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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Research Statement

When I came to KU as an Associate Professor I had already published two books and had a solid reputation in my field. I published two more monographs shortly before my promotion to the rank of Professor: Apocryphal Lorca and Twilight of the Avant-Garde both came out in 2009. My primary accomplishment since my promotion is the book What Lorca Knew: Fragments of a Late Modernity, which I am currently shopping around to publishers.

Since my promotion in 2009 I have also published three book chapters in edited collections, four journal articles, two other miscellaneous publications, and four book reviews. Only two of my articles during this period present material from the book I have just completed. Given my strong publication history, I have chosen to concentrate on writing my book rather than publishing a large number of articles: still, seven solid articles in six years (2010-15) is not too bad, especially when seen in the context of a more productive than average scholarly career. Only two of my articles during this period present ideas from the book I have just completed, since I want the new book to contain a large proportion of material not previously published.

I have also given twelve papers or lectures during this period of time (not counting one I have given already in 2016 and another I have scheduled for March of this year) at professional conferences and as an invited speaker at places like Harvard, NYU, the University of Iowa, the University of Córdoba, and the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.

Federico García Lorca is the best-known Spanish poet and playwright of the twentieth century. Working on a canonical writer brought me a level of prominence in the field that I had not enjoyed before, despite the high level of scholarly productivity I have maintained since earning my doctorate. My department has nominated me to be a Distinguished Professor, and I won the prestigious Higuchi award in 2012, so my research accomplishments have been recognized already on campus.

I have recently started to write a third volume on Lorca, Federico García Lorca: The Decentered Subject. The idea of this my new book in progress is to consider Lorca’s work in light of the poststructuralist motif of the questioning of subjectivity. Although I have only written about 15,000 words on this project, I believe I am on to something significant that may have nearly the same degree impact on the field as my first Lorca book.

After this sixth book (the third in my Lorquian trilogy) I do not know yet what the future holds. I plan to retire at the age of 67, in twelve years. I believe I will continue to be a productive scholar in the time I have left, though I do not know whether I will feel the need to write another book after The Decentered Subject. I might devote myself to translation. I have published numerous articles in the past and will perhaps go back to being an “article person” rather than a “book person.”

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