Stock Take V: annual report

Let me stick with that collegiate theme for a moment, and also revisit the point last year when I counted up my outstanding papers and was duly horrified and made great resolves to change the situation. Indeed, I said:

I will revise, format and submit “Archbishop Ató”. I will do all the necessary reading for “Uncertain Origins” and make sure that it isn’t me who is holding up the Leeds volume. I will try and do both of these in the next three months, but I won’t promise the timing because of now being teaching and having other papers in final stages, book about to reach proofs and so on. However, I will do it at the earliest feasible point. Then I will revise and submit “Legends” and then I will concentrate on “Succession to the Fisc” until delivery time and then we’ll see what happens next.

And then of course I was unexpectedly given teaching and everything so pledged went out of the window. That was, er, seven months ago now, not the three I mentioned, and what’s been done? Well:

  • I did in fact submit “Archbishop Ató”; it was accepted, its final version should leave my mailer this weekend and hopefully it will be out in December. This is rather faster than I’m used to! I like it.
  • I did not do all the necessary reading for “Uncertain Origins”, partly because it was annoying me but mainly because no time. However, the volume is nowhere near emerging, through no fault of mine, so I don’t feel too bad about that; if it were ready, I would have badly misprioritised. (I do feel bad for the others who want to be in the volume, though; sorry.)
  • “Legends” needs me to read about four things and then it’s done, but I haven’t actually progressed it since I pledged.
  • And “Succession to the Fisc” now exists, isn’t total rubbish and will do for Kalamazoo, but isn’t anything like I hoped it would be at this stage. Ah well. This is what the summer’s for.

But, the college tie (as it were) is that every year Clare ask their College Research Associates to submit a report of their activity over the year. This is the sort of thing that usually causes deep angst about wasted time and scant hopes of career progress, but this year it’s not so bad. I wrote this for them:

I end this year of appointment as I began it, employed as a Research Assistant in the Department of Coins & Medals in the Fitzwilliam Museum. Here my task is primarily to document the collections and see them onto the Museum’s website, and in that sphere this year has seen 5,446 coins and medals added to the resources online, the great bulk of which have been the Museum’s holding of Chinese coins, as part of a project in which I was managing three other members of staff. During the reporting period I also designed and coded the online presentation of our exhibition, Anglo-Saxon Art in the Round, which can be seen here:
http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/gallery/anglosaxon/
I was also lead author on a booklet entitled Coins in Collections: care and use (Cambridge 2009) which was distributed at the International Numismatic Congress and will soon be available through the Museum’s online shop, as part of the Museum’s participation in an EU project to reduce illegal online sales of ancient coins through image recognition technology.
During this academic year I have also been employed at Queen Mary University of London, where I delivered the lectures and some of the seminars on the course ‘Medieval Europe 751-1215: authority, religion and culture’, a total of 20 lectures and 40 seminars to a total course enrolment of 90-odd first-year undergraduates.
Outwith my employment, I have continued my research into the workings of power in the Early Middle Ages and Spain in particular, and have had papers published in the 2009 issue of The Numismatic Chronicle (London: Royal Numismatic Society) and the most recent issue of The Heroic Age (online). At the time of writing I have the monograph of my doctoral thesis and four other papers in process and all should be in print by the end of the calendar year. I have also been a regular attender at seminars in London and in Cambridge and I presented a paper at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, in July 2009 as part of a session that I organised. I have also continued to maintain my academic blog, which can be viewed at:
http://tenthmedieval.wordpress.com
For Clare more specifically, where due to the above commitments I have not spent as much time as I would have liked this year, I presented at the Clare Research Symposium, which was a splendid opportunity to meet scholars of my generation in a variety of disciplines and make new friends in the College community. I have also repeated my class on Material Culture for Historians in the Museum for Clare first-year historians, and enjoyed dinner and lunch in College, including the Historians’ Dinner which was an excellent occasion, where time has permitted, though I regret to say I still have to use my full entitlement in any given term. Subject to the Committee’s approval, I hope to make a more determined attempt at this next year!

That’s, that’s not so bad actually. And I could add that I’ve had two interviews after years of none, and that also bodes well for the future. I might win this game yet. Of course I did this at the cost of seeing people or going out to an almost total extent, and have gone procrastination-OCD enough about housework that it’s annoying my housemates, but I’m thinking of it as the final push that leads to somewhere where my time isn’t split between three jobs…

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One response to “Stock Take V: annual report

  1. Pingback: Stock Take VI: the work, the job, the life? « A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe

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