How are you doing? We have been thinking a lot about you, hoping that you are finding a way to take care of your mind and your body as we all adjust to this new (temporary) reality of “social distance” and teaching online.
With this goal in mind, we’ve collected some tips and resources for you to help insure your self care.
UNPLUG OCCASSIONALLY. Take a break from the news every now and then so you can recharge and (try to) relax.
FIND SUPPORT. Please don’t forget you are part of an academic community. Check in with your Mentors and fellow Fellows. Message us, if you need to (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), or try meditation. The Breathing App is a free option. And Tricycle, a Buddhist magazine is offering free meditation practice sessions online (using Zoom).
STAY SOCIAL. Keep in touch with your friends and family. Group chat, set up a virtual happy hour, or even a virtual writing session.
Most of all, please be sure to honor your feelings and remember we’re in this together. We’ll get through it together.
In the coming days and weeks we’ll post some gems from the Professional Tool Kit we were going to share at our Professional Development Day. We’ll also schedule an in-person, abbreviated workshop in the fall so we can gather and celebrate our community of scholars.
FFPP’s co-director Matt Brim won the MLA’s Crompton-Noll Award for Best Essay in LGBTQ Studies! The article became the introduction to his new book, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University (Duke UP).
Today is a great day to work on your writing project. So many of us have big plans for the coming year, and its important to look for the tools and strategies that can help us stay on track. We hope that FFPP’s academic community will be a resource for you as you build your career and set your writing goals. Carrie Hintz former Mentor and Friend of FFPP offered some great advice “On Distraction and Tomatoes” about how to get a little bit of work done every day–even when teaching, committee work, and life make their demands on your time. You can also read it in last year’s “New Year, New Goals” post to our community of scholars.
FFPP Mentor Mark McBeth’s new book, Queer Literacies: Discourses and Discontents was just published by Rowman & Littlefiled. Congratulations to Mark! He has some excellent advice about how he planned his work and worked his plan:
Don’t beat yourself up when you miss a deadline. Instead, reset it.
Keep a journal that notes your accomplishments. These notes can reassure you that you are indeed getting work done–and sometimes you need to pat yourself on the back.
Our Professional Development Day will take place on April 3. We’ll have seminars and workshops on publishing books and articles, finding and writing grant and fellowships, on organizing your tenure and promotion files, on self-care and so much more.
Your Working Groups will meet from 10AM-1PM on these days–you can use your presentation dates as benchmark achievements toward your final goal:
February 7; February 21; March 6; March 20; April 24; May 8
Congratulations to former FFPP Fellows Sarah C. Bishop (Baruch) and Seth Offenbach (Bronx Community College), for the publications of their new books! Our Community of Scholars is thrilled to celebrate the realization of your hard work.
Sarah’s book, Undocumented Storytellers: Narrating the Immigrant Rights Movement (Oxford UP, 2019) offers “a critical exploration of the ways undocumented immigrant activists harness the power of storytelling to mitigate the fear and uncertainty of life without legal status and to advocate for immigration reform. Sarah C. Bishop chronicles the ways young people uncover their lack of legal status experientially — through interactions with parents, in attempts to pursue rites of passage reserved for citizens, and as audiences of political and popular media. She provides both theoretical and pragmatic contextualization as activist narrators recount the experiences that influenced their decisions to cultivate public voices.”
And Seth’s The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War: The Other Side of Vietnam (Routledge, 2019), explains how the conflict shaped modern conservatism. The war caused disputes between the pro-war anti-communists right and libertarian conservatives who opposed the war. At the same time, Christian evangelicals supported the war and began forming alliances with the mainstream, pro-war right. This enabled the formation of the New Right movement which came to dominate U.S. politics at the end of the twentieth century. The Conservative Movement and the Vietnam War explains the right’s changes between Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.
In our conversations about academic publishing at our Professional Development Day on April 12, we received some great advice from the book and journal editors who came as our special guests. Much of their advice is included in your FFPP Tool Kit.
