Swamped!, or Why I Haven’t Mentioned That Jacobin Link on My Blog Yet.

We are into the second week of the semester, and last night I finally got my fourth class off the ground with our first meeting. (It’s a composition class that meets once-a-week in the evening.) So now, all four classes are up and running.

I’ve been so preoccupied with beginning of the semester tasks, and adjusting to a new institutional bureaucracy, that I haven’t had a moment to acknowledge that over the weekend my interview with David Parsons on his podcast The Nostalgia Trap was featured in Jacobin magazine.


(Hello to all new readers who may have wandered over here from there!)

I actually felt a bit embarrassed about the attention because I haven’t been posting much lately. (And also, because I always sound like a moron in interviews.) But I’m working on a few things, and once I get some lesson plans set up I’ll get back to posting  here.

Another reason why I didn’t post here that much over the summer is because I’ve been working on getting some writing submitted to more, ahem, “legitimate” publications. I know full well that I’ll have very little chance to keep on teaching unless I get some articles placed in academic journals…which I have to do so that I can get more jobs that will require more teaching, but whatever.

Of course, I would much prefer working on the kind of writing that, ya know, people actually read. But, this is how the “industry” works, and plenty of other people have put in their work slaving away for JSTOR, so who am I to complain? Unfortunately, the rejections are already rolling in, and that’s annoying. Not only do I have to put energy into articles that won’t even be available for another three or four years, and even then, will be shielded behind university paywalls so most people can’t even read them, but the academic gatekeepers keep shitting all over my work, so I can’t even give away all this free labor!

But I’m not discouraged. Actual writers seem to like my work and have given me encouragement, even if the academics don’t, so I can live with that.

I do need to put some energy into building a book manuscript though, and that’s a project that I am actually interested in and believe in. So between that and teaching four classes there might be less time for book reviews and other items posted here.

That said, I’m really interested in the things that I’ll be teaching this semester, and I’m in the fortunate position that I can build my classes around topics that I’m genuinely interested in. I’m teaching two compositions courses, one course on African American Poetry, and one course on Contemporary American Fiction. (The latter class is built around academic novels and questions of literary and institutional obsolescence). Speaking of those classes, I’ve posted some abridged versions of the syllabi here under the new “Teaching” tab, and I’ll be posting some more things from the classes this semester.

So, there’s my update for now. The saga continues.