Tag Archive for academia

Thoughts on our 2014 AAS Roundtable, Part I

I just returned from a rousing Association of Asian Studies annual conference in Philadelphia, which is the annual gathering to wallow (in the most wonderful way) in Asian studies for a few days with old friends & new friends. What follows are some (probably confused and somewhat random) thoughts on the panel I was part…

“As if our old companions have returned in a dream”

Academia is funny business: I’m sure there must be other jobs that train you for a relatively long period of time & then dump you out for your actual training after you’ve secured employment, but I can’t think of any. My first semester as a real, live professor was fascinating and frustrating and wonderful and awful…

What might have been & what has been

Yesterday, I defended my dissertation, and (pending paperwork being filed) am now qualified to call myself ‘Dr.,’ if I were so inclined (which I’m not, but that’s a story for another day!). I can’t help but be a little wistful; getting to and getting through grad school took up most of my 20s. I’ve pingponged…

Placeholder & recent writing

As I’m currently in the frantic final stages of writing my dissertation (for a 26 July defense – grad school is almost over! I still can’t quite wrap my head around it) as well as trying to get my life in order for a big move to beautiful Bozeman, Montana to take up an assistant…

‘An eternal yet banal sensation’

There is a wonderful quote in a book I otherwise think is fair-to-middling (if that – Edvard Radzinsky’s The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II): Nicholas kept a diary for thirty-six years without interruption. He began it at the age of fourteen, in 1882, in the palace at Gatchina, and ended it…

Just one mountaineering party (of 600 million)

Research is a funny thing; you sometimes find connections where you least expect them. I’ve been trawling through the database Duxiu, checking up on a few things that have popped up in archival sources. I checked up on a common search (the dramatist Meng Chao – who really made his name as a poet in…

A few notes on obvious matters

Another day, another disgruntled post on how breaking into games journalism is hard (well, more a post about how breaking into games journalism is hard and I QUIT). I was struck yet again about how similar it all is to academia – so many people wanting so few positions, the same advice given to aspiring…

Iron girls

I’ve been trotting through the history of Chinese women in the 20th century in preparation for a course I’m teaching this coming winter. Unraveling these narratives that have been put in service to nation building has been both a trip down memory lane (recalling the early days of my fascination with Chinese history) and diving…

Hopes and Dreams and Money

I had a long post regarding the cancellation of the fiscal year 2011 Fulbright-Hays competition written up.  It – mostly a ‘What winning the Fulbright-Hays has meant to me’ post – depressed me too much, so I’ve deleted most of it.  I was recently told I was being “practically nihilistic” about the future of America…

April showers bring May slugs & fierce debates

After a delightful two week trip to Beijing, I returned home to (quoting myself from elsewhere) “a horror scene of slug trails, dead and dying slugs all over the floor in my main room. Luckily I didn’t notice that one had been cruising around on my bed until the next morning.   I had noticed trails…