Where to begin? I’ve spent the last month getting myself moved across the country and settled into a small studio in New York, where I’m spending a year on sabbatical as a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU and as an honorary fellow at NYU’s Humanities Initiative. The semester here doesn’t crank up for another couple of weeks, so I’m cooling my heels a bit, catching up on some reading and trying to figure out what the year holds for me.
Much of what the year holds is MediaCommons. After two-plus years of only being able to give the project little bits of time squeezed inbetween classes, chairing, writing, and other responsibilities, MediaCommons this year gets to occupy the center of my schedule. What that means is as yet a bit amorphous: we have several projects in the pipeline that I’m looking forward to getting launched, and I’m talking with a few people about some other new projects. But a big part of what I hope to do for MediaCommons this year has to do with raising awareness of the possibilities that the platform presents for media scholars who want to get their own work out there themselves, who want to build working groups with whom they share that work, who want to experiment with new digital forms and new open modes of review.
Very likely, the question of open review will get a lot of attention from me this year, as we seem to be approaching some kind of tipping point; the experiment we conducted on behalf of Shakespeare Quarterly has received a lot of attention, and has an increasing number of scholars in the humanities thinking about how to build both a viable open review process and a community capable of sustaining that process. For all the obvious reasons, I want to participate in those conversations, and to see how I can help guide the development of our thinking about the relationship between social media and peer review over the course of the year.
Aside from that, I have an article focusing on social media and literary reading that I’m working on (which is running a little behinder than I’d like), and am beginning to think about what comes next, writing-wise. It’s a little unnerving but also quite freeing not to know what the next project is yet; I’ve got some ideas and issues that I’m interested in, but no thoughts as yet about how I’ll come at them. I’ll look forward to getting to work through some of those ideas here, on the road to wherever this year takes me.