How does anyone write a thesis when you spend all your time applying for fellowships, grants, and funding for your thesis?!
What have I been doing?
My year of research grants has come to an end and I have spent the month grounded home in Kansas. But as one year comes to an end, a new one arises, and with it another round of fellowships and grants to apply for. I have been eager to get back into my dissertation, but I got bogged down this month with applying for some really time consuming fellowships application which required a lot of work. This included going over my CV, working on a timeline, fine turning a proposal, and polishing off sample pieces of writing. Having said that, these were dissertation competition fellowships, which means I do intend to finish and defend this thesis by March 2023.
I have also been recording a lot of episodes for the Age of Jackson Podcast, getting that ready for its relaunch now that I am home again.
Next month I am getting back into the grove of things, going back to chapter one, which focuses on the religious politics of the election of 1800 (Jefferson VS Adams).
What have I been writing?
What have I been reading?
The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents, 1773-1783 by Joseph J. Ellis
American Freethinker: Elihu Palmer and the Struggle for Religious Freedom in the New Nation by Kirsten Fischer
Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton
What have I been watching?
Dressed to Kill (1980): De Palma’s most transparent love letter to Hitchcock, Psycho in particular. While I eventually saw the twist coming, I must admit, it did keep me guessing for a while. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s certainly a fascinating time capsule. The cast is pretty good for the most part, but Michael Caine was a bit underused.
Finch (2021; AppleTV+): While it is nothing to rave about, Finch has a tender quality too it. Sure, it’s as paint by numbers as you can get but the apocalyptic world is engrossing and Hanks remains as engaging as ever. It’s a sweet movie set in a harsh environment but with three pretty likable characters. You will probably forget it, but you won’t regret watching it.
Defending Your Life (1991): This one really took me by surprise emotionally. I teared up. But I’m a sucker for stories about weak and fearful men redeemed by the love of good and powerful women. Plus the theology was a lot of fun to dissect. Highly recommend it!
The Harder They Fall (2021; Netflix): Seriously stylish, oozing with coolness, and violent spectacle. But my god does it suffer from padding issues and a bloated runtime.
The Last Days of Disco (1998): Over educated but broke. Underpaid but earning enough to go out and party almost every night. A close knit friendship but full of people who can’t stand each other. Yuppies clinging to the last days of disco, but refusing to believe their yuppies and ignoring the signs that their favorite music is dying. A great character piece, full of memorable quotes, and funny but human moments. Really enjoyable. Would make for a great double feature with American Psycho (2000).
Mulholland Drive (2001): You either love David Lynch or you don’t. After seeing Mulholland Drive for the first time in nearly a decade, I can say that it was both as weird as I remembered it but not as prestigious. It’s an odd film (odd is kind of his thing) but it’s definitely interesting. At least need to try it before you knock it. I would say, if you do not own the Blu-Ray from Criterion, getting it on 4K is worth it, probably not worth doubling up on it (unless you love Lynch of course).