After three years, several major life events, and lots and lots (and lots) of travel, I have decided to return to this blog. I will still write about issues related to disability from time to time. Disability is, after all, central to my embodied experience of the world. I cannot ignore it. However, my reasons for returning are mostly practical. I need to finish a substantial project, which I will call Big Book Project, over the course of the next ten months. And by finish I mean complete and edit all four chapters of the manuscript, write the introduction and conclusion, re-write the book proposal in preparation for submission to publishers, and then wait and hope. Big Book Project is an academic book. It is central to the little career pathway I am trying to (somewhat unconventionally, it seems) carve out for myself.
Since my last post three years ago I completed and defended my doctoral dissertation (aka Big Writing Project). My Ph.D. was officially conferred. I held a postdoctoral fellowship in Budapest. And after my ten months there, I opted to return to Moscow, to work as a “research fellow” (lots of reading and writing, with a little teaching on top) at Developing International Research University. So here I am again back in my beloved city, learning how to turn my dissertation (untold academic secret: A dissertation is NOT a book. It is a very very long bureaucratic document with lots of citations of original sources with the potential to become a book and/or several peer-reviewed articles.) into a book that actual people, and not just a handful of folks with narrow, Ivory Tower vision, might want to read. This blog will be a chronicle of that process. There will be (ideally) one post for every writing day. As it stands, I have an outline of the entire manuscript, a hodgepodge annotated bibliography, two rough chapter drafts, heaps and heaps of notes from the archive and from sources in museums and the early Soviet press, a draft of an introduction, and a (shitty) first draft of a book proposal. The task at hand is to revise and round out chapter one. I’ve been working on that for the past month fairly intensely, mostly in the kitchen of my apartment in central Moscow. From here, the work goes on: