Back on the trail (again)

The academic year is often accompanied by an increasing sense of busyness and a feeling that each passing term seems to demand just that bit more teaching, just that bit more admin, just that bit more marking. The consequence, of course, is that there seems to be proportionally less time for research. That has certainly been the case for me so far in 2019, and it is a little sobering to note that I haven’t had an opportunity to update this blog since the beginning of December last year. Today, however, marks the end of the teaching term and a slight change in focus and pace. Although most of the summer will be devoted to progressing a small edited collection—Landscapes of ‘Detectorists’—with Joanne Norcup for Uniformbooks, I do have a number of Macintosh-related tasks I plan to complete.

In the next few weeks I should received proofs of a chapter, “A contested vision of empire: anonymity, authority, and mobility in the reception of William Macintosh’s Travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa (1782)”, that is forthcoming in Empire and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century (edited by David Lambert and Peter Merriman)—one that had its origins in a presentation given at the International Conference of Historical Geographers in 2015. Later in the summer I also expect to review proofs for an article, “The confiscated library of William Macintosh in the Bibliothèque municipale d’Avignon”, due out in The Library: The Transactions of The Bibliographical Society. It will be good to see these both through to completion.

In the shorter term, I will be giving a brief presentation on my Macintosh work next week to a delegation from the Konkuk University Academy of Mobility Humanities, who are visiting Royal Holloway to develop connections with colleagues working here on issues around mobility. A more substantial goal for the summer, however, is to write and submit a proposal for the Macintosh book. I have had encouraging preliminary discussions with a publisher, but I know the task of deciding on the structure and organisation of the book will be a tricky one and will require some careful consideration. As ever, progress on Macintosh’s trail is agonisingly slow, but endlessly fascinating.

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