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Thursday, January 11, 2018

30 years

My PhD is from 1988. (I started taking Spanish 11 years before that.) I was already an established scholar in my field in the early 1990s, publishing in MLN in 1990 and PMLA in 1991. Aside from maybe a brief lull in the early 2000s,* I've kept it up. Yesterday I had the opportunity to write another one of those career narratives for something I am being nominated for. This morning I woke up wondering why I feel so like I've never accomplished quite enough. I don't really have that much more to prove.

The answer, though, is simple: it's not that I feel inadequate despite the length of my cv. Rather, the c.v. is something external to me that can never do the work of making me feeling adequate within. In fact, it is evidence of someone who still has something to prove. Obviously, a long cv is not the road to self-acceptance.  Yet it does provide satisfaction.  There is no way to write this kind of career narrative without realizing that I am a heavy weight.  

*Looking over my cv, though, it is hard to see even a break. I think I didn't publish anything in 2004, but that's about it. The leanest years are preceded by the 1990s, when I was on fire, and I published two books in 2009, one of which was being developed in the early 2000s.


1 comment:

Leslie said...

Hm. I am the one with the actually inadequate c.v. but don't wake up feeling unaccomplished -- just wishing I had, or could have spent time differently than was possible. Done *something* in life and not spent as much time in suffering I wouldn't have recommended and didn't consider wise. Perhaps my actual life's project is avoiding being eaten by my parents, and perhaps I am a great success at this.