Turkey Diaries: Part VII (“Networking Networks”)

It’s now only about ten days until I’m going home. The last weeks here in Turkey have been pretty busy as we’re wrapping up the course on Culture and the Environment. We’ll have our last actual class on Monday and a week from that it’s the final exam and deadline for our term papers. Then, I fly home the next day.

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I finally visited the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations about a week ago and was duly impressed. They have human–made artifacts dating back to the Lower Pleistocene era. So, pretty damn old.

So what’s going on in the exchange student life? We finished our series on new materialisms and will discuss the Anthropocene on our last meeting. And, I’m working hard on my term paper, which I hope will be good enough that I could eventually offer it for publication in an ecocritical journal. Essentially, I’ll treat the term paper as a kind of a first draft of a journal article, and will decide after receiving feedback on it whether I should pursue its publication.

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This statue of an ancient king is only a few thousand years old, so practically brand–spanking new on this museum’s scale.

Anyway, the title of this post is a reference to Joni Adamson’s essay “Networking Networks and Constellating New Practices in the Environmental Humanities” (2016) where she discusses new directions for the environmental humanities. These include embracing our digital era and efficiently networking in order to attempt to stave off some of the current, catastrophic tendencies in society and politics. As it happens, I’ve actually been busy networking these past weeks, and have also received some good news that should enable even more networking in the future.

First, I was honored to be asked to take on the role of co–facilitator for the EASLCE (European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment) webinars. Essentially this means that I will be coordinating future webinars with some of the most prominent ecocritics in the world. As I understand it, my role will be to take care of the practical issues before the webinars and then during the actual webinars I’ll essentially be chairing the session. Luckily, I have previous experience in this as my supervisors and senior colleagues have been active in helping me gather more academic experience. Needless to say, I’m very grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to actually doing this very much! Will blog on this in more detail in the future.

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Rock climbing conditions on the Central Anatolian plateau were perfect in early/mid December. Me and my expat friend had the whole cliff to ourselves as the Turks had already resigned themselves to indoor climbing for the winter. Happy days.

Second,  I was accepted into the ENSCAN (Ecocritical Network for Scandinavian Studies) community. This is a pretty new thing but promising, and I think it’s important that Scandinavian and Nordic scholars get together and network, and work to raise environmental awareness in the academia and, possibly, we could eventually even have something like what I’m now studying in Turkey also in Finland. Will discuss this, too, at a later date.

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Extremeresearcher clubbing. Yeah, I’m that hip. Went to see Wolfson and Jan Blomqvist on Friday (not on my initiative). They are apparently reasonably big names in, ahem, eurotechno, or whatever it’s these days called. It’s not exactly my favorite music genre but it was a fun evening nevertheless.

Third, I received word that my abstract for a presentation at the Ecocriticism in the Nordic Countries conference in Västerås, Sweden, was accepted. This was very nice news, and I’m really looking forward to going there to present my work and hopefully meet lots of people from the Nordic countries (and beyond) working with environmental humanities issues. They have very high quality keynote speakers in the conference, including Serenella Iovino, so should be good. Will blog more on this, too.

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Went also to check out the new Star Wars movie on Saturday. I’m sure the movie theatre folks tried their best in spelling the movie’s name but hey, you can’t always win. I thought the movie was a fairly enjoyable romp and made more entertaining by the fact that Trump supporters hate it (sorry for linking to the Daily Fail).  Anyway, busy contemporary culture weekend for extremeresearcher.

In other news, the new VAKKI publication is out at http://www.vakki.net/publications/no7_eng.html. This is where I published my first paper last year. This year’s edition includes many interesting articles, including several from my close colleagues. Check ’em out, they’re open access.

So that’s about it. Now I’ll just focus on finishing my course here, and try to make the most of my remaining time here. Snow is on the ground and the temps below freezing, so it’s all good acclimatization for my imminent return to the cold north.

Featured image credit (not visible on mobile theme): zazzle.co.uk and 123rf.com

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