Monday, October 30, 2006

First paper proposal on Feist is out!

I've sent an interesting proposal for a paper to a conference in April of 2007, on Leslie Feist and Roland Barthes. It's a very difficult text (Barthes), and it's funny that I'm becoming a Barthesian scholar, of sorts. Anyway, I'm sure the paper could be interesting, discussing Feist's change of style from punk (with the band Placebo - the less popular one) to a softer style. This change was apparently due to a vocal injury (yes, injury rears its ugly head again - if you don't know what I mean, take a look at my MA thesis on Bowie and body modification, or read a chapter in my upcoming dissertation). So, that's out and hopefully I'll be speaking at that conference.

It's funny but I do think that Barthes is an interesting scholar. I didn't really get S/Z the first time I read through it, but after spending time with it in my final dissertation chapter, I think he really paints a vivid picture of what is happening at every little moment in reading a text. The Pleasure of the Text is also a difficult read, with lots of big words, but I think there are interesting points in there for figuring out how we derive pleasure from certain texts. Um, or whatever.

(the photo of Feist above is from her appearance in New York in the summer of 2006, that originally appeared on the website)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happily waiting (sort of)

Waiting to hear about when my defence date will be. I'm hoping that a date will be set sooner than later, since a few things are now riding on having that date. It is difficult to have so many unknowns in the air at one time. And it's not like things are going to get really clear in a week or two. The first opportunity for clarity will be in February when SSHRC publishes the competition results.

Thankfully, there are still things I need to be working on, although it is hard to work on them when I am discouraged. I have to write some paper proposals (almost done) for two conferences in 2007, and I am putting together some applications for a few positions here and there in universities. Those applications will be much better the minute I have a defense date. And they'll be even better when I actually defend.

On a lighter note, my family was here over the weekend for my cousin's wedding. The wedding itself was nice, and the family visit was also very enjoyable. My mother told me that she was reading my dissertation, which is nice. That's all the news for now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Saints and things

I've been tagged by T.O. by one of these meme thingies. It's the first I've done, and I'm going to have trouble with it, so here goes.

If you were invited to a Halloween/All Saints Day Costume Party, which saint would you dress up as and why? (The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is not an option.)

Although I don't really know many Saints (consider this a byproduct of my Evangelical Protestant upbringing), I might choose to be dressed as Saint Sebastian. Over at Wikipedia, Saint Sebastian is described as a martyr often depicted as tied to a post and shot through with arrows. On that same wikipedia page, there is a reference to a book by Chipp Kidd, in which a character is "expelled from Sunday Bible study for making a St. Sebastian toothpick holder in crafts." I would LOVE to have a Saint Sebastian toothpick holder.

Which saint or other person would accompany you to the party?

Maybe Robin Hood or someone with a quiver empty of arrows. Or maybe someone dressed as Oscar Wilde, since Seb is apparently considered the patron saint of homosexuals. There is speculation (according to wikipedia, anyway) that Sebastian himself was gay.

What famous quote would help others identify you?

Um . . . "I've been shot by arrows because I was nice to Christians being sent to their death for their beliefs, but I'm still alive and I'm going to be healed by another saint, but I'll be clubbed to death later on."

I'm really not good at this.

Describe your costume.


Which movie or film best depicts the life of this saint?

Apparently, V from the movie "V for Vendetta" has a painting of Saint Sebastian in the Shadow Gallery. Does that count?

What is your favorite book written about this saint or that he or she has written?

Dunno. Like I said, I'm not good at this, but I thought I would give it a go. Plus, someone near and dear to my heart was depicted in the same way as Saint Sebastian (see photo above).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Postdoctoral applications away

SSHRC and FQRSC applications are in the mail as of today, a few days before the deadlines. Now we wait and pray that everything goes well. SSHRC announces the fellowship winners in February, and FQRSC announces winners in April. I am looking forward to working at a university, so I hope these things come through. As some of you who read my blog might know, there seems to be a real difficulty for those in the discipline of music to get one of these grants in recent years. Hopefully this changes this time around.