PhD Blog #14: Updates and Goals

We’re a few weeks into the new year and nearly four months into the second year of my PhD. This feels like a good time to take stock of where I am and to look forward to the year ahead.


  1. In 2018, I passed my transfer/upgrade viva, won two postgraduate essay prizes (BAAS, BACLS), and published three reviews (ImageTexT, Journal of American Culture, Middle West Review), a blog post (Ploughshares), and a journal article (US Studies Online).
  2. I was invited to write a book review for The Library (in preparation for 2019), and to conduct an author interview for a special issue of Western American Literature (forthcoming in 2019).
  3. I also completed my chapter on Ecomasculinities in Gravity’s Rainbow, which is forthcoming in an edited collection from Lexington books in February 2019.
  4. I joined the editorial subcommittee of the journal Alluvium and will be editing their 2019 July issue.
  5. At the beginning of this year (2019), I accepted a small research assistantship for work on a proposed edited collection on Westerns and globalisation.

2019 Goals:

  1. Finish the two pieces left over from last year. One is an article on the Old West and the Environment in Pynchon, the other is on ecomasculinity and the superhero genre. These aren’t “core” PhD tasks, but I’d like to see both through to completion.
  2. Draft two PhD chapters, one on Edward Abbey and the other on Percival Everett.
  3. Present my work at a conference.
  4. Teach!
  5. Dedicate more time to developing my “side hustle” so that I have serious alternatives to a career in academia by the time I submit.

Let me know in the comments below how your 2018 went, and any plans you have for the coming year!


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