Contrary to what everybody feared, my research career didn’t take a hit as a result of me becoming a department Chair. Just the opposite, I’ve never had such an intense calendar of publications and speaking engagements as I do now.
This isn’t due to any particular spike in industriousness and productivity on my part. It’s simply that becoming Chair coincided with the moment when people in my field realized that I exist and started inviting me to participate in projects (edited volumes, monographic issues, etc). Only this week, I received two invitations: one from Canada and one from Spain. This is on top of the three obligations I have already undertaken. (I’m not even talking about invitations to conference sessions because I don’t consider going to conferences to be part of a serious research agenda. It’s simple, unadulterated fun and that’s that). I also have three public appearances just this month.
Academic life is weird. You toil and toil in obscurity, building up your name tiny bit by tiny bit, never knowing if it’s ever going to work. And then one day BOOM! and suddenly you’ve been noticed and everybody wants a piece of you.
I’m not going to lie. It feels damn good. And also, I have realized that you don’t need to be at a fancy university for this to happen. I was so sure you did that I almost left this haven of relative non-wokeness.
There are so many myths about academic life, it’s crazy. Maybe I’ll write a post about it.