Travels with Tolkien; or, What I Did Last Summer

A couple of weeks ago, my department held a reception for our students, and the event included a series of brief talks called  “What I Did Last Summer.”  Our intention was to introduce our work to our students and also to combat the popular misconception that professors have the summer “off.”

We wanted to give students a glimpse of what their professors do when they’re not teaching. The talks — which had to be under 10 minutes — described various tasks that we performed over the summer, from collective bargaining on behalf of the faculty union, to the writing of short stories, to doing research for articles and conference papers. I offered to talk about my research and conference trips to Oxford and New York, but the time limit was a challenge!

I’ve already written in this blog about my research trip to Oxford and my conference trip to New York, but in case you’re still interested, here is another version of the story; I’ve recorded the talk that goes with my slides. I hope this presentation gives some insight into the main ideas that are fuelling my work these days.

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