Academic Summer

When people find out I teach college, they almost inevitably make some remark about having “summers off”. And for some teachers, those who are better planners than I am, perhaps, this may be true. While I don’t have to set times to go to the office, I am teaching a class online. In addition I’m doing research on a project that I hope will turn into conference presentations and publishable scholarship. Teaching and service work during the year don’t leave a lot of time for me to work on my research the way I’d like, so like many of my academic colleagues, I research and write when I can.    

I’m planning a research trip to Columbia University to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library for a project on queer archives, specifically scrapbooks. I’m also planning to visit the Alice Austen house while I’m in New York. 

Then for a different project, I’m visiting museums in Hartford, CT to research mourning artifacts and rituals from the 19th century. This will be part of a larger piece on memory, a project I have to break up into segments in order not to be overwhelmed and distracted by all the possibilities. 

I also need to prep for Fall courses, 2 of which I’m teaching for the first time, including a course I’m piloting in order to revise the class.  

I’ll manage to have some fun in-between all that work, though. Don’t you worry.

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© 2017 by Devon Ralston. 

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