>2008 cometh

>Yes, I know it’s technically already here, but because the corridors are still relatively deserted and classes haven’t started yet, most of us are still in holiday mode. The number of meetings now cramming my (dusty) diary are testament to the fact that some people are trying to shake off the summer lethargy, but I’d suggest they’re working against the tide.

Major things for 2008 thus far:

  • Continuing research and fieldwork for my core fellowship project, “Siting Differences.” Field trips upcoming to Bendigo, Ararat, Beechworth, Cowra, and Young.
  • Starting background research for ARC project with Dean Chan and Jacqueline Lo, “Being Asian in Australia and the United States.” This 3-year collaborative ARC Discovery grant will mean some fieldwork in the USA and locally. Its outcomes include academic publications and events, as well as community/public sphere engagements.
  • AASRN/ASAL collaboration on an Asian Australian literary studies stream at the Association conference in Wollongong in June/July. A CFP for this will be circulated shortly so please keep an eye out for it! I’m quite excited by this development because I’ve always felt a bit like I was fighting the good fight solo for AA lit.studies at ASAL conferences (and sometimes multiculti lit.studies in general) so this will be a fascinating change.
  • I’ve re-joined the ACSANZ committee after taking a breather from it since 2005 (or so), and our first meeting for the year is in Sydney in a couple of weeks’ time. It’ll be really good to be back on this committee. I’ve always felt that it was a group that made things happen, and that its connections with the Canadian High Commission (in Canberra) resulted in real academic/cultural exchange. Because the Canadian Govt makes consistent funding available for postgraduates and other academics to carry out field work in Canada, or to collaborate with Canadian counterparts, the field of Canadian Studies grows and its networks are enviably well established. This cannot be said of Australian Studies and it’s a sad thing.
  • That said, I’ve re-nominated for the InASA committee (AGM to be held shortly) because I think there’s good work to be done for promoting Oz Studies and its possible directions. The Journal of Australian Studies is under new stewardship at the University of Queensland (Martin Crotty and Melissa Harper).
  • I’ll be continuing as one of the editors of the Journal of Intercultural Studies. The potential for the journal is excellent, and the editorial team has worked hard these past few years to establish a clear direction and its core areas of interest. It always frustrates me how long publications take to exhibit change. It will happen (repeat as necessary).
  • Ongoing things include being convenor of the AASRN, moderator/list manager for aa_discuss, editorial advisor for Peril…and, yeah, having a home-life.

Any hints on how to make 24 hours into about 30 or so would be welcome. I’ll send you a cookie.

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