During FFPP’s Professional Development Day on April 12, we put together a FFPP TENURE AND PROMOTION PRESENTATION of some suggestions that can help pre-tenure assistant professors plan for their tenure and promotion. While it is necessary that you confirm the expectations and timelines relevant to the standards at your home campus, this presentation can provide a general guide.
PSC CUNY also provides an important summary of faculty rights during the tenure and promotion processes. It also published on faculty Personnel Files that came up in our discussion. You can also find more information and advice about your Personnel File and about your presence on CUNYfirst by consulting the faculty handbook on your home campus. And as always, your Department Chair and Provost are excellent resources as you prepare for tenure and promotion.
Happy New Year, everyone! Since January is a month when we can energize our commitment to our research and writing goals, its worthwhile to think about how we can chart a course toward success.
Former FFPP Mentor Carrie Hintz has offered some timeless advice in her post “On Distraction and Tomatoes,” that is worth revisiting. She describes the Pomodoro Method that offers three important tips that can help you stay on track with your goals:
Conceiving of your writing as taking place in small increments of time [25 minutes] rather than enormous, unbroken blocks of time–and progress is absolutely possible within those smaller blocks.
Resisting distractions from those 25 minute blocks of time–especially the urge to check email or the news. Often this resistance to distraction takes place 15 or 20 minutes into the writing session, where I can tell myself “only 5 or 10 minutes to go,” so no interruptions allowed.
Taking regular breaks, which clears the mind and feels healthier physically and mentally.
It seems so simple, right? Achieving your goals requires that we establish a plan for our work despite all of the other demands of our personal and professional lives. Here are a few more tips:
Be realistic. Set goals you can achieve.
Make a plan that includes how you can be accountable for your goals–this might include scheduling an hour a day into your calendar, practicing positive self-talk, and trusting your working group peers for encouragement.
Tell people about your goals so you can build a community of support.
Make note of your small successes. Every step counts toward your larger goal–be sure to acknowledge every little milestone of your journey.
Take it one day at a time. When you experience a setback don’t beat yourself up. Get back to your plan and keep moving.
You are part of an amazing community of scholars. You have already achieved so much–don’t forget you earned a tenure track job in an incredibly competitive market. Yay you! You have everything you need to achieve your goals, so go ahead and get to work. You got this.
Former FFPP Fellow Siraj Ahmed wins MLA Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies for his book, Archeology of Babel: The Colonial Foundation of the Humanities (Stanford UP, 2018).
The Archeology of Babel “argues that the privilege philology has always enjoyed within the modern humanities silently reinforces a colonial hierarchy. In fact, each of philology’s foundational innovations originally served British rule in India.
Tracing an unacknowledged history that extends from British Orientalist Sir William Jones to Palestinian American intellectual Edward Said and beyond, Archaeology of Babel excavates the epistemic transformation that was engendered on a global scale by the colonial reconstruction of native languages, literatures, and law. In the process, it reveals the extent to which even postcolonial studies and European philosophy—not to mention discourses as disparate as Islamic fundamentalism, Hindu nationalism, and global environmentalism—are the progeny of colonial rule. Going further, it unearths the alternate concepts of language and literature that were lost along the way and issues its own call for humanists to reckon with the politics of the philological practices to which they now return.”
The Office of Academic Affairs at CUNY’s Central Office has announced a faculty fellowship program for mid-career colleagues. It provides release time, working groups, and mentoring in the service of promotion to full professor. The application deadline is October 30.
Please follow this link for the application and more details.
If you were able to take a head shot during our Publishing Workshop, you’ll be happy to know that your photo is ready! The always amazing Maryann McKenzie will be sending them to you in the next day or so. Enjoy!
Over the summer, the Mentors and I will put together our report about the program. And, as always, we will ask for more resources so that we can make next year’s FFPP bigger and better than ever! If you have comments about the work you’ve done, or about a project, article, or book that is under review, or has been accepted for publication, please let us know. We’d love to share any and all of your good news. Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org