Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

Absence and “Poetry”

Hello!

Since I last blogged I have been: working; teaching; finishing teaching; sort of doing my PhD; Tumbling; going on small holidays; living in New York for a month; cycling; staring — those kind of things.

Over at my shop blog there’s some stuff about Bookfest; series of bookish events I put on in Oxfam. Was fun and interesting and productive. Must remember to try and do more.

Have been writing my PhD as much as I can.

Have been writing poetry, which is a new thing for me. I have been continually calling it “poetry” but I am going to stop doing that. If you want to read one, go to my Tumblr. I have a small set of poems I am working on. I am going to revise them and then think about if I want to send them to magazines I like.

In line with this new interest I have been attending more poetry events. Last Tuesday I went to the third Selected Poems event at the V&A Reading Rooms, hosted by Alex MacDonald and Stop Sharpening Your Knives. Here are some photos from that event:

Alex MacDonald

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Filed under: miscellaneous

Three Good Things

1. Have an article up on GLITS-e, Goldsmiths e-journal. “Richard Ford vs Rick Moody”. This is sort of the first chapter of my thesis, but it’s already been hella revised to focus much more on subscription and production issues. This was a bit of a rush job but it’s there.

2. Also have an article on Dave Eggers/Zeitoun in the latest Tough Crowd. Readable online and available in print form in various places around London.

3. Was at a meeting last night for the pretty awesome 826 London project. This is something I’ve been interested in for a while, and there are a lot of people really up for starting this now. The project has enthusiasm/funding/great ideas/support, and all it needs now is a space. Ideally somewhere Tower Hamlets/East London — Lucy and Ben will be releasing a space specification soon, but the basic criteria would be for somewhere visible on a high street with good transport links and a sizeable floor space. I’ll be keeping an eye out while cycling around for something, but if you ever see something that might be suitable, let me or the project guys know!

Oh, this post needs a picture. Pizza roll!

Filed under: miscellaneous

I Went to See Slavoj Zizek Talk Tonight

Or, “Skate Philosophy”. This is a subtle joke. Or maybe not so subtle now that I have highlighted it.

I went to see Zizek speak at the RSA tonight.

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Filed under: miscellaneous

Liveblogging Die Hard 4.0 and a lecture on the American Revolution

This guy is talking about the oppressive nature of the media. A truck controlled by some people with computers crashes into Bruce Willis and the guy. They change the traffic lights. Does this mean he is right? Are we supposed to distrust the media now? What kind of ideology is it advocating? What image of America does it represent?

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Filed under: miscellaneous

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

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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