Wednesday 5 October 2011

Removing Tumbleweed

Well. I've been officially "back to work" for a couple of weeks, so its time to think about dusting off this blog, and putting it to good use. Until now I've been mainly fighting fires, and trying valiantly to climb the email mountain that has accrued in my year long leave. Its time to start being proactive, rather than just reactive though - once I get to the bottom of that email pile, that is.

I've popped into college a couple of times (I am on sabbatical for a term to get my feet back under the table before I take on full teaching and admin duties). It's probably worth me describing just how much has changed in the year I have been at home: our department moved buildings, so I have a new office, which I am having the pleasure of making feel like home, a year after everyone else did. (Given I was so disabled, our departmental administrator organised my old office to be packed up and shipped over, so I am merrily going through boxes now, going "I own that?") Its taken me a few days to get back on the network, locate cabling, etc. I still have no idea where lots of things are in the new department, and it will probably take a long time to know where to get X, Y, and Z. In addition, my old Head of Department left UCL with little warning, taking with him some colleagues. New appointments have been made, new faces, new routines. We also have just started the new MA in Digital Humanities, so there is a whole new course to sort out (although Simon Mahony is doing a stellar job of being Acting Course Director at the moment, until I get my act together). All change! In these respects, it is almost like going back to a new job - but with some very familiar faces and places thrown in too.

Research wise, I'm at an interesting juncture: the main projects I was working on before going on leave have all wrapped up, so I'm coming back to a phase of grant writing, and book proposal writing, and bootstrapping research again. I have plenty to read, plenty to catch up on - and plenty to write, too.

I'm also in the very, very final stages of putting together, with Brent Nelson, "Digitizing Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture" (New Technologies in Renaissance Studies. Toronto: Iter; Tempe, AZ: Arizona Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.) We are at the final proofs stage - fingers crossed we can press the button on this shortly. Next up? Editing "Digital Humanities in Practice" - due in to Facet very soon.

I'm itching to *make* something, though. Itching to code, create, make computers do something, instead of just talking about computers doing something. Plans are hatching for my next research direction, and future research proposals - I want to rejoin the ranks of Digital Humanists who implement computational tools. Its been a while, but I have been on leave for a year.

In which time email has piled up. Best get back to it.

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