Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 ARIL colloquium and book progress

so i'm one week into my participation in the summer colloquium for the association for religion and intellectual life and crosscurrents.

it's been good thus far, though it's definitely had its quirks. on the first night, we all met and had dinner together. a pleasant event for familiarizing ourselves with the folks who had come to play. several struck me as having projects relevant to my interests and worth immediately getting to know but several were "off topic" for this year's theme. i knew that would be the case, though, so no big deal. after all, part of the joy of academic life is learning new stuff!

there were 3 talks in the first week (6 to come each week from here on out). of the three, one was about the need for contemplative perspectives in modern culture, one was about religion blogs, and one was about the bodily relationship between humanity and our technologies. a solid start to the colloquium. i have been surprised by the tone of some of the post-talk discussion, which has been more "red in tooth and claw" than is customary in academic discourse.

on the downside, the day we were introduced to columbia's library had me fuming...some of the questions were simply not appropriate for individuals allegedly engaged in scholarly labors. on the other hand, the library is air conditioned and gorgeous, which makes up for a lot when it's 100 degrees outside. when we were led to the rare books collection, i simply wanted to explore for the next 10 hours.

my own progress has been great. this is motivating me through my chapter on world of warcraft. in the past week, i've written 11 or 12 single-spaced pages, read a lot, extensively outlined the rest of the chapter, spent one day incoherent out of combined alcohol poisoning/lack of sleep/brutal heat, and took one day off to visit queens and eat a heck of a lot of indian food. i'll definitely have the chapter fully drafted by the end of colloquium (and possibly by the end of the week if my current pace keeps up).

in the meantime, i'll keep enjoying everyone's research presentations.

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