In an unexpected turn of events, I’ve been reinstated in my former position at Western Illinois University.
It’s the third day of #1000wordsofsummer started by Jami Attenberg @jamiattenberg. The goal is 1,000 words a day for the last two weeks of June. So far, so good! An extra kick in the butt to get his book done on time!
It’s been a bit, folks! Here’s a short summary of what’s been going on since I last posted.
After some ups and downs with the book, I’m pleased to report that I’ve (re)secured a contract for my book on Jack Kerouac’s Buddhism has been picked up by Bloomsbury. My recent publications on the topic have received a lot of positive feedback, so I’m excited that the project is finally moving forward. The first draft is complete. Now round one of the revisions begin.
In the meantime, big things are also happening on the career and personal fronts. More details to come!
I’m back to writing the book after a brief hiatus to pack and move both office and house. This is the first summer in many years that I have not taught, so I’m looking forward to a productive summer of writing! Helping me reach my daily word goals are the following albums:
The National: I am Easy to Find
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60154888
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60475627
Steve Lacy: ApolloXXI
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60872056
Kevin Morby: Oh My God
By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60755361
Helado Negro: This is How You Smile
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60214014
I’m happy to announce I signed and sent off my contract with Bloomsbury! It’s official, though the title isn’t, my book on Kerouac and Buddhism is going to see the light of day!
I don’t remember my first introduction to Kerouac. Though I was 17 or 18 when I first read On the Road. I continued to read Kerouac during my undergrad years during which time Some of the Dharma was published. By then I was pursuing an undergrad degree in Religion & Culture with a keen interest in Buddhism. In my senior year of my undergrad I wrote a lengthy paper on Kerouac and Buddhism that years later became my first publication.
I left Kerouac behind as I headed to grad school to study Tibetan Buddhism. Even today most Buddhist Studies scholars would scoff at the idea of taking Kerouac’s Buddhism seriously. Fast-forward to a decade later when I found myself tenured and looking for a new (fun) research project. Two years ago I returned to Kerouac. By which point more of his Buddhist writing had been published and his vast archive opened to researchers.
I received a layoff notice in the middle of the project, effective May 14, 2019. I never envisioned my academic career coming full circle in this way. It started with Kerouac and perhaps might end with him. But hopefully I’m wrong!
After over one hundred hours at the NYPL archive and two years of work, I’m happy to say my first publication on this new research on Kerouac and Buddhism is finally out! I hope to share some additional news very soon! In the meantime, here’s a link to the new article “Sad Paradise: Jack Kerouac’s Nostalgic Buddhism.”
Gaze at the Norbulingka while I get things built!