I’ve been in a well

Or at least that’s how I feel. I wanted to pop in and say that I am emerging.

The past two years have been a constant and frantic race between the daily demands of various jobs (held because even graduate students must eat) and the weekly demands of committees and other administrative work. I’ve been able to read, but writing has been almost entirely out of the question. Now, with some money saved up against future lean times, I’m leaving one of my jobs and focusing on my work. In the long run, I think taking a few years to think through my dissertation and other work will have been helpful.

One of the things I’ll be taking up in the fall is the Eighteenth-Century Interdisciplinary Group at the City University of NY Graduate Center. This means I will be responsible for inviting speakers and planning monthly events throughout the 2007-2008 year, taking over from Matt Williams and Andrea Fabrizio, who have done admirable service for four years. If anyone is interested in participating, I’m taking suggestions for talks and panels now, which are usually held on Friday afternoons. (Think of it as a good excuse to come to New York for a weekend!) I’ll put up a more formal call soon, but feel free to email me with suggestions at any time, at carrieshanafelt at gmail.

I look forward to our summer conversations!



3 responses to “I’ve been in a well

  1. Dave Mazella

    Glad to have you back, Carrie. This has been a pretty stressful semester for me, too.

    The CUNY thing sounds like a lot of fun. Be sure to post schedules etc. here. One possibility, if participants would be interested, would be doing a forum here to coincide with the talks there, a little like what Laura and co. did with their 18c reading group in MD. It’s more work for you, and possibly more exposure than someone might want for an informal presentation, but it might also be an opportunity for more extensive discussion.


  2. Welcome Back, Carrie!

    FWIW, I worked almost full-time teaching while I wrote my dissertation (and I had my first kid in the middle of it, too). Sometimes that proverbial light seems like it will never come, but eventually seemingly random ideas begin to tie together into a workable chapter, then one chapter becomes five! But it was slow going. What kept me going at times was the sheer determination that I wasn’t going to quit, no matter what. I found, actually, that the writing and editing was the easiest for me (since it was so difficult to get overseas for extended research trips). If you ever want to talk off this list, just pop an email my way.

    As Dave said, the CUNY thing does sound like lots of fun, if not more work for you. I’m starting to re-enter the eighteenth century after a little hiatus, so I may want to put something together for next spring. I look forward to your formal announcement.

    And again, welcome back! You’ve been missed.


  3. Jennifer Golightly

    I suppose I should say hello again as well–I’ve been finishing a process that sounds remarkably like Sharlene’s experience–three years of dissertation work, made more complicated (but also more liveable) by the birth of my daughter one year into it. It is a complex, sometimes dark process, but as Sharlene says, there is a corner once turned that allows you to see the light and things begin to come together. I actually began to enjoy the whole thing after last winter, when I turned that corner, and now that I’m done, I really enjoy it. Good luck, Carrie!