Although I talk about my academic work on this blog I wouldn’t categorise this as a research blog and because I talk about my personal life in quite a lot of detail I am not necessarily keen for people searching for me on a professional level to find this before they get to know me – Although a detailed search for some of the topics of my research will probably bring you here eventually.
[I am also not necessarily hugely keen for the people I interact with on a day-to-day basis and my in-laws/family to be find this easily]
However, as the modern digital world becomes more a part of my(possible) professional life it becomes increasingly clear that I should build myself a website/blog to showcase myself on an academic level. I need my name to be visible and associated with my work and I need to enthuse other people on my subject if I want to have even the vaguest of hopes of landing a job.
Also I really really need to publish something!
Which is why not only am I going to email people with the notes for my conference paper but as soon as my thesis page refs are done and my next paper is outlined I am going to turn it into a real journal article. I am also going to start writing a book proposal for my thesis.
I’m never quite sure whether I feel guilty for not reading all the reviews (especially those not in English), annoyed that there are so many things I should read generally or just inclined to use it as my personal christmas wish-list…
So to update from last time I commented on books I am reading.
Snuff has arrived – it is sitting looking tempting at me on the arm of the sofa but I am busy trying to keep my mind on The Thesis!
So at the moment – still reading The Making of Modern Cornwall (actually in hard copy rather than off the Virtual Learning Environment)
Also got Barbarians of Ancient Europe, Bardic Nationalism & West Britons from the Uni library which should keep me busy.
Also really want to go and buy some music though realistically I know I work better with music that I already know quite well, also they kind of prefer you to spend money on these things and I am not prepared to wade into the copyright debate at the moment.
Today I have Mostly been packing boxes for My beloved wife. W has been kicked out of her office (which I’m sure we only moved her to 18 months ago) so the admin staff can have a separate office for the photocopier. It feels like we have been productive but it probably hasn’t been the best use of either of our time.
We have packed a dozen or so boxes of academic textbooks to be moved by the porters tomorrow and carried computer equipment upstairs. I have also tried to catalogue more of her remaining books that live at her department… largely computer law, admin textbooks and queer theory books.
It always strikes me how different our fields are;- she gets a lot of textbooks (both because she is a lecturer and because of the particular topics of her teaching and research) and academics bring out new editions of texts all the time in those topics, but for me monographs trickle out, new editions of texts are ten years in the making and textbooks are short on the ground. I think the difference is not simply that the text Classicists work from are comparatively static (some emphasis on comparative is worthwhile however…) but in the mode of teaching. We are not encouraged to memorise facts and figures, even dates can be glossed over if you can remember the basic order things happened, the emphasis of classical teaching both in history and literature is in analysis and contextualisation. This means there are fewer definitive interpretations & accepted norms to form textbooks and that academics don’t want to re-write each others work they want to argue and engage with it.
So… anyway books..lots.
Have decided to try and push myself to note down things I want to read as an incentive to keep reading. The ability to read for pleasure or interest is the key thing that I lost as my depression deepened and I combined it with doing a PhD, although as previously commented I flit from text to text as I research and reference fiction and interest often elude me, but its something I want to find again for everyday not just for hiding from my parents…
So Currently on the planned list:
Achilles in Vietnam – J. Shay (looking at how Homer’s text pre-figures ‘Nam PTSD)
Lost books of the Odyssey – Z. Mason (Vignettes on lesser characters & alternative stories)
Snuff – T. Pratchett (New!!!)
Making of Modern Cornwall – P.Payton (Thesis stuff)
Is not the most lightweight list going and none of it on my kindle- but its a start.
The eternal curse of the researcher, the unobtainable book – The Book, the one that has the information and references, the one you want but can’t get hold of.
At the moment I am feeling exceptionally frustrated.
In the last couple of weeks I have stumbled into this problem twice.. First a dictionary of British Classicists, an unsurprisingly heavy series of volumes which might give me information about some of the writers I am dealing with and will certainly help with my thoughts on the relationships to each other and levels of connection. This mammoth tome only sets its owner back £575 and is going to involve a trip to the Bodleian for perusal. The other is a book about coins found in Cornwall – this one only costs £50 but apparently the only place that actually has a copy is the American Numismatic Society.. thats one hell of an inter-library loan.
Its not like I even what to read the whole of either book, let alone own them I just want the glorious knowledge to come to me.. Is it too much to ask?