Happy New Year!

Ok, so I’m a little behind schedule, but the sentiment is still there — happy 2009 and happy new academic term to all!

I celebrated the wrap of one year and the start of the next by finishing up two large projects (one which I have been working on by myself and one in which I have had a co-conspirator) that have been hanging over my head for ages. Well, I saw them through to the stage at which they are no longer in my hands and are being read/reviewed by others which, for the time being, is almost like being finished. For this moment they are out of sight and out of mind and I feel like I can turn my mind to new projects.

The projects which I shipped off have been many years in the making and I am finding a mix of both excitement and upheaval in having the mental space (to say nothing of the space on my desk!) to start working on new things. The problem that I am struggling with right now is one I’m sure many folks can relate to — I’ve got so many interests and so many topics I want to read, research and write about. How do I narrow it down to a manageable list? I’ve decided to focus on my upcoming conference papers with the view of turning them into publishable articles and then going from there. There’s also a topic/idea that just keeps rolling around and around in my brain, and it feels a little bit like having the lyrics to a song stuck in my head. I fear if I don’t jot down some ideas and spend some time working on this (even though it is not one of the upcoming conference presentations I’ll be giving) I might just go a little batty!

And speaking of conferences, I’m looking forward to what 2009 brings on this front. In addition to planning and preparing for the next instalment of Greenscapes in the fall, I’ll be presenting at 3 conferences in the coming months. First of all I’m indulging the “wannabe librarian” in me and heading off to the Ontario Library Association’s 2009 Super conference in Toronto where I will be co-presenting a paper (with a “real librarian”) on helping first year students develop research skills. Apparently the format of this conference is quite different than what I’m used to at Humanities conferences, so it should be interesting. Then I’m off to Boston for the ACLA conference. At that event I’m part of a panel that my colleague, Linda, organized on the theme of “Dead Things.” I’m going to speak on the anti-vivisection movement in Victorian Britain at that event. Then in June it is off to Victoria for my favourite conference in the whole world, ASLE. This year at ASLE I’m participating in a roundtable discussion on blogging. Neat-mosquito. (Thanks to jo(e) for setting that panel up.) So, I’m an art historian attending 2 literature conferences and a library conference — hooray for interdisciplinarity!

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