My last talk of the 2016-17 academic year was in Stockholm at the Nordic Geographers Meeting. This academic year, despite saying ‘no’ quite a lot, I gave twenty visiting talks, in seven different countries (UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, USA). Most were on terrain, a couple on Shakespeare, a few on Foucault, and two on Foucault and Shakespeare. I’m really hoping to reduce the number in the next academic year. I do appreciate invitations, but I find the preparation and travelling is exhausting and giving the same paper more than a couple of times is of limited use to me.
Unusually for me, I have no talks lined up over the next academic year. A couple were cancelled for reasons outside of my control, and while I have tentatively agreed to a couple of events, these are some way off with no dates fixed. Not having any specific events to plan for should mean that my summer is wide open. However, it’s not quite that way.
I was external examiner on two PhDs in late June and early July. Both were excellent theses, and led to very interesting discussions. Three of my own PhD students are close to submission, so there are complete drafts to read. The steady stream of review requests continues. I have a few archive visits planned. The first is to the Bibliothèque Nationale next week, and the second is also to Paris in September. That’s the week the BNF is closed, but I hope to use the time to get to another archive. I also have a week’s holiday in Provence, which will include a ride up Mont Ventoux, and a long weekend in the Brecon Beacons. Looking at the diary it’s clear that the time is already more fragmented than I’d like.
The major writing task for the summer is to revise Shakespearean Territories. The revisions I need to make are important, but they are structural and explicative rather than requiring new research or reading. I am hoping that a few consolidated weeks of work in the first half of the summer will take care of this, and the plan is to resubmit the manuscript before I go on holiday.
Once I return, there should be a few weeks to work on The Early Foucault and Canguilhem book projects. I also have a few small writing projects – revision of a book chapter for a new edition of a text; a short piece on Foucault; a book review – and I plan to do those in the last full week of summer before the new term starts. As much as possible I am trying to have entire clear weeks to work on the book projects.