Progress Update: Teaching, Travel, Terrorism

This week’s blog is a fairly quick one for a change, or at least contains few words by myself but many by others. I’ll try to write something with a little more content of my own next week, though.

The reason for a short posting is that I’ve been keeping very busy this week. First,  I finally finished the first draft of the manuscript for my second article and am waiting for some further feedback on it before proceeding with it. This necessitated working through the Easter holidays but was definitely worth it.

Empty Uni

Working conditions at the university on Good Friday were quite peaceful.

Second, I have also a couple of new classes starting this week, which has added to the work load. While research, and trying to progress in my dissertation, are the main focus for me, gaining experience in teaching is also vital if one wants to make it as an academic professional. The courses that I’m teaching are luckily fairly ‘small’ and don’t therefore take up too much of my research time, as having a scholarship means that I am supposed to focus on the research. I’ll probably blog on teaching in the university at some point, too.

Third, in an attempt to gain further research material for my ethnographically based interview article (and to have fun), I’m traveling again (to Arctic Norway) this weekend.

Narvikfjellet

This weekend’s destination. Credit: narvikfjellet.no

Fourth, I’ve been drafting a new abstract for a poster presentation at the 2016 ESSE Conference in Ireland (discussed in last week’s blog post). As I suspected, the flood of proposals to the seminar where I attempted to present was such that mine, and many others’, proposals did not fit in. Such is the level of competition in this conference. I was, however, offered the chance to present my paper in the form of a poster presentation, so I’m still looking into that. Will keep you updated. (Edit April 6th: My poster presentation was accepted. So, I will present in a doctoral session and present my other topic in a poster.)

To conclude, a couple of Calls for Papers for those who might be inclined to make last minute changes of plans to their academic schedules, or who enjoy reading words of courage.

First, SUMS (The Finnish association of masculinities studies) is accepting presentation proposals for their May 20 seminar in Tampere, Finland, until April 1st. Details (in Finnish and Swedish) here: http://miestutkimuspaivat2016.blogspot.fi/

Second, the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment has extended their deadline for their 7th Biennial Conference in Brussels, Belgium (on 27 to 30 October 2016) to April 10th. Call for papers here: http://www.easlce.eu/news/other/new-basce-7th-biennial-conference-wildness-without-wilderness/

Regarding last week’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, I found the accompanying words of the conference convener to be very inspirational and poignant, and would like to end by sharing them here:

“[A]s a native of Brussels and as an academic whose home has been ULB for a good 20 years now, I simply refuse to live in fear and to see intellectual debate, creativity and human exchange gagged and stifled. 

In the wake of Tuesday’s blind violence, poiesis, labour, travail, and so many of the other keywords punctuating the EASLCE’s CFP appear to me even more essential than ever. They are what contributes to the sustainability of life, of human communities and humane interconnectedness between all individual beings.

I would like to extend my hearfelt thanks to the EASLCE Board for its unanimous and unwavering support of Brussels as our next place of gathering. This has been very precious for the logistics team on the ground here and for me personally.

Also, for my part, as I told my students yesterday afternoon, the best form of resistance is to continue with daily activities, assignments and goals, to cherish them even more highly, and to try to do them even better. 

So, on my own modest level, I will work even harder to do full justice to the excellent proposals already received and to the equally promising ones still to come, to make EASLCE 2016 in Brussels as excellent and thought-provoking as it can be, and to share with you some of the inspiring aspects of my city. EASLCE 2016 is now synonymous for me with daily resilience-in-action.

So, we are not giving in and there is nothing to hesitate about: share the news and come and join us at the end of next October!!

Long live the EASLCE, long live Brussels!!

Franca Bellarsi

(Local convener for EASLCE 2016)

Featured image (not visible in mobile theme) of Brussels, credit : avicenna-isct.org

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