Busy times, people. When my summer class wraps up on Monday, I will begin down a road that can lead only to lots of hours hunched over a computer. My first project to nail down is a book chapter that has been killing me. I have until the 10th to finish it–or else.
Over the long Labor Day weekend comes Dragon*Con, which is a bit of a dream come true for me, really. Two years ago, when I fell off the truck in Atlanta, I attended Dragon*Con sort of on a whim. I’m not even sure how I heard about it…possibly through Eve’s connections at the JREF. Within my first 20 minutes (not counting the line, of course), I had spoken to Eugenie Scott and was hooked. I saw all the awesome gathered the onstage and decided that, hell yes, I wanted to be up there. Apparently the only thing stopping anyone from doing whatever they want is asking, because I am running two panels, the first on “Skepticism and the Humanities” and a second on conspiracy theories (I can hear the collective gasp of shock from our audience). The Skepticism and Humanities panel is exciting not only because Massimo Pigliucci and Joe Nickell are going to appear, but because Eve and Jenna will both be on the panel, which will make for a pretty bitchin’ SH photo-op. My Georgia Tech colleague Tom Lolis will be with me on the conspiracy theory panel, as will Ben Radford and Kylie Sturgess. My arm is going to be sore what with all the pinching myself the whole weekend. Kylie also asked me to be on the superstition panel, and what Kylie wants, Kylie gets.
I will spend a good chunk of this year’s Dragon*Con at one of the tables, something that I have not done before. I will be representing the Independent Investigations Group–Atlanta with a number of volunteers, and we’ll be sharing a table with CSI. If you are going to be in Atlanta for Dragon*Con, please come by the IIG table! IIG-Atlanta is bringing magician Mark Edward to Dragon*Con, and he will be doing psychic readings at our table and drumming up interest in IIG. Mark has a show (a psychic demonstration) and a talk at Dragon*Con, and we’re insanely excited to bring him here.
Turns out that the paranormal track also has a psychic.
I will be teaching in the fall, of course, but in mid-September, the job hunt season opens, and I’m going to be applying for a lot of jobs. This is my last year on the academic job market, so I’m going to give it everything. But if it doesn’t work out, I’m getting out. When I landed the Georgia Tech gig, I applied for over 120 jobs, and this is the one that I got. I’m not doing that forever. At some point, I need to pin down a permanent, professional life. I’m a compositionist and an Americanist. There are Americanists to spare, but comparatively few English grad students leave school ever wanting to teach freshman writing again. I’m the exception, I suppose. I love it. I get to do all sorts of fun, creative things and teach my research. When you come out of Tech’s Britt program, you are sort of a teaching superstar.
Next is what gets me positively giddy, CSICon, which takes place at the end of October. I’ll be giving a talk about conspiracy theories. If you look at the list of presenters there, you will realize that I am, by almost any measure (except perhaps weight) the least accomplished person there. A total thrill for me, I have to say. At the end of the year, I am scheduled to present at M/MLA in St. Louis, but I am really not in love with the topic I proposed. And I may just be freaking exhausted by then.
So, I have a busy schedule this fall.