Year in Review: 2019

As some of you know, I’ve been doing one of these every year since 2015, making this the fifth year in a row. Which … IDK, seems like some kind of milestone. This year wasn’t as busybusybusy as last year, but there were some noteworthy things that happened.

Professionally:

  • I got a job! Only for this academic year, but it’s teaching with a twist – stuff I know something about to upper-level undergraduates, which is a Brand New Experience for me (made painfully clear in the mistakes I made last term, which I’m hoping to address next term when my classes will be Hong Kong Film and Cultural Identity (IKR??) and Media Fandom and Participatory Culture (!!!)).
  • I delivered the keynote address for the 2019 Fan Studies Network Conference in Portsmouth (UK), which was also a Brand New Experience. My personal jury is still out on how it went, but a lot of people were very gracious about it.
  • I was also asked to lead a Masterclass on transcultural fandom at the Netherlands Research School for Media Studies in Utrecht (Netherlands), which was absolutely a first. Again, I feel like I’d do it differently if I had it to do again, but it was a very enjoyable experience.
  • I had one article come out in the Journal of Fandom Studies, although it was kind of a low key one about disability, transcultural fandom, and my husband.
  • I had a chapter come out in the book Becoming: Genre, Transformation, and Queerness in NBC’s Hannibal that I’m mostly pretty pleased with (it will never be the Very Perfect chapter I want)
  • I theoretically have an essay coming out this year, although I imagine it will now actually be next year, in Mechademia Second Arc that I’m pretty pleased with, all told.
  • I set up the FSN North America website, which was a bit of an undertaking and also not entirely useful, given that what we wanted to do with it didn’t pan out this year; still, it was an interesting and instructive exercise for me. I also was able to help plan FSNNA2019, which was (IMO) a success
  • I assumed editorial duties for the Symposium section of Transformative Works and Cultures
  • I started a podcast that’s gotten a nice reception so far!
  • Did two more book indexing projects and am currently in the middle of the third for 2019, which has been fun and rewarding and paid

Personally:

  • Not me, but my kids progressed to middle school and high school, and I can feel mortality breathing down my neck
  • I went to Red Dragon Con 5 and got to take a picture with Mads Mikkelsen, which pretty much completes my set; I also took one with Richard Armitage (!!) and got Mads to sign my poster-sized cover for the Hannibal book, which is now hanging on my office wall
  • My mom had a serious medical issue early in the year that pretty much ate up February-May, but she came out of it well – arguably better than she went in, so we’re just all thankful for that
  • I had a could-have-been-serious medical issue in late August (pulmonary embolism) that saw me back in the hospital for a couple of nights for the first time since late 2007, and it reminded me just how much I hate staying in the hospital. I got two shots of morphine out of it (never again; I thought my head was going to split open) and two CT scans (so very funky), so new experiences all around. I’m just very glad I decided it wasn’t normal to have upper shoulder pain with gas, which was what I thought it was
  • Spouse had a health scare that turned out okay, but was a bit harrowing at the time
  • I got to stay in a Shepherd’s Hut while in the UK, and that was just too cool. I also rented a car and drove there for the first time; I nearly died at a roundabout only once, which I’ve decided is a win

Right now, 2020 is looking a bit quiet for me. I’ll probably have a couple of book chapters coming out, and I’d really like to get going on the book while I still have library access at my fingertips, but we’re still running too much of a deficit for me to attend conferences (I’ll be at the Popular Culture Assoc. one in Philadelphia in April, but that’s largely because it’s close by). I’ll be unemployed as of May, but hopefully I will have gotten teaching out of my system by then. Part of me keeps thinking maybe it’s time to leave academia, but I guess I still have a few more things to take care of before I do that.