Summer Plans

It’s nearly July already, and I am at this a nearly-forgotten bastard-son around these parts, but I thought I’d be the next one to detail my plans for the summer.

Currently, I’m a rogue academic.  It’s kind of gratifying, in a way, to publish articles that are naked of institutional affiliation.  I feel especially “street” when it says below my name, “Oakland, CA.”  I forsee this being the case for at least another year.  While this may cut down on my productivity, it has thus far not snuffed it out completely.  I credit people like Anthony & Adam for helping me stay engaged, and can but hope that they don’t give up on me as a lost cause anytime soon.  (My goal, actually, is eventually to be one who is spoken of by former colleagues at the AAR, all of them agreeing, silently or verbally, it matters not, that “What a shame, he had such potential.”  The whisky bottle over Jesus, my friends.  Drink two for me.)

Writing

  • I am due to submit an essay on John Ruskin and aesthetic theology for the volume Anthony is co-editing.  I still have some reading to do on this, but much of the writing is done.  It is a considerably shorter version of a proposed three-year project I once detailed on this blog.
  • I’ve been toying with the idea of taking some of the ideas from the above paper and translating them into popular form.  There have been a couple of notable books about the joys of labor published this year, and I think I might try to peddle my own proposal on the same topic–from the perspective of somebody who positively hates work.
  • I am still waiting to learn whether Northwestern University Press is going to publish my book on Herman Melville and theology.  A final decision has been a long time coming.  I can hope, but am not optimistic, that I’ll learn something one way or the other by the end of the summer.  If they ultimately spurn it, I suppose I will need to write up a new proposal and send it out to somebody else.  I am not looking forward to that.
  • A friend of mine based in L.A. has compelled me to co-write a couple of screenplays with him.  We’re trying our hand first on a short.  If that goes well, we’ll turn our sights on a feature.  Maybe I’ll be IMDB’d by this time next year!

Reading

  • I’ve been working my way through David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and am confident I’ll finish it by the end of July.  That will be, I would imagine, the highlight of my summer’s reading.
  • A close contender, though, might be Laurel Schneider’s Beyond Monotheism, which I will start reading as soon as I can finally procure a copy.
  • I recently bought a huge book of Ibsen plays.  I might dig into this, too.
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7 Responses to “Summer Plans”

  1. Hill Says:

    Fellow Oaklander here (ok I’m at grad student at Berkeley)… can’t wait to read the Ruskin essay. Write the popular one. Any chance I could get a link to the earlier detailing of this project to which you refer?

  2. Daniel Says:

    Can one be an academyless academic? Shouldn’t it be “rogue thinker” or something?

  3. Brad Johnson Says:

    Possibly. The only problem is I’m still jumping through the hoops provided by institutional academia. As long as you’re still playing the academy’s game, successfully or not, you’re still an academic to some degree.

  4. old Says:

    Infinite Jest seems a popular choice. I read a hundred plus pages of it this spring and have set it aside in favor of Angle of Repose, which I’m having a much easier time getting through.

  5. Brad Says:

    I was challenged by a friend of mine to participate in the popular campaign to read IF this summer. Seemed as good a time as any.

    Enjoy the Stegner. I’ve not reader it.

  6. David Dark Says:

    I read Beyond Monotheism a couple of months or so ago and would be happy to talk back and forth about it if you’d like.

    best,
    jdd


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