It is clear to me, as I have attested in more places than I care to relate, that I will never have the kind of job I once envisioned myself having. I will never be a full-time professor, whether of the “cool” variety or of the traditional tweed-and-pipe type. (I gave up my pipe once I learned I would be a father. I miss it sometimes, but not as much as I love my kid.) While I continue to do part-time teaching, and I still putter about with research, neither gets to be my professional focus anymore. Not that I did a good job at either when they ought to have been, as I have noted elsewhere in places I do not care to find at the moment; I am not bewailing my circumstances–I have earned them, in part, and I have been lucky to have them in other ways.
What happens, though, is that the work that I would otherwise be trying to place with academic journals, or that I should have been doing for them, does not have the same urgency to find a home in such venues. And, indeed, I have the inkling that most of the journals where I might publish as an academic expatriate would not look quite so kindly on someone with a lack of institutional affiliation. I might claim that of the school where I still teach part-time, of course, which would address that particular issue–but I do not know that I want to tie myself to it in such a way. The job might always end; I might have to go to some putative home from my visit on its faculty. (That’s part of why I keep so much of my teaching material here, in fact; it’s a sort of suitcase when I need it.)
Yet I have done a fair bit of academic writing. Some of it, I’m proud of having done. I don’t know that I want it to languish unseen in the gathered files where I currently have it. (Yes, I’ve collected all or most of my writing not already released. I am vain enough to think it a good idea–clearly so, else I’d not keep several blogs as I do.) Yet I don’t think it would necessarily do well to send it to publishers; popular presses seldom want such things, and academic presses, as I’ve noted, are not like to accept work from outside academe. Too, my job is not contingent upon my research, but I know many whose jobs are, and I would feel poorly about getting in the way of their attempts to keep and retain jobs that I know now and learned too late are not for me.
There is an obvious solution, of course. I have access to several webspaces, after all, including this one. It would be a simple matter for me to post my papers here, those I would like to see receive some attention. (Not all fall under that rubric.) They are not peer reviewed in this forum, of course, but I do hold a doctorate in English language and literature; my observations would not be without merit. They might even be worth reading by those outside the field, which is a pleasant thought.
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[…] addition to the academic work I’ve done and might yet post to this webspace, as I’ve noted, I’ve spent a fair bit of time writing less formal essays and poetry in other venues. […]