Where Am I Now? National Humanities Center


I’m on sabbatical!

This summer time, and thru the autumn semester, my duties – that are normally divided between analysis, instructing, and repair – have been shifted to 100% analysis. That means no courses, no conferences, no committees, simply the liberty to do my work wherever it takes me.

I’m hoping this may imply much more common running a blog on the headtail connection. It additionally implies that I’ll be touring, instructing, making dance works, and customarily doing the sorts of challenge that fill my coronary heart. If you’d prefer to see me in a metropolis close to you to talk, to show dance, to make dance and so forth. get in contact! I’m fairly booked up till October, however after that, I may simply be persuaded to return your method.

The first cease on my sabbatical adventures is one which COVID-19 delayed for 3 lengthy years. Every summer time, a bunch of students from everywhere in the nation collect for a month on the National Humanities Center in North Carolina to stay, work, and nerd out. We’re put up in a resort, pushed to our very personal personal workplace on daily basis, fed, cared for, and introduced no matter books we have to get probably the most out of our time… I really feel spoiled rotten!

First of all, I can’t write this put up with out singing the praises of the library workers right here on the NHC. When I say “whatever books” I imply WHATEVER books. Be it behind a paywall, outsized, caught on a microfilm in another person’s archive… if it’s on the market, they will get it for you. I used to be inquisitive about one line in a French newspaper from the 1700s and it was in entrance of me that afternoon, and it’s AMAZING how productive you might be once you don’t should droop your practice of thought ready for assets to reach.

Also wonderful? The FOOD. Magical James and his magical kitchen make us lunch each weekday. There has by no means been a repeat, there has all the time been a considerable, scrumptious, protein-rich vegetarian possibility. We all have lunch collectively in “the commons,” and I’ve beloved attending to know folks from all totally different fields and phases of their careers. Suffice to say, I’m dwelling in consolation.

A couple of downsides: no gender-neutral loos, and the constructing has so many cute little areas which might be step-access solely that I wrestle to see a participant who makes use of a wheelchair having a cushty expertise (I don’t suppose the loos are accessible both, though I may have missed one). The wifi is imperfect, however a lot better than on the resort.

My Bookstack:

A row of variously coloured and sized books sit in a light-wood bookshelf.

I’m within the early phases of e book quantity two, so most of what I’ve been doing right here is studying and taking notes. In specific I’ve loved studying The Managed Heart by Arlie Hochschild, who actually based the speculation of emotional labor. The Managed Heart focuses on airline staff, and the way they’re taught to carry out their very own love of the job as a central a part of the shopper expertise. The language isn’t too far out within the realms of excessive principle, and the sensible examples make it nicely definitely worth the learn.

Another e book I’ve actually loved this month is Dreaming in Public, edited by Amy Schrager Lang and Daniel Levitsky. Dreaming… is a set of ephemera from the occupy motion, together with manifestos, private experiences, proposals, artwork work and so forth. I like how the editors collected loads of totally different views whereas nonetheless permitting every particular person voice to remain passionate and significant.

Amelia Jones returned like an previous buddy – she is excessive principle, however on the subject of writing about physique artwork there’s no-one I’d somewhat cite. Zizi Papacharissi is somebody I’ve solely simply began studying, however I’m already recommending her succinct and world perspective on community principle.


Like I stated, I’ve largely been specializing in the studying aspect of issues, however I really feel like I’ve put some bones collectively, and began to hold meat on these bones in a few locations. While e book one was historical past, e book two is principle – all the speculation that needed to be lower out of e book one, in precise truth – and I’m difficult myself to strategy troublesome concepts from a perspective that somebody with no PhD, or loads of time digging into scholarship, can familiarize yourself with.

One technique I’m having fun with is arising with little motion workouts that physicalize theoretical ideas, and together with them in my introductions to every concept. Stay tuned for a couple of of them making their method onto the weblog in future as an replace to the “In Three Sentences” collection.

As I not far away into my final week right here I really feel like I’ve been tremendous productive in my time, and like I’ve made a bunch of latest buddies. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been ready to hang around with a bunch of nerds and speak about scholarship, and I’ve missed it dearly. The method I’ve been handled makes me really feel valued, and my work really feel beneficial. That greater than something is a superb motivator to return in and work on daily basis.

Stay tuned for extra updates, and much extra weblog posts!

Copyright Fen Kennedy. Do not republish with out permission of the creator.


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