I’ve been offered to opportunity to apply for qualification funding – funding for research travel and so on that’s likely to help me publish more so that I eventually qualify for full professorship. Which would rock. So I’m trying to figure out what I should do. The standard thing, what they sort of expect, is a year being a visiting scholar somewhere. That’s impossible for me for family reasons, though I think I’m going to wangle a month in Perth with my daughter (and my now-fiancÈ-then-husband (!) will be able to be there for about half that time) and that I can do maybe a three-week thing somewhere later. I can apply for conference funding too, I think.

So my question to you, my dear blogosphere, is: what should I do? What would be the best places to visit, conferences to go to and so on?

And of course, what the heck is my project? I’ll have finished the book on blogging by September 1, so what am I going to spend the next ten months of my sabbatical on? Another book? More blogging? Participatory culture? Return to the distributed narrative project I wanted to do a book on? Or has time moved on since then – I’m thinking participatory narrative might be a more interesting concept these days. Who cares if it’s distributed, the point now is that you can barely tell a story without the audience getting into it and telling half of it too.

It’s hugely luxurious getting to plan how to spend a whole year’s time and even, quite likely, some money too. At times like these I adore academia.

10 thoughts on “planning my sabbatical

  1. jo

    hi jill

    if you go to perth, you should definitely meet up with tama leaver (http://ponderance.blogspot.com/) and christina chau (http://cacofonix.arts.uwa.edu.au/node/312). they’re both at uwa.

    have a great christmas. jo

  2. Jill

    Thanks Jo – I read Tama Leaver’s blog, but didn’t know about Christina Chau!

  3. Francois Lachance


    No matter where you will be located in the flesh, I’m sure you will be connected electronically with a dispersed community of readers, researchers and fans.

    Re: participatory versus distributed narrative

    I wonder if a turn towards the problematics of narration might be inn the cards. There is the question of digital decay or what Barthes called “fading” that authors in any media encounter. Planning for dispersion is one strategy for coping with loss. Overt calls to participation appears to be the converse: elements of lost fragments are called together for reanimation. I think these concerns connect with your keen and abiding interest in the process and culture of blogging. Blog as repository and as conduit of samples.

    And for some reason I find myself suggesting a visit to a perfume museum say in Grasse or Paris. I must be the notion of sample that is wafting through. Just a hunch that a history of scent will provide a wealth of analogies with the trade in cultural bits and bytes.

  4. JoseAngel

    Participatory narrative, please, or interactive, call it what you will. And the specific ways in which this interaction creates identities, insiders, outsiders, a variety of selves… the remediation of self and other. øSounds good? maybe I’ll take it myself!

  5. Espen

    The idea of a sabattical is radically changed in the age of digital communications. The trouble of physical relocation used to be made up for by the privilege of seclusion from local work obligations, but these days we do most of our work online, not necessarily in our physical offices. What should be negotiated these days is probably not the physical sabbatical, but the digital one. Otherwise, one could end up with the trouble of relocation, without the necessary break from most of our standard workday that a sabbatical used to ensure.

    Is it possible to fully enjoy a sabbatical if it does not include the leave of absence from one’s work email?

  6. JoseAngel

    But would we WANT that? Oh well, I guess I’m too far gone.

  7. Christina Chau

    hello, even though I will have finised my honours by the time you come to Perth I think that it’s wonderful that you’ll be wandering through the halls of UWA.

  8. Jill

    Yes!!! And I got the funding, so looks all set to go!!

  9. Tama Leaver

    And since I seem to have become a semi-permanent fixture at UWA (in some form or another) I look forward to seeing you around the Perth as well! 🙂

  10. Jill


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