interest in either of these projects, let us know! email visionaryfuturescollective@gmail.com

honorable mention from c-ski!

We were awarded an honorable mention from the Canadian Social Knowledge Institute’s Open Scholar awards! Check out their website and learn about all the amazing projects they featured, like the American Prison Writing Archive and Nuisance Laws and Battered Women.

website updates

We’ve updated our website to better reflect all of our projects, including the Job Market Support Network, #CovidCampus data stories, and the Caregivers Project.

The Sportula: Microgrants for Classics Students

We just learned about this amazing collective, The Sportula. They’ve given out over $100,000 in mutual aid to undergraduates, grad students, and even the occasional adjunct working in classics. 🙌 Visit their website to give them your money, or request support.