where I’ve been recently

I’m taking a brief pause to breathe after my first year as a tenure-track assistant professor.

Going directly from defending my dissertation to being a graduate faculty member in a large and understaffed department at a public university has been quite an overwhelming transition, though a welcome and often exhilarating one. In the past year, I have taught seven classes, ranging from four sections of freshman composition through to two doctoral-level seminars (one on speculative fiction and one on queer theory). I’m a member of seven comprehensive exam committees and two dissertation committees. I’ve attended four conferences, one of them virtually; had one review and two articles come out (one print, one online); written an introduction to a reprinted novel that will be coming out later in the year; worked on revisions for two articles, one of which ought to come out in the not too distant future and one of which has shifted so much since the initial idea that I may decide to submit it to a different journal. I wrote a book proposal, though I still have some way to go before I can fully transform my dissertation into the book I want it to be. And I’m currently buried in the feminist science fiction special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology, which will be launching in November.

I made that list because it has been a strange transition not to feel myself progressing each year toward the identifiable goal of a degree. This year has also been one where I have tried to move away from the purely mental focus that academia so often encourages us to have. I’ve been building a home in a new city; building a relationship with my partner and her dog (we moved in together a month ago). I’ve been growing plants and cooking and thinking about how knowledge is contained in different modes of being.

To be continued…