I’m feeling kind of bitter these days.  You can probably guess the general reason, from the title of this post.  In the past couple months, proposals of mine have been rejected from the following conferences: CCCC 2009, ATTW 2009 (haven’t received an official rejection yet, but acceptances went out about two weeks ago, as far as I can tell), and the RSA Summer Institute 2009 (this last one has given me the opportunity to attend a different workshop than the one I first applied for, chosen off a list of workshops that have not filled up yet, and there was one that might be a great fit…we’ll see).  The CCCCs proposal was a panel proposal, and the ATTW and RSA proposals were both fairly rushed, but excuses for failure sometimes feel like just that: excuses.

Other things are going a little bit better: Chapter Two is shaping up into an actual chapter, rather than just the idea of one, although I’m beginning to worry that there is not a lot of room for me to contribute original content in this chapter.  The purpose of Ch. Two is to set the context for the textual analysis of Chapter Three… but the contextual discussion is based on the work of other scholars, and has even been summarized fairly well (for the most part) by Paul Starr in The Creation of the Media.  [Sidenote: this book looks, and sometimes reads, like popular history rather than “scholarship,” yet it is the most deft summary of a wide variety of sources that I have seen in a long while… I am confused as to how to think about this book.  For one, he discusses the Public Sphere, and takes an approach to it that I would like to emulate, but he also manages to mention Habermas only in the endnotes…  I’m a little intimidated by the way this book manages to easily capture the disparate elements that I thought I would bring together to make Chapter Two interesting].

This post is beginning to depress me.  A more upbeat one will follow on its heels, and if I’m lucky that will return to me my usual good mood.