Behind the scenes, or, what Anthroenology did this summer

Posted By Chris Kaplonski on Sep 1, 2016

Wait. It’s September?! At the start of the summer, one of my plans was to blog here weekly. As you may have noticed, that hasn’t quite happened. That doesn’t mean we’ve been completely inactive. I should more accurately say ‘I’ instead of ‘we’. Julia – the more sociable half – has been busy with numerous things. So, in an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, I’m going to blog about why I haven’t been blogging.

Let me start with a disclaimer. There’s no great reveal here. My summers are not that exciting, really. You are not about to get a fascinating inside peak into the bustling backstage area of the launch of a major production. Think of it more as eerily quiet lectures halls during the summer. (Add a cricket or two, and some tumbleweed, if that’s your thing.)

First – there will be news coming shortly. It should be by the end of the month. I won’t say much more about that, otherwise, what will be the point of the actual announcement? But I will add that both halves of Anthroenology are quite excited about the development and what it means for the project. So, watch this space.

Second – there are two other, long-term projects that I’m not going to mention, but that also have been taking up time.  They are in the planning stage, and may or may not come to fruition down the road. So not a whole lot of point in talking about them, either, in case they get delayed, or fall through.

So, what can I talk about? There are two book chapters I’m trying to write. One is about wine, one about post-socialist memory. There’s an article to rework and resubmit to a journal. That’s fairly standard in academia. Send something in, the reviewers like it, but not enough, so you rework it. MPhil students with dissertations that needed guidance and support. And now (other) MPhil dissertations to read and mark.

We’ve also been planning our next bit of fieldwork in Austria. That’s coming together nicely. The dates are finally set, and we are hoping there will be sturm to refresh us after the various meetings and interviews and what-nots (a technical, anthropological term) we have lined up. As usual, we’ll be tweeting during that trip, which happens in a few weeks.

I’ve made a few tweaks and additions to parts of the website. Other changes and updates are still in the planning stage.

I’ve taken time to just think – about Anthroenology and other stuff. It is harder to find time to just think about things when you are an academic. Yes, that probably sounds counter-intuitive. But during term time, the focus is on teaching, students, administrative duties and various looming deadlines. There isn’t really that much time to just sit and think about the bigger picture. I find it gets harder as I get older. Not so much the thinking per se, but rather the mental switching of gears.

Finally, it has been summer. Or what passes for it in England, which means the sun and temperature rarely cooperate. But when it has, it has been time to enjoy life a bit.

That’s it really – no great secrets, just incremental progress. But I think that’s been enough.

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