Manuscripts don’t burn

Last week, I was the final speaker in our department’s grad student association speaker series (which also marked the last day of classes for AY 2015-2016, hooray!), called “Rough Cut” – designed to expose current grad students to research-in-progress. I had signed up much earlier in the semester, and as the date drew closer, I…

And the days are not full enough

The past month has been conference season for this Asianist – and a pretty exciting one, at that! I am feeling both rejuvenated intellectually & yet also melancholy. I relish the opportunity to reconnect with old friends & acquaintances and make new connections, but it reminds me how much I miss some things (and many people).…

Recent research and … Star Wars (of course)

Since moving to Montana, I’ve come to the general conclusion that academics are like wolverines (well, at least academics in my fields): we like our space. We really, really like our space. One might say we’re ridiculously, fiercely protective of that & may in fact get pretty damn grumpy when we don’t get it. I’m currently knee-deep…

青蛙的眼睛: Winter Thoughts on New Beginnings

The last time I bothered to sit down and write a post was last summer (over 6 months ago!), when Leigh Alexander wrote a beautiful piece that moved me to write (for once, it landed me on the Critical Distance year-end round up, which tickled me). There have been things since that I would have liked to have…

Remembering hearts

I have a whole whack of backlogged posts-to-write that I haven’t gotten around to: the end of spring semester (the end of my second year as a full-fledged assistant professor!) was full and busy. Two conferences, including a trip to Canada, thoughts on teaching an experimental-for-me course, other assorted bits of my life. Frankly, as summer…

“No, YOU’RE a bad Marxist” – On Debates & Things

Well, the semester is well & truly underway here. I’ve been having (anxiety-ridden) fun with my seminar – a topic I’ll come back to in a few weeks – and (completely anxiety ridden) not-so-fun with my manuscript, although I have been making forward progress. On the one hand, I’ve enjoyed getting back into my sources,…

Happy (research) birthday

Six years ago – give or take a week or two, I can’t remember when the semester started – I found one of the great intellectual loves of my life. I suppose I often think of the real birth of my research life as being tied to my actual birthday: it was at some point around the…

Learning on a limb

As I’ve noted before, academia can be full of pretty strange transitions – the leap from grad student to professor is an enormous one. A year and a half in, and I can say with some confidence I’m getting settled, but of course – this is not an overnight process. I’m lucky to be at…

New Year, New(ish) Look

Well, 2014 was a pretty exciting year for this blog: my little post on a Chinese lianhuanhua version of Star Wars went viral (and is still garnering a pretty astonishing number of page views for a not frequently updated, kind of boring blog. It’s far surpassed even my best post at Kotaku!). I was also selected as one…

Coming ’round full circle

I took the first week and a half of winter break to go on one of my every-nine-months-or-so gaming binges – doing the media consumption equivalent of gorging one’s self during the holidays on delicious treats with little thought to anything or anyone else (or your waistline). I played through Tales of Xillia, having played about 3/4s…

Searching for ways to express your [fill in the blank]

The semester is (finally) winding down here: it’s been a strange one on a number of levels, one that’s sharing a startling number of parallels with the fall quarter of my second year of grad school. It certainly hasn’t approached that level of misery, but I do find myself taking odd comfort in the similar patterns.…