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Friday, December 18, 2009

Homesick 2010: Where I'll Be All Next Year

2010 is shaping up to be a busy year for me. A few big things have happened, and with the next semester of school coming up I'm sure I'll be a busy little bee. The sad thing (or cool thing, depending on how you look at it) is that I'll be away from home for a little under two weeks between the months of February and July.

So, what's going on in 2010?

First, I'll be teaching at the University of Florida, again (I'll be doing this for the next six years, most likely). January marks my second semester as a teacher, with a few changes to keep things spicy. I'll be teaching an introductory course to college research papers and, for the second time, a technical writing class for engineers. While neither course is as interesting as an intro to science fiction course would be, I am still getting a lot of valuable experience that will help me get a good job when I graduate with a PhD (or an MA if I somehow get booted out of the academic circuit).

Second, I'll be taking two graduate-level courses. One is on African fiction and the other is a class on Lacan (the latter is a theory-intensive course on psychoanalysis and I am not exactly looking forward to that because I hate Freud). They didn't have any science fiction courses this time around, or anything that seemed directly related to what I am working towards or studying, so much of my course preferences this semester were based on a "will I find that enjoyable or at least remotely useful" mentality. The African fiction course, however, does look promising and I expect I will learn a lot from it (well, I'll probably learn a lot from both, to be fair).

Lastly, I will be attending three conferences during 2010 to present papers on subjects of interest to anyone who is a fan of science fiction or fantasy.

The first is the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (don't ask me why it's not held in Texas, because I have no idea). I will be presenting a paper on Battlestar Galactica and Philip K. Dick (I'll be talking about all my upcoming papers in another post) and will be there from February 10th to the 13th.

The second is the annual conference of the Popular Culture and American Culture Associations in St. Louis, Missouri. Battlestar Galactica will be a feature yet again, only I'll be dealing with some different ideas. The PCA/ACA conference is held from March 31st to April 3rd.

The last is What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English – the first decade, a conference held at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom. There will be no Battlestar Galactica in this one (or I don't expect there to be). Instead, I'll be talking about the Bizarro and New Weird movements and their influence on the wider world of science fiction and, to a lesser extent (because it's already weird and bizarre anyway), fantasy. Thankfully, this conference is held towards the tail end of the academic school year (July 8-11), giving me plenty of time to fine tune the essay and do appropriate levels of additional research.

And that about sums up the next six months of my life. I have a lot of work to do, since I will have to write three papers for conferences, and likely two more for my graduate courses. That's five papers, fifteen pages or longer, in six months. I expect there to be much sweating.

Any of you up to anything? Attending any conventions or conferences of your own? Let me know in the comments!

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