Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Research update

I finished reading Formosa: Licensed Revolution and the Home Rule Movement last night. I took a few notes on it as well in the process. He mentions a March 10, 1931 letter sent to Washington from the American Consul at Taihoku (Charles Reed). I'll have to see if that letter is in his collection, or where he came across it.

He also mentions Bailey Willis, an 81-year-old (in 1937) Stanford geologist who visited Formosa and the Philippines and noticed some of the Japanese military preparations going on.

I need to continue reading and note-taking. No time to slow down now...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Getting into work

I've gotten started on the work to prepare for my trip to the archives this summer. I'm currently reading through GHK's Formosa: Licensed Revolution and the Home Rule Movement, 1895-1945 (a book I bought quite a few years ago that evidently had been given by Kerr to his nephew "Bill Kerr the 2nd"--wonder how that ended up for sale on Alibris...).

I've been taking notes on it and reading "around" it as well, going back to some of Kerr's earlier writings about the Japanese colonial project in Taiwan (a couple of articles he wrote during WWII for the Far Eastern Survey, published by the Institute of Pacific Relations). It has been interesting so far, and it's helping me to develop some questions that I want to pursue.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

First writing group meeting a success!

Although not everyone from our writing group was able to make it to our first meeting, we had three people there (plus one interested non-member who might end up becoming a member!). We talked about our projects, goals, challenges, writing habits, families, etc. We came up with some goals for the rest of the semester and made some plans. My main goal is to go through my GHK materials here (books, photocopied archival docs, etc.) and figure out specifically I have and what I need to look for when I go to Taiwan in the summer. I know that this will be a good use of my time. As will our writing group!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Snow.. snow...

It may look pretty to some people, but I'm really tired of seeing this stuff.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Writing group to meet, just in time

I've been going through some continued confusion and ennui related to my research and writing, my *cough* "scholarly" life, these this past few days weeks months years half a decade. It's not like I don't have any short-term goals. I've got plenty of 'em. But, as I was saying earlier, I've been having trouble figuring out the point of trying to write specialized scholarly articles in my discipline (well, the discipline in which I got a Ph.D.) when I don't know when or if I'll ever go on the tenure track. On the other hand, the kinds of things that I'm interested in writing about (GHK, for instance) aren't likely to put me on the best-seller list. And I'm not even sure I have a book in me. (It's much more fun to watch my baby talking to himself and learning how to blow bubbles in his mouth.)

So it was good to hear that one of the members of my semi-virtual writing group wanted to meet in person. We arranged a time when most of us could make it, and on Wednesday at lunchtime we'll get together. Maybe they'll have some suggestions for me re: my future plans. In the meantime, I'm going to try to force myself to work on that paper for the conference in May.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Writing group resurrected? and other musings

We're trying to get the writing group going again, though it will be with fewer people. We'll see how the meetings go. We're supposed to have a meeting on Feb. 11 if the weather permits. We're still emailing each other each Friday with some information about how we're doing on our projects. So far I've succeeded in writing a conference proposal and sending it in. My next (current) project is to work on a paper for a conference in May where I've been invited to present. My paper is on George Kerr (GHK).

One of the nice things about being off the tenure track is that I can choose my projects and work on what I'm really interested in. But the disadvantages include having less time to work on projects and less external (instrumental?) motivation for working on research because my work isn't valued by the university in the same way that the work of a TT person would be. So I have to motivate myself to write. I also have to decide if I want to write for a scholarly audience, a general audience, or something in between. That decision partly depends on my future goals as well, though (if I intend to stay off the tenure track forever or not). I sort of bounce back and forth between extremes when it comes to these issues. I wonder what other non-TT people in situations similar to mine are doing...?