To-do list

This week I’ve been on spring break. Though one might think that would be especially propitious for blogging, my production levels this week tell a different story, as I’ve spent much of my break either “spring cleaning” at home or getting a bit ahead of the curve on grading and class prep. Both those tasks are necessary and satisfying in their own way, but they aren’t particularly inspiring.

Yet it has inspired me to daydream about summer vacation and all the amazing things I will accomplish. Before that point, I have four more weeks of classes, “writing week” (when students work on independent projects and I hopefully manage to finish grading for the semester), a feverish weekend of grading the humanities area exam, then a week of conferences with students, and finally commencement on May 5. I will then have some meetings in the early part of the summer, though the dean has promised the week after commencement will be totally free of them.

Between now and the end of the school year, my outside academic obligations include reviewing proposals for the AAR programming unit for which I serve on the steering committee (Bible, Theology, and Postmodernism) and writing a short blog piece on Agamben’s Kingdom and the Glory for the blog of Political Theology. If possible, I would also like to do a draft translation of the introduction to The Highest Poverty to post here.

During the summer vacation, I will need to produce complete drafts of both the Agamben translations — I can do polishing work and track down references during the fall semester, but it’s clear to me that it would be naive to plan on doing major translation work while teaching. I will also need to expand the aforementioned blog post into an article. In addition, I obviously need to do course prep, though currently I’m only assigned to do two sections of one class and audit another class (similar to last fall), making prep relatively light.

During that all-too-short break, I would like to write and send off two articles that would provide building blocks for my devil project, one dealing with a figure from my dissertation (probably Gregory of Nyssa) and one new (probably Calvin). Both are ideas I’ve been thinking through for a long time, so hopefully it’s not as over-ambitious as it sounds. (I’m also planning for the article on The Kingdom and the Glory to work toward the devil project.) I had previously had placed unrealistic demands on myself to write this book somehow immediately, but it’s becoming clear that some kind of spacing out will be necessary. I would also like to start working my way through Sein und Zeit in German, as I’m most likely going to be teaching an elective course over it in the fall of 2013 — and given the state of my German, I’ll probably need a good solid 15 months to get through it.

What about you, my dear readers? What do you need to do before the end of the school year and during the summer break? What would you like to do? We can be accountability buddies!

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8 Responses to “To-do list”

  1. Stephen Keating Says:

    I’m planning to read a significant portion of Nancy, Badiou, and Lacan’s texts. For languages, I’m starting on French for the first time and simultaneously working through a program for Koine Greek that uses the immersion method. I’ve taken Greek in the past, but hopefully this will allow me to internalize it.

  2. Mika Luoma-aho Says:

    Well: since you asked. I am still working on my article on the political theology of /V for Vendetta/ (the graphic novel). It is currently at 5K words or so, and I have ideas to finish it around 8K, then submit somewhere. My research priority is to finish a co-authored book in /Faith and World Affairs/, which is the reason I will fly across to visit Miami University for June and work with my collaborators there, crunch it before the deadline. With all this going on I am quietly jotting notes on /The Walking Dead/ (again the graphic novel), which is also worth a politico-theological commentary in article form. Perhaps this comic-book enthusiasm turns into a book or something down the line. Who knows. And yes I need to redeem my master’s dissertation group in May, before Miami. It will take a week. I am looking forward to the end of the academic year. Yes: it looks good.

  3. Evgeni V. Pavlov (@evgenivpavlov) Says:

    I think translating during the school year is probably a better idea than it seems – translating doesn’t require as much concentration as writing – you can do an hour a day or so and have a rough draft by the end of the year, and then concentrate on producing a clean version. I find translation to be so automatic that you can do a rough draft almost without any serious mental effort (especially if you use CAT tool of some kind like SDLX)…

  4. Adam Kotsko Says:

    You are correct, but not if grading takes up all the time you would’ve allotted to translating.

  5. Evgeni V. Pavlov (@evgenivpavlov) Says:

    Grading is the ultimate evil indeed – unless you give your students sections to translate and then “grade” them by incorporating them into your translation draft, aka the Soviet method…

  6. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Well, now that you say it, I think I’m past the big hump of grading and could probably start incorporating translation again for at least a couple weeks, to get some kind of momentum going…

  7. Jeremy Says:

    I’m primarily working on three projects in the service of an overarching fourth project. My first project is writing a paper for a conference in Chicago upcoming in October on psychosis. I hope to present my dissertation on a psychoanalytic model of treating schizotypal personality disorder. My friend and I are also hoping to review the conceptualization of schizophrenic psychoses from the eight major psychoanalytic schools. I’m also just now beginning a project on a psychoanalytic approach to self-disclosure, and I intend to offer a new way of thinking about analytic neutrality and countertransference. Another project I have this summer is trying to come to terms with the various psychoanalytic ways of thinking about repetition compulsion, and how an understanding of the death drive informs theorizing about the repetition compulsion. Finally, a long-standing project I have is trying to write a book on the competing psychoanalytic metapsychologies and how these various schools grapple with various psychoanalytic concepts (drives, defenses, aggression, transference, psychosis, the unconscious, etc).

  8. Kampen Says:

    I have to write my last undergrad term paper, defend my thesis, mark term papers for a prof, write two exams, go through those horrible graduation exercises which I find too expensive and mostly tedious to get my diploma, and then I will spend my summer in Pauingassi First Nation (a reserve in Manitoba) canoeing with children by day and reading Anidjar (and a whole host of other books) by night in preparation for grad school in the fall.


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