The annual PSA conference took place in Sheffield this year, falling right at the end of term when my exhaustion is at its most complete. Nonetheless, I managed to present a paper just before the PSA, at the University of Bath. The paper was called ‘Beyond Pathos: Enjoyment as a Rhetorical Factor’ and fulfilled one of the requirements for the Leverhulme project. It was an opportunity to speak aloud about Lacanian theory and its relevance to analysing political speech. The audience was kind and enthusiastic, thankfully. I was pleased to be able to reflect on several speeches (those of Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond respectively) rather than focus on one alone. At the PSA I discussed my paper on the UK expenses scandal (already presented at the psychosocial studies conference at UCLAN in December 2014). There is much tidying up to be on this and I think its weaknesses stood out all too clearly. So these papers were at kind of coda to the Leverhulme project, which is now definitely over (though the Bath paper will be the basis of talks later in the year, I hope).
I took the opportunity for a rest over Easter and have managed to read more of the work of Massimo Recalcati, an Italian Lacanian psychoanalyst and public intellectual on whom I would like to write something. I also caught up with a number of things that have been set aside for too long (book reviews, reading doctoral student work, references, etc). In May I begin co-editing the journal, Contemporary Political Theory, which will doubtless take up some time so I will try to limit paper giving for a while. Now, however, I am awaiting the arrival of essays for marking. Wish me luck.