Thank heavens for Spring vacation. That Spring term (which has nothing to do with Spring btw, it’s January to March!) always wears me down. This year it was hard going because there was lots of committee work to do (loads of new modules to process), new jobs, and just lots of conversation with students (where I feared I talked too much, as ever). Plus the term was a week shorter than usual and a conference was plonked right in the last week! Anyway, all this work delayed some writing projects but I managed eventually to finish some drafts. I wrote up a piece on ‘Marx’s Rhetoric’ which was an interesting return to some very old texts I haven’t looked at in a while. I even had a look at the German version of the Manifesto and ‘On the Jewish Question’, and fished around in Capital volume 1, which is always a treat. And I managed to tidy up a paper on the UK expenses scandal from a (broadly) Lacanian point of view and submit it as a draft for an edited collection. We’ll see about that. It was, at least, a good opportunity to read some Renata Salecl, who writes engaging stuff on contemporary anxieties.
I went off to the PSA conference in late March having cancelled my own paper (no time to finish it off) but taking up the role of panel discussant instead. Actually, it’s good to hear and read other people’s research without reflecting on one’s own. The conference was in Brighton and it was a delight to meet up, if only briefly, with all sorts of people I haven’t seen in ages. I was only there for a day but the sea air was a tonic. On my return — and after some rest following exhaustion — I began to think I need to engage some of my interests in psychoanalysis and rhetoric with various offshoots of political psychology. Actually, this has been on my mind for a while. It strikes me that there are some interesting, if tense, connections between disciplines that have very different concepts of subjectivity and that rhetoric is a possible bridge (should one be needed). I have to think a little more about this. But it’s good to be thinking again, at last!