I think that one advantage to having a single research area, which I don’t, is that you have a certain number of meetings to go to and you are done.
That’s not how I am doing this conference. Â I’m not sure I’ve gone to two sessions from the same area yet, though I may have gone to two Vampire sections. Â Maybe.
Having multiple research areas causes more than just a multiple personality experience at conferences. Â It means that I don’t have a specialty. Â I don’t know where all the conferences are for a topic. Â I don’t know what all the journals are in an area. Â And, when most people have a down time, because their big conference just finished, I haven’t gotten one of those this semester and won’t, either. Â It keeps me from being bored, but it may poise me to be a generalist a little too much.
I went to Mindmeister and created a research areas web to show what I do. Â Everything I do fits neatly into six or ten research areas.
The short version:
- popular culture
- women’s studies- trauma and gender
- teaching writing- technology, business writing, composition
- creative writing
- literature- literature and speculative fiction
The ones after the dash are what those are divided into when they are not six but are ten.
Right now I have just finished a paper on popular culture/rhetoric/politics. Â I have a creative writing piece due this next week and a piece on women’s reproductive lives. Â In three weeks, I have a popular culture Civil War book chapter due. Â Six weeks from now I have a paper on Gilman for ALA to give… Â It continues like that.
But hopefully after this year I will also have a few publications. Â I don’t have many of those right now. Â Unfortunately they won’t be all in the same area, which may make my work a hard sell. Â How can I argue I’m a technical writing teacher if I only have three conferences on that? Â If you look at my research, it certainly appears that I’m a literature and religion teacher, with popular culture becoming a strong third.
I’m going to have to think about that. Â For a community college teacher, the generalist aura doesn’t matter. Â And even at a SLAC it probably won’t hurt. Â But I probably won’t get into a university with that, even for composition.
Thought: Are there any pop culture jobs in my area open? Â What degree is required for that? Â (Because I know I don’t have it. Â And SACS is so picky.)