I have a bit of time to devote to writing a short post about new directions going forward from this academic year. As always I have learned tremendously from the capacities I have been involved with over the past year. Some things were difficult. Nonetheless I am happy that with all things come life lessons and continued understanding and growth.
Needless to say I am happy for the things coming up. This summer I will assist the Whitman Archive with encoding the poet’s geography scrapbook which is part of a recent NEH funded grant related to Whitman’s annotations. Next academic year (beginning Fall 2019) I will be a graduate research assistant for the Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive and I could not be more thrilled. Chesnutt is such an important writer whose themes on race, class and landscape during the nineteenth century are crucial to my work on the United States south during that period. These opportunities mean so much to me and I am very thankful.
Also in May I will be attending a conference at the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At this conference I will be most concerned with one of the questions posed in the CFP involving the connection between primitive accumulation and large scale ecological degradation and catastrophe. A thread of analysis I plan to explore in my dissertation engages the aftermath of landscape exploitation in the Great Dismal Swamp in the years following the Civil War. I will be sure to post and tweet the conference while there so stay tuned!
On the writing front I have some things cooking-(NSF grant, book review and book chapter for an edited collection on Enslaved Runaways all due this year)- what is ALWAYS cooking is the dissertation writing plan. The more I learn from scholarly readings the more I come back to my original questions with more detailed analysis. In all, the life of the mind is a good one these days and I am thankful for the opportunities that have come my way as well as those yet to present themselves.