Mostly (not) on McSweeney's!

A blog for my academic ideas, more or less.

“826-inspired” London project kicking into gear

Horrible blog title, sorry. But sort of with a purpose — the 826-inspired project that is gathering steam is about to decide its identity, and so from now on it’ll be able to actually call itself something!

More info here, where you can vote for your preferred identity and register your interest in getting involved.

The organising team have narrowed their research down into three possible shop identities, basically 1) aliens 2) monsters 3) thieves.

I think my preference is for monsters, sort of due to the problems saying the word ‘moopersarket’ but they’re all decent ideas. Share the commenters’ apprehension about the thieves idea, which though good may be just a bit too OTM for London and might be taken as a perverse justification for London’s shoplifters? Maybe my own experience with shoplifting in Oxfam makes me biased here.

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On Class; Indifferentism

Was pretty blown away today by this Andrew O’Hagan article.

Everyone should read it. Basically, it’s about what’s wrong with our culture. I don’t agree with it all (he doesn’t acknowledge any of the positive aspects of today, but I get why he hasn’t), but it’s a great piece of text to start you thinking.

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Bookcamp Activism

Created a Bookcamp page on the wiki for my idea to start a project similar to 826. Hopefully can get some people talking about it!

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Would You Help Kids Develop Their Creative Writing?

Through some emails with Eli Horowitz, editor of McSweeney’s, found out about Fighting Words, the Irish answer to 826. I’ve been a bit obsessed with 826 today – it’s the idea of contributing something genuinely useful, and developing how much I’ve enjoyed teaching undergrads this year. And connecting with the McSweeney’s idea of audience participation and encouraging people to make their own art. Read the rest of this entry »

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Post-New Year Numbers

25: number of unread posts in my feed reader for my Technorati search of blogs with some authority for ‘McSweeney’s’.

46: number of unread posts in my feed reader for my Technorati search of blogs with any authority for ‘McSweeney’s’.

278: number of unread posts in my feed reader in my “Academic” folder

19 (December): last post on here, and this is roughly the last time I did anything academic, excluding marking essays.

37: number of essays I have to mark.

16 (January): when I have to mark these essays for.

15 (January): when I present a (totally unwritten, largely unformed) paper at my Department’s graduate seminar series.

17 (January): BookCamp (yes, that will be a busy time for me).

13: days I have to work on my paper.

5: hours I have left in the British Library today to get some kind of start done on my presentation.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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