Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sabbatical So Far...

OK, since no one has objected (or shown any signs that they are paying attention), I guess it’s safe to risk the evil eye by talking about sabbatical.

In short: it is AWESOME.

It’s not like I don’t like teaching; I do. But I like not working even more than I like teaching. And I’ve been teaching for some time now (at Fordham, NYU, Grinnell College, and here), so it’s nice to have a wee respite.

A few things I’ve read on my time off: Jeanette Winterson’s The Powerbook, Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (which I believe Kayode may have published on), Michael Pollan’s A Place of My Own, Leo Bersani’s Intimacies, Daniel Heller-Roazen’s The Inner Touch, Erin Manning’s RelationscapesThe Cape Malay CookbookWildflowers of South Africa, Pliny’s Natural History, Aristotle On the Soul and The Generation of Animals, The New Yorker magazine, and Abouet’s series of graphic works, Aya of Yop City. All great stuff. I’ve also discovered blogs—well behind the curve, I realize, but I'm totally hooked on watching textual communities in action.

On the production side of things, I wrote an article about queer desire for a forthcoming book, Clinical Encounters, edited by Eve Watson and the fabulous Noreen Giffney. Check out Noreen’s recently published collection, Queering the Non/Human (actually, don’t, because I have the library’s copy and I’m not giving it up any time soon). Also in the Fall, I gave a conference paper on Gawain and the Green Knight and these guys,

the "Blemmyae" or "Blemmys" (this one's from Wonders of the East). I'm contributing an expanded version of the piece to a very groovy collection titled Medieval Skin (yes, really! how cool is that?). I’m now getting started on a chapter on women and reading for the Palgrave Encyclopedia of British Women’s Writing. And, best of all, I’m working with Holly Duggan (who is at George Washington Univ.) on a special issue of the new journal, Postmedieval (see The issue will be on “The Intimate Senses: Taste, Touch, and Smell,” and it is going to be the BOMB. We’ve got great contributors and are totally psyched about it. This is an outcome of my research on the sense of touch (Holly, an early modernist, works on drama and smell).

In other news, my project of cooking curries from around the world has stalled, sadly. I’ve ventured into Burmese, Cambodian, Lao, Pakistani, North Indian, South African, and Thai, but there are so many more to try. Singaporean anyone?

Oh yeah, I'm sleeping a lot, too. Because I can.



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