What I did during the summer

by ninashiel

An issue regarding regular blogging arose during the summer. After I had to rewrite Chapter 4, I managed to give my arms some considerable strain by rushing the write and increasing my daily word target quite a lot. RSI is a problem that affects a large number of academics and I am no different. I have learned to manage it by moderating my computer use and by regular pilates – the latter particular is crucial in retaining functionality. Nonetheless, writing two conference papers as well as information for the module I’m teaching this semester and moving on to Chapter 5 has kept me quite well occupied. The need for moderation of output through manual means unfortunately has to surpass the ideal circumstances, in which I blog regularly. It’s regrettable and annoying for me, but right now the thesis itself has to come first.

The two papers I wrote during the summer were for the ICLA/AILC meeting in Paris in July, and for the European Network of Comparative Literary Studies in Madeira. The Paris paper roused a lot of discussion afterwards, although I had felt that the session was not ideal for me; it was far more tailored towards the straight game studies end of things than my own more philosophical approach to the digital/analogue literature interaction. Interestingly, another speaker at the same session touched on the image/word relationship and was met with the same kind of puzzled reception as I partially got. It was educating to be reminded that what we take for granted as part of our own studies may be completely alien, in the sense of wholly unfamiliar, to someone else. For the Madeira paper, I was not actually able to be physically present due to being summoned for jury service at the same time, but my supervisor was kind enough to read my paper on my behalf.

As mentioned, I am teaching an entire module this semester. It is the first undergraduate literature module (for first years). We have just passed Week 5 and next week is Reading Week so there is no class, meaning that when we return, we will be at the halfway point through the semester. It is enjoyable and challenging and I am learning a lot of new things to take into account in the future.

Due to the physical restrictions I can’t make any promises about updating regularly, at least in any lengthy manner, but we shall see.