Fall Semester Plans

I have had my first faculty meeting of the semester, and classes start on Monday — in short, summer vacation is officially over. This semester, I am teaching the senior capstone course, which meets four days a week (syllabus), and we will have some work to do for the transition to North Central College, so I may wind up having less research time. And come to think of it, I need to develop a syllabus for the second half of the capstone over the course of the semester as well….

My one non-negotiable goal is to get the Agamben edited volume ready for publication. Chapters are already starting to trickle in, and I imagine we will have all but a few by the end of September. I am also planning to turn my “Neoliberalism’s Demons” talk into an article and allocating my augmented train reading time toward that end. I imagine that the notes I generate will also prove relevant for my longer-term project on the Trinity and governance. Finally, I just signed a contract for a new Agamben translation, but the book hasn’t been published in Italian yet (meaning that I don’t feel comfortable sharing details publicly, sorry) and so I don’t have a final text.

Editing chapters, taking reading notes, and working on a translation are all good tasks for afternoons when I feel drained after teaching. As for the writing, I imagine that an argument I have delivered a half-dozen times will prove relatively easy to draft once I sit down to do it. But we shall see! Maybe all I’ll wind up accomplishing is rewatching Star Trek: The Animated Series.

What about you, dear readers? What academic hopes fill your heart as fall approaches?

9 thoughts on “Fall Semester Plans

  1. I’m taking a methods course (mostly social and postcolonial theory) with my advisor, and then also a directed reading course on postcolonial and intercultural theology and ethics with her. I’ve looked at the reading lists for both these courses and am really excited about them. And then I’ll be done my coursework for my PhD! I’ll also be a TA again for an intro course my advisor teaches called “Christian Ethics in Context.” Last year when we taught it I mostly graded papers and facilitated in-class discussions. This semester I’ll be doing some of the lectures too. Finally, I’m presenting at the Mennonite Scholars session at AAR and that’s a paper that I want to get into publication, as well as one I’m working on right now on spectrality and photographs in Indian Residential Schools that Mennonites ran in Canada.

    I also took the positions of student rep on the Canadian Theological Society council as well as VP Conferences at Toronto School of Theology’s Graduate Studies Association, so I’ll be planning TST’s conference for winter 2017.

  2. My semester plans are fairly mundane, I think. I’m teaching two sections of our introduction to philosophy course, and looking forward to settling into Philadelphia more permanently after spending the last year or so traveling frequently.

    My primary non-teaching goal is to formally get my dissertation project off the ground and become ABD. I’ve got a lot of ideas and a theme, but need a coherent proposal.

    Besides that, I’ll be going to Salt Lake City for the first time in a few months to attend SPEP, where I’m presenting on an Althusser panel with a friend. I’ll be continuing my long-term project of translating Vittorio Morfino’s “Il tempo e l’occasione: L’incontro Spinoza-Machiavelli,” which I am happy to report is under contract with Edinburgh. I made good progress on a draft of about half the book this summer, and will probably set it down for a few weeks as the semester begins. I believe the English title will be “The Spinoza-Machiavelli Encounter: Time and Occasion,” and am more than thrilled to contribute to an always exciting lineup from EUP.

    Of course, on the EUP front, I am also presently working on my contribution about Debord for Adam and Carlo’s Agamben book. Article-wise, I do have something on Marx that I should be revising-and-resubmitting, but that’s been the case for several months and I’m not yet sure when I’ll carve out the time. Perhaps if I can finish the piece on Debord slightly earlier than expected, I’ll be able to take a few intensive weekends and spend them with Marx.

  3. On the writing front, I’m taking a break from the conference circuit for a while (barring the one proposal I’ve already sent out) and hoping to make some time for a journal article I’ve been planning *forever* on Deleuze and Agamben as readers of Foucault. I’m hoping the reduced writing expectations will give me some time to shore up my Latin in time to pass my translation exams and get started on primary research for my dissertation.

    On the coursework front, this year will be my final year. I’ve got a seminar on Jews and Christians in medieval Europe that I think should be very productive, and I’m still juggling a couple of other options. I’m increasingly thinking that it might be good to try to organize some kind of directed reading on the philosophy of time in classical Greek through medieval Christian thought, maybe organized around something like Alliez’s *Capital Times,* but I still need to float the idea to some professors and see who’d be interested.

  4. I’m going to kick off the term with some seriously masochistic behaviour. I’ll be going to the Values Voters Summitt in DC from Sept. 8-10, a veritable who’s who of religious right-wing bigotry and paranoia… as if the Summer of Trump hasn’t been bad enough. I’ve put this off for 3 years, and although I’ve not purchased my ticket yet, I reckon if I tell people I’m really going this year, then I’ll have to. I’m trying to enlist an RA to come with for sanity’s sake. Apart from that, sending kid #2 off to college, and finally trying to finish at least a few the half-dozen papers I’ve been writing over the last two years. All that as I try to continue to age gracefully. ;)

  5. Looking out on the endless horizon of half-formed thoughts in which I respond by drafting fiction and non-fiction with no mechanism for editing and completion (which typically allows me to spin out a few sermons in the process).

  6. Somebody has to Adam. ;) Posting on it worked tho! I bought my ticket and booked the hotel this morning, and my RA, Saliha Chattoo, confirmed she’ll be coming in from Dallas (where she’s doing field work on Hell Houses – the devil is alive and well and living in Texas Adam) We’re a mad bunch, what can I say? I’ll write you a blog if you like about all the fun we had when we were there.

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