End of the Year, Dec 31, 2020
I am ready to consign this year to the archive. Like many of my colleagues, I spent most of my energy on transitioning from in-person to online classes. I admit that the process has lessened my aversion to online delivery, but it has also confirmed many of my preconceptions about the limitations of the process. Compared to what many of my colleagues and neighbors have experienced during this health emergency, I feel blessed that up to this point COVID-19 has only inconvenienced me. Back in March, I had hoped to work on the Gothic Subversions manuscript one day each week, but that did not work out. I have, however, recently submitted a proposal for the project and should know something early next year. My article on William G. Cheeney is still scheduled to appear in Jeff Forret and Bruce E. Baker's Southern Scoundrel's anthology in 2021. I also researched and wrote an article for another collection. The topic lies a bit outside my field of expertise, and I am not confident of its success, so I will wait to reveal it until I receive some feedback from my editors and peers. For 2021--COVID permitting--I am looking forward to returning to the classroom, getting lost in the archives, progressing on the book manuscript, and going back to the movies.
Started Writing on Gothic Subversion of US Expansion Book, Mar 25, 2020
Although I am a life-long adherent to social distancing, I admit that I am feeling a bit stir crazy as I shelter in place during this coronavirus outbreak. While I am committed to making my classes work online, I promised myself that I would reserve my foreseeable Wednesdays to "productivity." That is, I will focus on my research and writing projects. Today, I am pleased to say, I managed to write the first three "official" pages of my book project on the Gothic Subversion of US Expansion. I have been working toward this moment for quite a while. Technically, I began writing on the project with the "Give Me My Skin" essay that appeared in Dawn Keetley and Matthew Wynn Sivils, ed., Ecogothic in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (2017) and in a presentation on Charles W. Webber at the 2018 Western History Association meeting, but today marks the beginning of writing the book from Chapter 1 to its conclusion.
Article on William G. Cheeney to Appear in New Anthology, Mar 9, 2020
I received word that my article “'Irresistibly Impelled toward Illegal Appropriation': The Civil War Schemes of William G. Cheeney" will appear in Jeff Forret and Bruce E. Baker, eds., Capital's Scoundrels: Grifters and Graft in the Nineteenth-Century South, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press, Spring 2021. This work represents a departure for me, not only in terms of fields of specialization, but also that I am writing about a direct ancestor. Cheeney was my third-great grandfather. When I shared his story with Jeff Forret, my colleague here at Lamar University, he encouraged me to investigate further and contribute an essay to this anthology. For more information, see "William G. Cheeney" under the "Projects" tab (here).