I started blogging at an early stage in my PhD research. At the time, academic blogging was a divisive topic. I bit my tongue through many a question or remark, such as, “I couldn’t possibly find the time for it” (translation: “You must not be busy enough), “I care too much about my research to put it online” (translation: Academic blogging is only for mediocre research), and “Aren’t you worried about what people will know about you?” (translation: anyone who engages with social media must only be posting their deepest, darkest secrets online). That was then.
For the last few months I have been repeatedly asked, “why aren’t you blogging?” It is nice to see that attitudes are changing. Anyway, after I completed my PhD in March 2015 I became disconnected from my previous blog space. I Associated it with the pressure and sense of discovery that went with my PhD research. It was that place I went to write about all the topics that were not directly related to my thesis. The name, Américas Studies, was chosen as a vague, over-arching title at a time when I was only beginning to scratch the surface of who I was as a scholar and academic blogger. I have out-grown it to a certain extent. My key research focus is still on Chicana poetry and contemporary literatures of the Americas. But, towards the end of my PhD I also found myself writing about my pedagogical interests, the experimental teaching and learning techniques I carried out in my modules, general higher education issues, as well as activities and interests relating to my research. In short, it was no longer a blog only covering a broad range of topics relating to the Americas.
That’s why I decided to start this new blog.* Since I completed the PhD, I have taken on a range of work and research opportunities, including a book contract, and some new undergraduate and postgraduate modules. I’m looking forward to using this blog to document these experiences as I move forward.
*Américas Studies is still online, and I may still blog there from time to time.