Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair

As most readers probably know, I have spent the last ten weeks in San Francisco, as The Girlfriend has a short-term job out here this summer. Due to a combination of financial constraints, the nature of our accomodations, and my very deepest personality traits, the summer has been more monastic than usual. Most days, I have had close to twelve hours to myself between The Girlfriend’s work and commute. While I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Bay Area better and while I assure you that we’ve hit some key highlights (Golden Gate Park, Angel Island, Berkeley, Oakland, wine country…), I imagine that for quite some time I mainly will look back on this summer as the most productive of my life. Since today was my last “working” day (and I shipped my books back home earlier this afternoon to make sure of that), I thought I’d share the highlights:

  • I drafted, thoroughly revised, and submitted Creepiness to the publisher, and the text has now been copy edited and finalized. We’re still looking at potential back-cover blurbs, but things seem to be moving at a faster pace than for the previous two volumes.
  • Just as I was finishing that, I received final proofs for the Italian edition of Agamben’s Use of Bodies, of which I have now produced a draft translation of the prologue, first major division, and first “intermezzo” — amounting to approximately one-third of the total text. I anticipate completing bibliographical work and doing some initial polishing on this segment before the semester begins, and hope (perhaps over-optimistically) to complete an additional third per semester this school year.
  • Colby Dickinson and I worked to assemble a co-authored collection of essays on Agamben, which we are in the process of revising in dialogue with a publisher — this naturally has to wait until I’m back in Chicago and can meet with Colby face to face to complete.
  • I have drafted and revised a proposal for The Prince of This World: A Demonic Reading of Christianity, the frequently mentioned “devil book” I’ve been planning for several years. I’m still waiting for feedback from another reader, but I anticipate being able to submit this by the end of the month.
  • I developed a new course on Islamic thought for Shimer, covering a range of primary texts from Muhammad to the late medieval period — an almost totally new area for me, and something that was long overdue.
  • I led a six-week discussion group over two early works of Agamben, Infancy and History and Language and Death, at the Bay Area Public School, which was attended by a really solid group of young autodidacts, as well as recording an interview over Agamben’s work for KPFA in Berkeley and facilitating the completion of Stephen Keating’s directed reading over Agamben.
  • And last and probably least, I reviewed a journal article and a book-length manuscript.

On a more personal level, having over the last couple years watched all of the “modern” Star Trek series, I also completed a thorough study of the areas of the franchise least familiar to me: the original series, the animated series, and the movies. And given that I had the chance to play housewife this summer, I also took pride in taking my turn at cooking for The Girlfriend for a change.

And of course, in the spirit of my crazy CTA project, I got what I consider to be very good “coverage” on BART, “getting” 10 stops (with at least one additional stop planned for tomorrow).

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