Reflections on My Professional 2009

Trauman-FrancisBaconStudyFirst, a point of order. I think that the turn of the year is a great time to both look back and look forward. In other words, evaluate and set goals. So I plan to do both over the next couple of days. The question is, which should come first? It makes sense to reflect on the last year before deciding how you’d like the next to be. But then again, in a strictly taking-it-too-far bit of logic, it seems to make sense that one can’t really reflect on the whole year until it’s done (read: Post-New-Year’s-Eve), and that one should have goals/resolutions in place by the time the year turns (read: Pre-New-Year’s-Day). Alas, in one of my rare practical moments, I’m going to have to concede that it seems like a better idea to reflect on the year first, and then set goals. And if it happens that something crazy or important happens here in the next five hours before the year turns, then I’ll adjust. That being incredibly unlikely, I’ll go ahead with the reflection on the year. And I’ll use my favorite visual-organizational tool: bullets.

The Good

  • Found a dissertation topic that I love: Theorizing the future of the scholarly monograph as a digital entity.
  • Continued design and editorial work on The New Work of Composing (digital collection edited with Cheryl Ball and Debra Journet, under submission at Computers and Composition Digital Press)
  • Attended DMAC as staff again. This Digital Media and Composition Institute at The Ohio State University in Columbus every summer is absolutely amazing. I’ll be going back again this summer, too. Not only is the content and production really rich, the caliber of people who teach in the institute, as well as those who attend, is remarkably impressive. Smart. Dedicated. Dynamic. Real boundary-pushers.
  • Presented at lots of conferences: Louisville Conference on Literature Since 1900 (post-human analysis), Kentucky Philological Association (Barthes), CCCC (no panel, but presented at RNF), Computers and Writing (Citation/quotation between digital scholarly texts, and RNF). Same vein, accepted for 2010 conferences: Louisville Conference (Barthes’s Autobiography as proto-blog); CCCC (WPA Rhetoric on Digital Writing Practices); RSA (WPA Rhetoric as Epistemological and Ontological Work); Computers and Writing (Virtual Mentorship).
  • Established a Writing Material as a consistent blog presence. Transitioned from blogging-as-hobby, to trying to figure out what sorts of intellectual work I might be able to accomplish with a blog. People like Derek Mueller, Steve Krause, Jim Ridolfo, Brian McNely, Collin Brooke, Liz Losh, Cheryl Ball. All scholars I look to for inspiration and mentorship. They are amazing.
  • Finished and submitted texts for Kairos (Remix: Hugh Burns Interview) and JAC (Rhetorical Presence of Digital Technologies in Discourse on Working Englishes at the 2009 Watson Symposium).

The Not So Good

  • Dragged out my dissertation process way, way too long. To the point where I decided to take another year to work on it. That could potentially cause all sorts of problems in terms of finances. Yikes.
  • Spread myself too thin with projects.

So that’s it. Not such a bad year, I guess. Next year will be much different. Dissertation. Job Market. More editorial work. More articles submitted. Teaching. So these are the things I’ll be cultivating and correcting as I consider my professional goals for 2010. Next post.

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