Saturday, April 24, 2010

What will you do with your long and empty summer?

by J J Cohen

Besides dreaming up legalistic syllabus warnings that could never hold up in court, my primary strategy for dealing with the end of the school year (that is, for avoiding all the grading and administrative tasks and firefighting) is to dream of endless aestivation. Of course in academic lingo aestivating means researching and writing, albeit at times with a mojito near to hand. I've just plotted out my own summer engagements:
  1. MAY: draft an essay on Chaucer's dreams of chivalric identity and its alterities, with an emphasis on possible bodies and the lure of inhuman forces. Promised this for forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Chaucer.
  2. EARLY JUNE: "An Abecedarium of Virtu," a weird piece I am composing for the special issue of Postmedieval that I'm co-editing with Cary Howie on New Critical Modes.
  3. LATE JUNE: "The Sex Life of Stone," on geosexualities, for a queer theory conference in Berlin and later for an edited collection called Stones, Worms, and Skin: Gender and Embodiment in Medieval Europe.
  4. JULY, late evenings: my NCS-Siena paper, on blogging and new media
  5. AUGUST: return to that stone sex paper, because there is no way I've given myself enough time to complete it in June into July. Problem is, I'm abroad and then away much of that month ...
  6. SEPTEMBER: breath a sigh of relief that the fall term has started and I can stop aestivating, it's exhausting.
So, what are you up to this summer?

10 comments:

Karl Steel said...

MAY:
a) Book Review of 800-page Cambridge History of Literary Theory: The Middle Ages (why oh why did I say yes?)
b) submit completed BOOK manuscript to Ohio State University Press
c) submit grades end of month

JUNE:
a) work in earnest on MEDIEVAL MONSTERS essay for Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters
b) write ERKENWALD #3 paper for Siena, now with more SUPERSESSIONY goodness via Biddick
c) read and comment on essays for POSTMEDIEVAL Animals Turn
d) edit/touch up page proofs for SHAKESQUEER essay

JULY:
a) 3-week jaunt around Italy with wife
b) NCS

AUGUST:
a) finish MONSTERS essay
b) PREP for TWO Fall 2010 Chaucer courses
c) THINK about YVAIN and HUNTING article, saved from dissertation

I think that's it.

Holly Crocker said...

oh jeez, this was a good and bad exercise for me...I now feel a little sick:


Early May: Finish fwd. for friend’s essay collection; finish essay for approaches volume; move to DC for early summer.

Late May: Strohm institute at Folger; finish drafting Lydgate chapter; run far, far away from grad office.

Early June: Strohm institute at Folger; edit Strohm essay for pmed; revise Henryson essay for volume on sexuality and cosmology; book pull for SEL article while at Folger.

Late June: NCS paper; draft Henryson chapter; finish dgs duties.

July: finish drafting Henryson chapter; Italy; husband’s 40th birthday; NCS.

August: draft Shakespeare chapter; final edits for SEL piece; begin revising part I of book (“Exemplary Failures”—Chaucer, Lydgate, Caxton, Henryson, Shakespeare); move to Cambridge, MA for the year (assuming and hoping that husband has found suitable digs to sustain living).

Rick Godden said...

Ok, cue the panic.

May
1.) Send off Erkenwald essay to journal
2.) Write draft of Postmedieval essay
3.) Write Kalamazoo paper

June
4.) Teach summer class
5.) Start revising job materials for job market take two

July
5.) combination of teaching, job market revisions, and other sundry tasks to be determined

August
6.) revise Postmedieval essay

Tom Elrod said...

May: Finishing grading and writing a seminar paper; finish Kzoo paper. (Holly, I'm also working on Henryson, namely his take on Chaucerian concepts of Fortune vis a vis Cresseid's disease)

June/July: Begin reading for exams. This is really my priority # 1 for the next year, though I'd like to revise my Kzoo paper and do some more reading around in the literature on diseased bodies for it, too. Maybe also some preliminary dissertation groundwork, depending on how many TEAMS editions I manage to get through this summer.

August: Disappearing with my dad and brother for a week on the Appalachian trail. Then prepping for fall classes and, of course, more exam reading.

Eileen Joy said...

1. sleep
2. sleep some more
3. sleep even more
4. cultivate laziness
5. dream

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Yes, that is Eileen Joy: you have to poke her sometimes to ensure she isn't deceased.

Sarah Rees Jones said...

A new term (semester) starts today so ....

1) April, May, June, early July - teach, examine, examine, teach (UK and Hungary).

Meanwhile finish 2 essays (streets and parishes) and book.

2) July is conference season - 3 lectures, one paper.

3) August - new wimmin thing paper.
Holiday????

4) September conferences again.

but MOST of ALL - remind everybody including myself that we should publish 1190.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

I have been saving my Jewish-Christian neighboring project for publication in a York 1190 volume so I hope we'll move ahead!

Eileen said...

Real answer: sabbatical! I'm off until next January. Cue previous list.

Mary Kate Hurley said...

Now that I have my assignment for next year I feel I can finally answer this question in earnest. Although I have to say, there's a level of exhaustion I'm feeling just from reading everyone else's list, let alone forming my own.

MAY:
a. Finish Beowulf Chapter Revisions
b.Finish Orosius article Revisions
c. Begin drafting Chapter III, on Lives of the Saints
d. Kzoo! and a trip to Calgary for visiting with friends and their new puppy.

JUNE:
a. Finish drafting Chapter III
b. Revise/Rewrite NCS paper on Chaucer's Anglo-Saxons
c. Trip to North Carolina for my sister's wedding!

JULY:
a. Begin drafting Chapter IV, on Ed the Confessor
b. NCS!

AUGUST:
a. Finishing drafting Chapter IV.
b. Start preparing Job Market Materials (anyone want to start a support group?)

Looking at that, it seems a bit unwieldy. No doubt I'll spend September working on the non-time-sensitive backlog of things I don't finish.