When you come back to an academic blog after a long time away, there’s a toss-up between catching up on housekeeping & trying to say exciting things in the present. Lots has been happening – I got married, I got another book contract, we published a new issue of Victorian Network, I’m in the midst of two grant/prize applications – and very little of it has translated it into blog posts. Sometimes I think I’ve caved to the pressure of only posting positive things here – the blog equivalent of instagram – and that was never what I wanted this place to be about. I don’t think it’s what the people who read this want either – after all, consistently my post popular posts are the ones worrying about my transfer-of-status, confirmation-of-status, or viva interviews (from 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively).
Undeniably, many of the most rewarding and interesting things I do can’t make it onto a blog. Alongside my postdoc job, I now work as Junior Dean of Arts & Senior Demy at Magdalen College, Oxford. This brings new pastoral and disciplinary responsibilities, many of which are confidential. Equally, we’re approaching admissions season – 99% of which can’t be discussed online! The changing nature of my job has made me more cautious about blogging… even though I relish honesty & authenticity in my academic colleagues who blog (here’s some: today I turned up for an appointment 24 hours early; I’m quite worried my current chapter is drivel; I need to find synonyms for ‘nevertheless’). I also see the value of accountability – I’m starting Academic Writing Month, hoping to get 25k of the new/second book written by November 30! There, that’s a gauntlet thrown down.
Meanwhile, I spent the weekend on an application which meant revisiting my CV. Where I discovered I’d noted down VIRTUALLY NONE of the radio I’d done this year. Luckily, a combination of my wife and my Facebook found me the dates. So, if you somehow missed me-on-the-radio, talking about Shakespeare/tragedy/endorphins/suffragettes, click through and listen to some of the following…
- BBC World Service – tragedy and endorphins (this was seriously good fun to record, in the midst of the brief & delightful insanity that followed this article‘s appearance. I did about eight other interviews, hurrah).
- BBC Radio 3 The Essay – this is the thing I’m most proud of (as hinted in my last blogpost, ages ago). I was the sole writer and contributor for this episode on ‘Shakespeare and the Suffragettes’ and I actually managed to listen to this one.
- BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour – ‘Shakespeare and feminism‘
- BBC Radio 4 Front Row – ‘Shakespeare in 1916‘.
I’ll leave it here for the moment – there’s lots to talk about but I’m hoping that short posts will get me back into the swing of things!