09 April 2010

Alignment crisis...

I know I have been remiss in my blog updates this spring... or lack thereof. I have been existing in a weird space of cognative dissonance where I am trying to make various interests and requirements match up in my head... I think that I am starting to get to a head-space that allows me to articulate these various struggles and elements - if not one that has aligned them...

I have been struggling first with what I want to do, with my life - no small question, no easy answer. Tangled up in this question is how grad school/a PhD might help, or hinder, me in doing whatever it is I am not sure I want to do. And two military aphorisms keep running through my head: Plans rarely survive the first engagement with the enemy; and it is unwise to switch drivers mid-charge - and who knows why terms of battle are the key to these thoughts. I don't really have a martial personality. And what do they mean to my situation - should I not plan at all? Clearly, the question of changing course midstream is not as occluded - and really I don't want to change course. I want to continue in academia. I like literature. I like talking about literature. I like teaching literature. And I love my program. But I need a job - a now job, and an after graduation job. And I don't want a job that interfers with my studies now, but if I don't get a job I may not be able to continue with my studies...

My plans - or really more hopes, at this stage - for scholarship are also somewhat dissonant. I love the work I am doing in the Medieval and Early Modern, and I also love the work I am doing in Popular Romance Studies. These are rather disparate tracks. bringing them together has been, and continues to be, a struggle. Add in my passionate interest in food, and you have a whole other level of complication... for both of the other aspects. Food is a wonderful vehicle for analysis, but not necessarily a unifying factor - in fact it is frequently splintering. Can I use it to look at the same things in the two different Studies? Am I just going to have to live in this bi-polar professional space? On a practical level, how marketable is any of it?

I feel like I am being tugged in all these different directions. So, I guess if anyone out there has suggestions on what to do with all this noise I wold appreciate hearing them.


  1. I could be going over already-charted territory here, but why not use the disparateness of the two literary interests to bring them together through the food trope? Track the changes from those two differing time periods and see what we've become (you are what you eat) and why.

    But, as I said, perhaps you've already thought of this, oh Brilliant One.

  2. So not the brilliant one... just wanted to clear up that little misconception.

    I had thought about it, but in scholarship it seems that you have to have more of a justification for why you pick certain time periods than just "I like it." So to be able to do that type of analysis, I have to be able to say why those are the literatures I am analyzing, rather than all the other possibilities. And that is not something I've worked out for myself yet... thus, the angst!

  3. Just a thought, but if those are the particular texts you want in conversation with each other, would it be wrong to assume others have seen the significance of these texts? Perhaps they interest you more than others because they have the most noteworthy impact on subsequent periods....

    (How's that for B.S.?)

    P.S. You ARE the brilliant one... stop arguing.