Thursday, January 25, 2007

"You know, if you're feeling overwhelmed..."

Ok, so recently I sent out a call for papers for a panel I'm organizing for next year's MLA. Ho hum, tra la, I'm excited about the panel but come on - I won't really need to think about it until like March 15 because seriously, nobody's going to utter a peep about it until the deadline hits or it passes, right?

But then this morning I got an email from an editor at a real actual academic press (and not one of those con-artisty ones that asks you to pay for the printing costs and such) who apparently saw the CFP and who wanted to know whether I'd thought about expanding it into an essay collection.

Ok, so I had thought about it in the way that you think about things that you don't let yourself think about. It occurred to me when I came up with the idea for the panel, but then I immediately pushed it from my mind because a) I'm on the job market b) I'm shopping the proposal for my monograph c) I'm teaching 3 classes, doing the quasi-admin position, and doing enough service to kill a mule. In other words, I've got enough on my plate without heaping an editing project on top of it.

But of course, when you get an email from a non-con-artist editor inviting you to submit a proposal for a collection, and when you're Dr. Crazy and you'll do almost anything when you feel flattered, well, the collection that you weren't even going to think about all of a sudden becomes a thing that you're obviously going to do.

You may be interested to note that I met with a senior colleague recently, and in that meeting he said, "You know, if you're feeling overwhelmed, you could cut back on research."

I so hope that I get another job offer. Because clearly I do not belong in my current job, given my interest in juggling multiple research projects and their interest in telling me that my research is the first thing that should go if I'm feeling overwhelmed.

(I should note that the things that make me feel overwhelmed tend to be teaching and service. Note that nobody tells me to cut back on either of those.)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

If the collection is in the same field as your monograph, you might say that "I was waiting to find out the response on the cfp, but in the meantime, if you're interested in this sort of thing, please consider my book project. Please allow me to send on a proposal!"

Work those connections honey!

Dr. Crazy said...

That's exactly what I did, H. :) We shall see....

Dr. Crazy said...

Update: just got a reply from my email to the editor, and he's interested in reviewing my monograph proposal! Woohoo! (Of course, this means nothing, but whatever - it still makes me feel all fancy and stuff.)

Anonymous said...

Craze, if you do leave your current job, can I have it? Seriously. Where you flag, I would thrive. I would love to give up research. Teaching and admin work would suit me fine.

Eddie said...

LOL, that's where we're complete opposites. I love the teaching part but would prefer not to do any research any day of the week.

Dr. Crazy said...

What's funny, though, is I don't actually think I'd be happy at a place where it was all about research. My ideal situation would be one in which teaching remained number one but where research was VALUED and ENCOURAGED as something that is, in fact, GOOD - for the university, for students, and even for the individual faculty member.

The fact is, research recharges me in ways that teaching can't - I feel like I'm doing something for myself when I do research where when I teach I feel like I'm doing something for others. Both are important, but I don't get the same payoffs from both.

I just hate feeling like I'm being advised away from something I'm good at and enjoy while at the same time I'm being volunteered for service tasks I despise. It's bogus :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, but will you hook me up if you leave? Pleeeeeease?

medieval woman said...

Hey, this is SO great!!! Congrats on getting totally unsolicited love from a big honkin' academic press! Keep us posted on this!!

Go you.

Any more job market-y words??

thelogicoftheuniverse said...

Best of luck with the hunt. Sounds like your research is going quite well.

helenesch said...

That's really great news! Even if your job search isn't successful this year, this is a great sign that your work is important and valued. I co-edited a book around the same time I published my first one, and although it was a lot of work, it was a great experience working with the different authors on their essays (some junior and some very senior folks).

Anonymous said...

Ok, Dr. Crazy--briefly, telegraphically-- 1) you rock! 2) your political savvy with the editor is pretty flawless--well done!!! 3) good luck w/MLA & 4) I hope you're also keeping notes for your novel...

Bon weekend--Anne

Anonymous said...

Congrats! and I would have done the same. I love the "you'll do almost anything when you feel flattered", that's me in a nutshell and why I end up feeling overwhelmed for most of the time.