Acceptances, Appearances, Applications

Wheew, it’s been busy times but I thought I’d write a quick little post on a couple of new turns in the PhD student life. Besides the normal busyness, I’ve also had some annoying personal stuff going on, but I’ve mostly managed to work through that normally.

Anyway, first, I mentioned in the previous post that I eventually decided to apply for the job of an English teacher at University of Vaasa. Since then, I have also applied for two somewhat similar jobs at University of Jyväskylä. So, I now have three job applications “out there”. If I’m unemployed and broke next year, then at least I can take solace in that I at least have applied for work.

I’ve again spent many evenings and weekends working at the uni in Vaasa. The days are getting longer here but the dark hallways can still get a little spooky sometimes when I’m all alone at the uni. Well, not too spooky to take pictures of all the spookiness. And, Dürer’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is my own choice of artwork to decorate my desk and remind me of how academic life is, so I guess it’s my own damn fault if I get spooked by it.

Second, I also finally found out that my abstract to present my work at the EASLCE conference in Würzburg, Germany, was accepted. So, it looks like I’m going to Germany in September. I’m really looking forward to attending my first proper ecocriticism conference, and hope that I can sort out the funding. I’ll probably try to tag on some other stuff to the trip, too, to justify even a little all that extra carbon that’s released into the atmosphere because of another trip.

The conference has really good keynote speakers, too: Catriona Sandilands, Robert S. Emmett, and Axel Goodbody. I was sorry to miss Goodbody when he visited Finland recently, so it’ll be interesting to hear him here live. And, I’ve enjoyed reading the work of Sandilands in my studies, so looking forward to hearing her, too. I’m not as familiar with Emmett, who appears to be a garden expert, but I’m sure his lecture will be interesting as his specialties tie directly to the conference theme.

Third, I was asked to give a guest lecture here at University of Vaasa. The guest lecture was meant to help the students on a literary theory and methodology course. What I did was talk a little bit about my own research and the theories and methods that I’ve been using, and then have the students apply “my” theories and methods into a practical analysis of a couple of pieces of audiovisual material.

All in all, I felt like the lecture went fairly well. I had prepared a couple of provocative quotes to show in my material to provide talking points and to keep the students alert, and this did mean that we had a lot of discussion in class. But, I did also manage to go through all of the theoretical and methodological stuff that I wanted to cover. I’ve been mostly buried in research lately and only doing online teaching, so it was good to actually talk to people live in class.

I added the talk/lecture notes (and a previous talk given a year back in another place) to my site. Go check it out, it takes a lot of clicks to chase that elusive “top 5%” spot in

Thanks for reading again. I’ll now get back to trying to write my fourth article, and waiting for news on all those applications. Fingers crossed!

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