Hopefully your semesters are off to a rousing start. I hoped that we could communicate a bit more extensively about our respective programs. One of the great things about the CFH is that we have this (inter)national breadth of scholars in various places, points in their careers, and experience levels. We all wrestle with similar problems and frustrations, yet we seemingly all put up with (or do I mean endure?) them for the same reasons. It’s my idea that in the comment section of this post, some of you might be willing to share an extended “status update” of sorts with colleagues. Who knows, maybe there’s a fellow CFH member at a nearby school… or sitting at the other table in your coffee shop. Won’t you join us?
I suppose I’ll get us started. After the awesome CFH Conference at Gordon College in the fall and the birth of my baby girl, life’s been a bit of a roller coaster. I’ll decline to comment publicly on the exact status of my dissertation, but suffice it to say I’m near(ing) in the end. That said I’m adjuncting (and, apparently, gerunding) at two different schools in two different states. I’m thankful for both opportunities. I am particularly excited about a course I’m teaching at Geneva College called Digital History in which I’m working with 7 undergraduates to build an archive. We’re still narrowing our focus and determining what it will look like exactly, but I hope to have something to share with you all.
In terms of “what I’m reading” these days… that’s an oddly personal question but one I like thinking about. I’ve been trying to read more on postmodern education, as I see it as an important obstacle to effective teaching compared to the late-modern era of schooling that bore my scholastic self. I’m working on N.T. Wright’s *How God Became King* for a dose of the theological. For my academic historical reading, I’m trying to broaden some theoretical work on correspondence in the 19th century as well as failing horribly in my attempt to keep up with the unending waterfall of Civil War historiography. The best book I’ve read recently is Mark Schantz’s *Awaiting the Heavenly Country* about death culture that motivated the society of Americans that fought and supported the Civil War.
So… what say you?