Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Semester

It's a new semester here at the blog and after very spotty blogging throughout most of 2008, but esp. the last half, I'm revisiting blogging anew to see where it will fit into this stage of my life and career.

So here's what's up ( a re-cap for newish readers):
*We're expecting a baby in June: scheduled for June 15, to be exact. This will bring us to three, along with five-year-old twins Rambunctious and Imperia.

*This semester, I'm teaching the theatre tour class, a version of which I taught two years ago, taking a group of students to London--the first time for many of them, and for me, too. It was a really great teaching experience. This year, because of budgets and airfare and the Junebug (from here on out, the nickname for the baby until a more suitable one makes itself manifest), we're keeping our travel regional, thereby reducing the student expense by about 80%. Still, I've got a bunch of 14 fantastic students, most of whom I've had before, and at least one of whom has never seen a professional play before. I'm stoked about the class.

*This is also the only class I'm teaching this semester, since I have a pre-tenure two-course reduction to work on my research. Now I already have enough in the way of individual articles in print to make the basic benchmark for tenure, but I've got lots of other irons in the fire, all most all of which will garner serious attention:
  • The Collection: As co-editor, I have half of a long introduction, a co-authored article, and a single authored article in this thing, so with that many fingerprints all over it, I really want it to look good. Fortunately, the reports are back on the peer review, and they're quite positive, with minimal requests for revision. We're looking to turn around a complete final draft by February, and then arrange the indexing. We hope to be in print by September.
  • The Harry Potter Article: which is only marginally about Harry Potter, will have page proofs coming soon.
  • The Terrorism Article: originally presented at MLA, and then requested in this short form for an online journal, this article was solicited for expansion and inclusion in a book collection coming out from a good press in my field. It's due in late March.
  • The Utopia Article: Originally given as a plenary talk last March, I have about 7-10 new pages to write on it before it's a complete article, but when it's ready, it's gonna be a good one that intervenes nicely in a fairly hot conversation.
  • The Blog-Post-Turned-Talk: This one is super-exciting, since a fellow blogger asked if I'd do a longer talk on a topic related to a blog post from this past year. Part of it is a very new field for me, but part of it will be right smack dab in the middle of my work, and will be getting at a part of my work that the book project doesn't really touch on, but that last Spring's graduate seminar had a field day with, so I have lots of thoughts on the matter. This also happens in late March, and will perhaps be accompanied by a teaching workshop based on my article in the collection. If all goes well, this may also become an article worth submitting.
  • Oh-Yeah-The-Book, fka The Dissertation: I defended over five years ago, and then the book would've been in a very cutting-edge topic, but would not have had, well, an argument. Now the topic has had a few colelctions and another book come out on it, but none of them taking my angle at all (one of them cites me more often than it cites the primary theorist in my argument). I've been pecking away at the thing: a conference paper here to start a new chapter, a few hours breaking up monster dissertation chapters into more digestible book-chapter-sized bites there, a book review on one of the collections in between, and a good bit of time reading everything else that's come up since I defended. I committed to this task in earnest late last fall, when I began researching publishers, and I had an auspicious (but completely non-binding) first meeting with an acquisitions editor at MLA (incidentally at the same press as the collection for the Terrorism Article). Anyway, I'm 17 pages into a completely rewritten intro, and hope to have it and a polished chapter (already published in article form, so no biggie there) off to said editor by the end of the month.
  • The Throwback Article: I will in all likelihood not touch this one, despite the fact that I adore it's skeletal beginnings. Still, it may be the beginning of work on the next book, so I list it here because there's writing on it, and I may find myself procrastinating with it someday.
Why the hell am I blogging? you may ask. Well, there are several reasons. One, I missed not actually being in bloggy touch with all the people at the meet-up in SF. Two, I find that procrasting from writing with more writing keeps me close enough to the original task to be helpful; the most productive summer of my writing career also had a lot of blog posts. Three, warm-ups: though I write in flurries, I don't dive in well, so I'm hoping that a bit of blogging on a given day will begin a bit of other writing on the same day.

So that's it in a nutshell. Hopefully you'll be seeing more of me before too long. Wish me luck!


Flavia said...


And it was great to see you at MLA. Would love it if our travels brought us into more frequent contact--but once a year is still rather nice.

Lucy said...

Congratulations on the Junebug! It sounds like you've got a lot of good things going on. :)

Sisyphus said...

Excitement! Look at all that writing and thinking! Whoo!

PS too bad we didn't have even _more_ time to talk at MLA, because that is fun.

jo(e) said...

It sounds like you've got a lot going on! That means all kinds of stuff to blog about ....