Progress report

We academics always have big hopes for the summer, and it is usually around this point that we are able to recognize what was realistic and what was not. My goals for this summer, outside of my Shimer-related obligations, were lofty. I was going to translate two books by Agamben, which was my highest priority, even though they were not technically due until the end of the calendar year — I knew from experience that I was not likely to make significant progress during the semester. I was also going to do some work in preparation for a Heidegger elective I planned to teach the year after next, reading a good chunk of Sein und Zeit in the original (hopefully setting a pace that would allow me to get through the whole thing by next summer). Finally, I had already committed to write one article on Agamben and wanted to write one additional article related to my devil project.

The only thing that has gone according to plan is the translating. I have a full draft of The Highest Poverty that I am working on polishing and will soon be sending to an elite cadre of readers, and I will easily be able to get a full draft of Opus Dei by the end of the summer (though some bibliographical and editing work may be left over). On the Heidegger front, I have made very little progress in German, but I’ve been working my way through the Macquarrie and Robinson translation with a brave student. Finally, while I always meet my deadlines and will therefore necessarily finish the already-promised article, an additional article seems very unlikely to happen. I have, however, taken on something unexpected, a reading group over Lacan’s Seminar III (which has not been very time-consuming and will help as I prepare for a directed reading with a CTS PhD student).

How do things stand with you and your goals so far, dear readers?

9 thoughts on “Progress report

  1. I wanted to draft an article. Somehow, however, a total career change, a move to a different city, and preparing for/going on a four-day backpacking trip took up more time than anticipated.

  2. I’d hoped to make more progress on my novel than I have. I got lost somewhere along the way, and I’ve yet to find myself. I did, however, manage to come up with an research proposal. Oh, and a host of resumes.

  3. I wanted to finish my dissertation. I haven’t even looked at it since I finished teaching at the end of June. But, I have finished my fall/winter teaching preparation (one is a completely new course; the other is significantly redesigned) and I’ve been working on an article. Between the end of winter and summer semesters, I finished off two chapters and sent them to editors–no idea of the status of those volumes. Sounds like I am productively procrastinating from working on the dissertation. Who wouldn’t? Pufendorf? Fuck.

  4. I went to University of Miami, FL, as a research fellow, to write a book with a publisher deadline — we shall see. Two articles to finish by end of cal year, one of them in a book I am editing. Have not began either, predict doom, but there will be two articles by the end of the year.

  5. I wanted to work on my Arabic and French. I wanted to read widely. I wanted to leave the city, get to know the rest of the province. And I wanted to find out if editing was a viable work option for life outside grad school, not just as something I did on the side.

    The editing work is getting a cautious yes. French was overly ambitious, but I’m doing two weekly Arabic classes (grammar review, reading) that give a good structure even if I haven’t developed my own regimen like I’d hoped. Haven’t yet touched the papers i wanted to revise for submission, but a fall conference will give incentive enough for one of them. Left the city a few times. I’ve been working through a pile of articles I printed off in May, but otherwise have mostly been reading novels. And catching up on Breaking Bad.

  6. I needed to survive the summer and travel to the UK to finish the co-translation of Principles of Non-Philosophy. The final editing on that is happening now an it will be to the publisher within the week. Now I’m finishing up a co-translation of Struggle and Utopia, which will he finalized by mid-August. I have to finish editing an Angelaki issue and just found out I missed a deadline for an article so must finish that by the end of August too. Oh, yeah, and move to Philadelphia. It would be nice to start class prep soon too.

  7. I just finished editing the manuscript for The Highest Poverty this morning and sent it to readers. This is a load off my mind, as I’ve been in a “state of exception” the last couple weeks to finish it — now I’m going to return to my original plan of translating in the morning and working on other things (including class prep, as Anthony mentions…) in the afternoon.

    I have to say that translating has pushed a lot of my skills to the limit. I’ve had to make use of all my research languages, particularly Latin — not just in isolation but in connection with each other (for instance, “triangulating” between the original text and the translation Agamben provides in Italian). So it’s turned out to be a good way to keep up with languages to a certain extent.

  8. I wanted to be a better person and I succeeded in not getting any worse.

    The project for reaching financial independence is on track but it is still unlikely I will be able to decide on how I use my own time before my time will have come.

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