So the Leverhulme project is now almost done (it ends on Jan 1st 2015 when my brain turns back into a pumpkin). Although there were some ups and downs – not least having to manage a budget without much official guidance and an excess of departmental administrative extras to take up my time, never mind moving house – it was a very valuable experience and undoubtedly has set me on course for a few years yet. I managed to get one article accepted for publication, titled ‘Capturing Desire: Rhetorical Strategies and the Affectivity of Discourse’, forthcoming in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations; I also succeeded in preparing and presenting a paper on the 2008-9 parliamentary expenses scandal (at the first Psychosocial Studies conference in Preston in December, which was very interesting and where I met some fascinating people). In addition I gave papers at a rhetoric conference in Portugal and at APSA in Chicago. So the project produced ideas and text (and travel), which is as much as one can hope for in the academic profession.
In the meantime (i.e. over the last two years) I completed the ms and proofs of my little book on rhetoric, a co-edited collection on rhetoric in British politics, one article from my book for Political Studies (due in print in Feb 2015 after an unfortunate delay), various chapters and papers on rhetoric, emotions and neuroscience, and a chapter on Marx & Engels’ rhetoric in the Communist Manifesto. And I now have plans for some more work on, broadly speaking, Lacan and the interpretation of political cultures, a theme that will blend the psychoanalytical and rhetorical fields further.
So it’s been a productive time. I’m back teaching my undergraduate course on German philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Heidegger and Arendt) next term plus a new MA module on ‘psychopolitics’, which takes up some of the texts and ideas from the Leverhulme project (essentially Freud and Lacan). In the meantime I have a paper to write on Poulantzas and Law for a conference at the Sorbonne in late January 2015. Surely that’s enough to be getting on with?! Bis später.