Independent Researcher in Media Studies

Year in Review: 2018

Year in Review: 2018

I’ve been doing this every year since 2015, and it’s a good way of kind of charting for myself what I’ve managed to do over the course of the previous year… although I’m a bit hard-pressed to remember exactly what it all was, tbh. So we can start with:

  • ongoing peri-menopause, which continues to be an unequivocal pain in the ass, and I am so. ready. to. be. done.

Professionally, I did some stuff:

and last, but not least

  • I took a group of fellow academics to Japan for 10 days on the (first?) Japan Fan Studies Tour, which seems by all accounts to have been more successful than I’d hoped it would be. My own impetus for doing it was mainly to help give the participants a sense of Japan and Japanese popular culture enough that they might feel more confident talking about it in their classrooms, and maybe even engaging with it more in their own scholarship. If I could change one thing – and it’s pretty much just the one thing – it would be to take my own goddamned advice and wear comfortable shoes, dammit (I did not). I’ve been really thrilled to see people talking about what they got out of it, what it’s spurred them on to do, and I’m really hoping to be able to do it again, if there are enough participants.

I did a few other things for the first time this year:

  • traveled to an on-campus job interview in the UK, which was both entirely unique and also convinced me that not getting the job was probably best for all concerned
  • compiled a book index for Suzanne Scott’s upcoming book, Fake Geek Girls, which was surprisingly enjoyable to do
  • appeared in episodes 44 and 45 of the Aca-Media podcast
  • ‘spoke’ with Sangita Shresthova about fan studies as part of a series on Henry Jenkins’s blog
  • reviewed a book manuscript for the first time

Personally, I was pretty heavily into fandom this year, which mostly meant a lot of Hannibal-related activity, including

  • helping to organize the second FannibalFest Toronto convention, which for me included
    • helping to organize fan-run panels (although I was substantially helped in this by two other fans who made it very easy work)
    • creating the promotional video for the con
    • writing/designing a couple of games as part of our fundraising activities: the second Hannibal trivia game, and “Mizumono: the Game,” which I’m still kind of tickled about and need to play with my family at some point
    • manning our vendor table during the con (which I weirdly enjoy, as a rule)
    • and having the exceedingly good fortune to be able to do a Q&A with Hannibal director Vincenzo Natali and editor Michael Doherty
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photo by @HeadFullOfHanni on Twitter

I think that’s pretty much all of it. Life-wise, I’ve become more comfortable with being independent (although how much of that is seasonal is hard to say at this point), and I’ve even made a bit of money doing freelance work. The kids continue to grow, they have the appearance of being happy and (reasonably) well-adjusted (although #2 has been a bit of an asshole for about half a year now… but I think it’s more age than personality), and (knock on wood) healthy, so I can’t complain there. Except about their bedrooms, which deserve ALL the complaining. Spouse has had more than a few trials and tribulations this year, and for him more than anyone else, I’m hoping 2019 will be a good one.