I’m following the lead of the excellent Liz Gloyn and Ellie Mackin and looking back over the past year. It’s all too easy to forget all the achievements and milestones of the past year – when I was a PhD student I was encouraged to write a list of everything I’d done at the end of each term, and I’ve found those kinds of periodic reminders invaluable for reflecting on my work and planning ahead.
Publications wise, this has been a busy year. Even though I feel like I write and send things out fairly steadily, 2015 has been a year when I’ve seen a lot of publications come out. Most importantly, my book! The book started life as my PhD thesis, so I’ve been working on it in various ways since 2010. I’m very pleased to have it out in the world for everyone to read, and to be able to move on to new things.
A book chapter from a conference in 2012 and a joint-written article with a new reading of the Petelia curse tablet have come out too, and another two book chapters are looking like they’ll come out some time in the new year (my role in them is thankfully now done). I also finished off December with a nice email telling me that another article of mine has been accepted – the corrections on that will be my first task of 2016, as they need the revisions finished by the 15th of January. That’s been a big relief, as the article was rejected by another journal in April. It wasn’t a good fit there, but the comments gave me an opportunity to make some key revisions before sending it off again, so I can’t feel too sorry about its long route to publication. But I’m very glad it has a home now. I also will need to write something up for the proceedings of the SLE conference I went to last September.
All these finishings-off of the book, chapters and articles have sometimes made it feel like I haven’t done much new or exciting research this year. But actually it’s been a great year for finding new ideas and threads to follow up. I spent the first three months of 2015 at the British School at Rome, which was a fantastic chance to follow some new interests. Some of these new ideas – especially about the far north-east of Italy – have led to some additional material and angles for my next project We also had a second Greek in Italy trip round southern Italy in the summer.
I’m hoping some of these new ideas will get their first public airings in 2016, online and in new papers. I have a few conference papers coming up, including the RACT/TRAC 2016 and the Cambridge Philological Society in April.
In 2015 I’ve been teaching and lecturing a number of courses I’ve taught before, but I also challenged myself by returning to teaching Latin unseen translation for the past term. I’ve really enjoyed having students who I see every week, as well as getting my literary Latin back up to scratch. As I go into the new year, I’m also planning the courses that I’ll be teaching in Exeter from September – a bit stressful but hugely exciting, and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more reading and planning for those.
Since September, I’ve also been taking the university’s TAP course for accreditation as a fellow of the HEA. I’ve learned a lot about reflective practice and creating more opportunities for feedback, and I’m hoping that next term’s focus on course planning and teaching philosophy will help support my plans for September.
Online and Academic Community
I’ve contributed to a number of online projects in 2015. As well as carrying on contributing to the Greek in Italy website, I also created the website and social media for the new Women’s Classical Committee (which has already hit 300 followers in just over a week). The WCC will launch in April, and I’ve been really pleased to be part of its initial planning stages. I also spent part of the summer digitising the Cambridge Greek Play archive and commissioning the new website (from professional designers, this time!). The new website has had some great responses from people from all over the world, though there’s still a bit more work to do. We’re now gearing up for the Antigone/Lysistrata 2016 production, and I’m very excited about it already.
And – of course – I started blogging on this site during the summer of 2015. I challenged myself to blog once a week or so, and I’ve been surprised how easy it’s been to keep it up. It’s been great to work through all kinds of thoughts and ideas, to keep people updated with what I’ve been doing, and to share my work with a wider readership. If you’ve been reading this year – thank you very much – I’ve really enjoyed writing for you all.
2016 is going to be a big year for me – most importantly, I’ll be moving from Cambridge to Exeter at some point in the summer and starting my new job at the University of Exeter in September 2016. Cambridge has been my home for ten years, so I know that moving will be a big change. But I feel very lucky to be joining such an excellent, friendly department, who I know will make the transition as easy as they can. It’s also a huge privilege to have had the geographic flexibility to have applied for jobs nationally and internationally in 2015, and to land such a great job as a result. I am finishing off the year feeling very fortunate, and looking forward to exploring the south west.
As for the rest of the year, I’m hoping to get at least one article written based on my brand new research on Venetic, in addition to the older article on Aristophanes which has just been accepted and the conference proceedings I’ll need to write up by May. Plus I’d like to work out a clearer chapter plan for my next book project on language contact in ancient Italy. I’m hoping that front-loading those things to the beginning of the year will allow me to concentrate on teaching in the second half of the year, as I know that the new courses will be keeping me busy for much of the 2016/2017 academic year.
And finally, many many thanks to everyone who has been in my life this year – both in person and online. All the best for the new year, and I hope you are looking forward to a fun and fulfilling 2016.