Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Back to School

So the 2009/10 academic year starts in a few weeks.

I am excited about this.

I have been discussing lecturing with the convenor of a course I take a seminar on. I have been thinking about ways to make my seminars more engaging. I am conscious of the danger of trying too hard to make seminars “fun”. I want to push my students. I will have first-year undergraduates again this year. When I think about the potential there is to shape how they approach literature I get a bit overwhelmed.

I want to make my seminars more like htmlgiant. I enjoy the type of “literary experience” htmlgiant is concerned with. It is both serious and light-hearted. I want to use Power Quotes. I want to make my students think about publishing and economic issues that effect creative production. I want to make them think about “literature” by analogy to help them see why literature is great. I want to get them involved in online discussion of literature. I want them to use the internet. I want them to go to readings and things like Literary Death Match and Book Club Boutique. (Do I want them to go to the same ones as me? I’m not sure.)

I am worried about my financial situation next year. I need to get a part-time job. I am investigating the possibility of tutoring young kids one-on-one.

I am currently writing a response paper on bespoke tailoring in South London. This is for a graduate conference at Goldsmiths next week. The proper academic term starts in three weeks. This conference feels like a pre-season friendly. I have done a lot of research for my response paper. I am creating a response-argument concerning male-male relations in the bespoke trade.

Filed under: conferences, miscellaneous

Consecutive Conference

Not that I want this to dominate my blog, but I went to a conference on Continuity and Change in Berlin this weekend. The post below will try to discuss the conference experience more generally, as well as the specifics of my Berlin interactions.

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Filed under: conferences

Conference Concupiscence

So I went to my first conference this weekend past.

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Filed under: conferences

Deadline: Topic.

More academic ephemera; conferences and journals to submit to.

15 May 2009: Future conference in Dundee, takes place 17 June; seems like a sharp turnaround, but I’m in Scotland then anyway. Abstract is going to be on McSweeney’s and past as prophecy.

15 May 2009: Exploding Objects, Goldsmiths; sociology conference, but come on! McSweeney’s and the exploded object? This writes itself.

30 May 2009: Literary Journalism Studies collection; article on McSweeney’s 1 and literary culture/institutions of autumn 1998, focused through analysis of New York Times Magazine.

15 June 2009: Consuming Cultures collection; few options for this, thinking about paper on McSweeney’s 10 (Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales) and its dissemination, anthologies and short story cycles, meaning through commercial composition.

Filed under: conferences

Considering Conferences

I’ve been too slack with conferences and publications in my academic life so far – need to rectify this if I’m going to make myself a good candidate for being hired, eventually!

So I’ve spent a fair chunk of today doing something about it. I’m part of the committee that organises the Goldsmiths Literature Seminar, which is in itself good for my CV. Have been trying to galvanise people into organising a conference that we’ve discussed for a while – it’ll be on ethics, the ethics of criticism, that kind of stuff. So that’s check 1 (1.5, if I present a paper, which I probably will – McSweeney’s as a social movement, thinking about surrealism and that kind of thing).

Check 2 is finding conferences I can present at.

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Filed under: conferences

About Me:

My name is Kevin O'Neill and I am in the fifth year of a part-time PhD in the English Department of Goldsmiths, London, UK. I used to teach undergrad classes there (now: not, because there are other PhD students who need teaching experience). I work (most of the time) in the Oxfam shop in Dalston because few people get paid to do humanities PhDs.

My research centres around the literary journal McSweeney's. My interest is developing into what McSweeney's tells us about two separate (but I guess related) fields: 1) literary institutions 2) American cultural production, more broadly. This blog was initially about my PhD but is now a more general thinking space.

See right for my flickr/twitter/delicious feeds, then below for other versions of me.

Email is looceefir on gmail.

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