Well I’ve been fortunate enough to land at least one job interview at the American Philosophical Association conference in December. Hopefully there are more invitations to come. This isn’t half bad as my research focus is contemporary French philosophy, and U.S. philosophy departments tend to have a highly allergic reaction to anything French, instead allowing language, literature, and cultural studies departments to do scholarship in this area. At any rate, this is pretty good for having only sent out eleven application packets.

Although this is happy news, I’ve found myself in the midsts of a massive anxiety attack, following me about for days. I tossed and turned all night, filled with anxiety and feverish thoughts as to who I am. In short, I’m wallowing in the midsts of the question of fantasy Che vuoi? “You’re asking me this, but what do you really want?” That is, what is my research about? And when I ask myself this question, I am asking what it is about philosophically. In my fantasy life, things would be easy for me if I were pursuing positions in rhetoric, literary theory, cultural studies, or political theory– it’s always elswhere that things would work out for us –but explaining my work philosophically, that’s far more difficult. How am I to explain the relevance of Lacan to philosophy in a non-dogmatic fashion, free of difficult jargon, that isn’t simply about ideology critique a la Zizek? I feel as if I need some pithy statement of my philosophical project that resonates with more traditional philosophical questions in epistemology and ontology, but when I try to articulate such a project I suddenly feel paralyzed like a deer in the headlights. “My work is focused on differential and relational ontology.” “I’m interested in the manner in which the formation of reality emerges from the impossible-real of irreducible antagonism. By the impossible-real I mean…” “I’m focused on questions of how it’s possible to break with socio-historical mediation so as to articulate a truth.” “I’m interested in the consequences that follow from the death of God. By the death of God I mean… Here I’m thinking primarily of the function God serves in Descartes’ third meditation, and implicitly in the work of other philosophers that posit a whole…” “My work primarily revolves around the thought of Badiou, Deleuze, Freud, Lacan, Ranciere, and Zizek because…” “I’m interested in the relationship between the symbolic, imaginary, and real from the perspective of how our relationship to reality is organized, and am interested in the role desire and intersubjectivity play in questions of epistemology and our relation to being…” “I’m interested in questions of emergence and self-organization such that…”

Everything that falls from my lips ends up sounding vague, empty, or in need of too much clarification… Or I worry that I end up sounding like a posterboy for the typical postmodernist. What does the Other want from me? What am I for the Other. “What is the philosophical project that defines me as a human being?” I think I’ll go curl up in a ball now. Fortunately I don’t need a job, so at least I have that going for me. I have terrific colleagues, am in an intellectually stimulating environment, have lots of things going on such as conferences in the work, and am generally very content here. About the biggest irritation is bs administrative things, but you find that anywhere. It’s much nicer to interview when you’re not facing the prospect of hunger and debtors.

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