Saturday, November 08, 2008

Architecture, Film, Posters, and More!

Getting back to the more academic side of things, now that Mr. English Spot has recovered from his sniffles (though still has to be medicated, causing him to look at me with great loathing and struggle wildly as I attempt to get the syringe near his mouth)...
Er, yes. Academic sorts of things. Intellectual matters. All that.
Well, my advisor looked cheerful when I ran across her on Wednesday and claimed that since the election had been a certainty, she had been reading my dissertation rather than watching the returns. I was impressed at her managing to pull herself away from counting up electoral college votes to think about Toyen, surrealism, and interwar Czech sex-reformism.
And I wrote up a proposal for a conference paper.
And I am busily preparing next semester's courses, as despite my strenuous efforts over the summer, they weren't actually finished up. This was partly, but only partly, because 1) the syllabus I was basing my Realism & Impressionism syllabus on has to be altered significantly because everyone tells me that undergrads hate the textbook it used, so I'm switching textbooks and adding lots of short primary texts that have given me the chance to learn how entertainingly Stendhal wrote about the Salon of 1824 (I was sitting at my library carrel going over it and thought truly, I had no idea of Stendhal's gift for comedy; he trashes Classicism right and left); and 2) my syllabus for the Czech Modernism class has to be properly tailored to it being a seminar that focuses on teaching upper-div majors how to write a research paper. Um, yes, I will be placing every Czech modernist text the library owns on Reserve for the whole of next semester! And (sigh) a gigantic part of my personal library, weighing no doubt several hundred pounds. On the one hand, I plan to give the students whatever Czech scans I have created for my own use, to keep them from wreaking too much damage on the spines, but even with the help of our diligent interim VR director and her minions, only a certain amount can be scanned. And besides, they're supposed to (all seven of them) learn to research so I don't want to spoon-feed them. (But I can't expect them to perform research miracles either. I'll be lucky if any of them can read French or German, let alone Czech.)
Well, before I betake myself off to deal with the likes of laundry and then settle down to slave over the syllabi and presentations some more, I will direct my readers' attention to my British colleague Owen Hatherley's blog Sit Down, Man, You're a Bloody Tragedy, which deals with modernist (and sometimes postmodernist) architecture, film, design, posters, and other excitements of that sort.

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