Saturday, August 04, 2018

New year's resolutions for 2018-19 academic year

I posted some new academic year's resolutions a couple of Septembers ago, imitating something I had done 10 years before that.

One thing that is different this time than from two years ago is that now I have deleted most of my social media accounts. As this person has written, it's a big change. Although it has generally been a positive experience, sometimes I feel like the guy in this video:

(I'm sure everyone has already seen this, but I don't know because I'm not on social media.)

Anyway, since I gave up Facebook and Twitter, I was able to read more. I finished reading Johanna Meskill's 1979 book, A Chinese Pioneer Family: The Lins of Wu-feng, Taiwan, 1729-1895. I enjoyed it, but I was surprised at how little has been written about the book--I could find only one review on Amazon and only seven published scholarly book reviews. (Actually, I guess that's a pretty good number. And the book has been cited 128 times, according to Google Scholar.) The reviewers generally liked the book, though some of them pointed out problems in interpretation or missing sources that would have added to or modified her conclusions. Several of the reviewers hoped for a "sequel" to the book, though it apparently never came (and I don't know that Meskill intended to write one).

I have also been reading Late Victorian Holocausts by Mike Davis. It's interesting as an interdisciplinary study of the interactions of climate and imperialistic politics in late nineteenth-century droughts. I've gotten a bit bogged down in the climate science part, though. Hopefully I'll be able to say something intelligent about it in my interdisciplinary writing course this fall, though.

As far as my new's year resolutions go, I want to do more writing. I'm currently looking at a conference paper I wrote about 13 years ago and trying to figure out how I can revise it for publication. We'll see how that goes. George Kerr is also lurking somewhere in the background.

I also want to keep up to date on my grading and responding to student work. I'm not the worst at doing this, but I'm probably not the best, either. Some changes in our domestic situation might make it more possible for me to stay on track, but we'll see.

Think I'll keep my resolutions down to these two for the time being. Maybe I'll update this closer to the beginning of the fall semester...