My year in review

While it was horrible for the world at large, 2014 was an amazing year for me personally. I rang in the New Year wandering the streets of Paris, and I’ll end it in The Girlfriend’s new apartment in Minneapolis, where she has secured a job that uses her recently-completed graduate degree. In between, I travelled more than I ever have in a single year, visiting great museums in Paris, New York, and London. I lived in San Francisco for the summer. I lectured at Harvard and Birkbeck. I wrote Creepiness and put together a co-authored essay collection with Colby Dickinson entitled Agamben’s Coming Philosophy (which was finally submitted to the publisher this morning). I got through a first draft of half my translation of Agamben’s Use of Bodies. I taught the primary source material for my devil project twice, once at Shimer and once at Chicago Theological Seminary. I expanded my teaching competency to include Islam. And of course, I watched a ton of Star Trek.

As I often do, I’ve tried to set things up to “clear the decks” by the end of the calendar year. So far, I’ve finished up all the writing I’ve promised for this year, and this week I’ll finish the grading for my CTS class and have the final faculty meetings for the semester. After that, it will be a matter of holiday obligations and getting ready for The Girlfriend’s move — and trying to find a couple hours a day to begin reconnecting with the translation, which has fallen by the wayside amid the end-of-semester rush.

My hope is that next year won’t be so frenetically busy. Teaching an extra class on top of my full-time load at Shimer was a challenge, and not something I’m likely to attempt in the near future. I have a few talks scheduled (all either on Creepiness or the devil) and have agreed to do a book review (on the devil) and an article (on Star Trek, since now I’m bereft of a pop culture project), but I’m mostly trying to leave myself free to complete my two big projects: the Agamben translation (manuscript due August 1) and the long-promised devil book. It seems doable, especially since I’m looking at another monastic summer (in Minneapolis this time), and may be able to arrange a monastic fall as well.

In any case, next year at this time, I should have the good fortune to be in utter listless despair, facing the yawning abyss of freedom. Maybe I can even go into workahol detox. “Lord, make me non-obsessive — but not yet!”

An und für sich in 2013: A Year in Review

The year is not yet over, but we can add new notable posts that are written after this date. The past year was not as exciting as 2012, when (to speak only of the biggest highlight) Brandy dropped a series of bombs on the theology blogging world after AAR. (Brandy has since moved on to the greener pastures of Women in Theology, where she’s continued to produce ground-breaking work that deeply challenges the theological academy.)

There were some highlights, however. Read the rest of this entry »

2012 at An und für sich: Looking back

I don’t think there can be any question that the defining moment for AUFS this year was Brandy’s trilogy of posts on gender and theology (1, 2, 3), which led to a vast and fascinating discussion and prompted us to revise our comment policy. I have noticed some increase in women’s participation here, and I hope everyone will keep us accountable to our commitment to making this a more welcoming environment.

Brandy’s discussion was a rare occasion when traffic matched up closely with what we were most proud of — we had our single best traffic day, week, and month in November, and we appear to have gained a significant number of new readers as well, because December beat November’s record by far. If you look at our top posts, though, it appears that our blog is still dominated by our controversy with Radical Orthodoxy and our bemused attitude toward Object-Oriented Ontology (most notably the two guest posts from Alex Galloway). That is something I would hope to put behind us in the coming year. As we clarified after learning of Facebook gossip dismissing us as lightweights, we stand behind our published work on Radical Orthodoxy. As for OOO, I’m just not sure what more there is to say.

Another high point was our book event on Dan Barber’s excellent On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, Secularity (Amazon: US, UK, Book Depository). His more recent post on anger is another personal favorite of mine. I also celebrate all of Beatrice’s posts this year, particularly in the last couple months, as well as Brad’s research agenda on “The Unruliness of Angelic Bodies”, for which someone should start up a Kickstarter.

A trend that sticks out to me looking back over the posts from last year is a clarification of our relationship to theology, as shown in Anthony’s post What’s Love Got to Do With It? and my post arguing that philosophy is to theology as eternal is to historical. This year was also a time of greater diversification as Christopher Rodkey’s sermons, Jeremy Ridenour’s reflections on clinical psychoanalysis, Josh K-sky’s movie posts all added much-appreciated variety to the blog.

Of course, nothing can compare to my post on MacGyver and neoliberalism, though I might be biased.

What do you think, faithful readers?

2011, considered in and for itself

This was a banner year for AUFS. In terms of sheer numbers, we reached a million all-time views this summer, and our total number of views for this year alone are at nearly a half million. This year also saw our all-time most popular post, Anthony’s Hatred of the Poor is the True Cause of the UK Riots.

It was also a ridiculously good year in terms of publications. Three of our authors published books: Dan Barber’s On Diaspora, Brad Johnson’s The Characteristic Theology of Herman Melville, and Christopher Rodkey’s The Synaptic Gospel. In addition, Anthony’s translation of Laruelle’s Future Christ was released in the US, and he also presided over a very successful AAR session on After the Postsecular and the Postmodern, in which several AUFS authors participated.

We held three book events, over my Politics of Redemption, Jay Carter’s Race, and Ted Jennings’ Plato or Paul?. In addition, a reading group over William Gass’s Omensetter’s Luck is currently ongoing.

Finally, at the beginning of this year, Rodney Clapp, a columnist for The Christian Century, named AUFS as one of the best theology blogs. So it’s official now!

What were the highlights of 2011 for you, dear readers? Feel free to link to favorite posts.

AUFS 2010 Wrap-up

This was a good year for An und für sich. Our traffic nearly doubled compared to last year, and we received almost five times as many visits as during our first year of operation (2007). In addition, we ended the year with our highest-traffic month ever (despite the impact of Christmas), which also included our highest-traffic day ever (December 3). Our top posts were mainly dominated by my controversies with Milbank and the OOO crowd, but our most-read piece of the year was my post entitled The ritual satisfaction of stating the Grim Facts about the job market.

We had events for three books: Malabou’s Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing, Gaddis’s The Recognitions, and Gabriel and Žižek’s Mythology, Madness, and Laughter.

We also had a banner year for print publications among our circle. Just in terms of book-length projects, Anthony’s volume (co-edited with Daniel Whistler) After the Postsecular and the Postmodern made a significant impact out of the gate, being used in John Caputo’s final graduate course along with his translation of Laruelle’s Future Christ, and is now going to be put out in a more affordable paperback edition, and I published Politics of Redemption (my dissertation) and Awkwardness, along with a translation of Agamben’s Sacrament of Language.

Finally, we all wrote some good blog posts. Below are highlights chosen by the three primary front-page authors, and others should feel free to link to their own favorites in comments. (See also our wrap-up for last month for more recent highlights.)

Adam’s Highlights:

Anthony’s Highlights:

Brad’s Highlights:

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