>IndiBlog and current work

>I love it when buddies start blogging (or revamp their blogging), so here’s a shout-out to Indigo’s blog – may this be the start of a new contemplative frenzy!

Reading about her thesis-writing process was a stark reminder to me of the uncertainty that plagues so many researchers (myself included). There’s so much time and energy spent on wondering whether we’re ‘good enough’ – intellectually and expressively – that we can find ourselves stepping away from publishing or presenting our work. Yet, when you think about it, how many totally polished, amazing conference papers have you witnessed? How many articles change your life? I’d lobby for mediocre expectations (of oneself and others) that can then be happily surpassed.

Having been editor of The Journal of Intercultural Studies for close on five years now, I can say that there are many scholars out there with no qualms about sending in shockingly flimsy work. On the whole, people work hard on their essays before submission, but there are some that I read and I have to wonder about their capacity for professional delusion (e.g. did they really think this was original / coherent / structured?).


Since coming back to work from my 2nd bout of maternity leave, I feel like I’ve existed in a whirlwind of mid-point projects and tidying up.

Here are a few things I’ve been working on recently:

  1. Jacqueline Lo, Dean Chan and  myself sent off the manuscript for the special Asian Australian issue of Amerasia that’s coming out later this year. JL and DC were absolute troopers, and so considerate of my MIA-ness during mat.leave. We co-wrote a critical introduction, and DC put together a great line-up for the creative contributions to the issue. The special issue will feature creative work by Jason Wing, Vernon Ah Kee, Matt Huynh, Merlinda Bobis, Mayu Kanamori + Simone Lazaroo. Essay authors include Don Nakanishi, Audrey Yue, Ien Ang, Henry Yu, Olivia Khoo, Kim Cheng Boey, Scott Brook + Caitlin Nunn, Iyko Day + Ashley Carruthers. Many thanks to recently retired UCLA Asian American Studies Centre Director, Don Nakanishi, and Amerasia general editor, Russell Leong, for their support and vision. The project wouldn’t have come together without them. The special issue is a stated outcome of our ARC Discovery project, ‘Being Asian in Australia and the United States‘ (DP0880038; chief investigators: JL, me, DC).
  2. Keir Reeves and I are guest-editing a special issue of AHS (Australian Historical Studies) titled, ‘Dragon Tails: Re-interpreting Chinese Australian History’. We’re not through the refereeing process yet, so I can’t list the issue’s contributors. I can say, though, that the submissions we’ve had are fascinating, exciting and really good history. It has been interesting for me to work outside my normal disciplinary boundaries, and I have a fast-growing and deep appreciation for those who delve into archival work and produce such savvy sociocultural interpretations of primary materials. The special issue stems from the inaugural ‘Dragon Tails’ conference that was held in October 2009 in Ballarat (Sovereign Hill). The 2nd ‘Dragon Tails’ conference is slated for late 2011, and will be held at the Chinese Museum of Australia in Melbourne (convenors: Sophie Couchman + Kate Bagnall).
  3. Speaking of the Journal of Intercultural Studies: We expanded to 5 issues a year in 2010, and this looks set to move up to 6 for 2011. Grateful shout-out here to Deakin University’s Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, which sponsors the journal. Having this kind of institutional support is invaluable for the sustained quality of academic journals.
In between major writing up sessions for my fellowship project, I’m still convening the AASRN and trying to plan some kind of events/project schedule for the network when I get a chance to look around. There are so many talented, active folk on the network, and I think the ‘networking’ chances are not being fully exploited.
At the moment, I’m also in a bit of employment limbo because my current fellowship contract expires in early November. I have two fellowship hats in the ARC ring (QEII/ARF and Future Fellow). If neither comes through, all these grand plans for academic networks, etc, will probably lead to nought. I can’t imagine juggling a full-time non-academic job + doing network convening as a ‘hobby’ (even though this has been the way since its inception and earlier incarnations, but it was before I had two kids).
Fingers crossed for the Aug/Sept ARC grant announcements.

One thought on “>IndiBlog and current work

  1. e 15/07/2010 / 10:23 am

    >fingers and toes crossed for you!

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