Monday, 4 January 2016

Finishing and starting

Back to December 2013 again

I am now late with my weekly blog but for a good reason. Over the holidays I and Phil have been juggling Christmas, New Year and school holidays with getting our 20 years of taskscapes edited volume to the publishers. This has involved receiving peer reviews on Christmas Eve and checking corrected files at different points. In the middle of the holidays, I suddenly realised that our introduction had not been peer reviewed, so there was another round of living off other people’s kindness and curiosity. The second peer review arrived yesterday on Sunday and resulted in hasty rewrites. The last corrected article was sent to us around midnight between Saturday and Sunday, so we were definitely not there at the last moment. Now we just have to hope that the volume commentator actually has time to, well, comment before the end of the month.

We can just hope that our publisher likes what they get. I am personally quite proud of the result and how we have managed to bring together British and Nordic archaeologists. The peer-reviewer list is quite awesome as well, but that thing is naturally a secret (fittingly for a volume with an entry on Secret Landscapes). It is not only that Tim Ingold had time to write his own testimonial of the time in early 1990s, my Finnish colleague Tiina Äikäs who studies the archaeology of the Finnish Sámi had finally have time to write a paper for the volume – not there at the last minute, no. Organising the peer-review was once again a matter of spirit over matter, but luckily other colleagues could accommodate us; now we were able to link Ingold’s subject matter and the use of the concept to the latest in the Sámi research. In addition, there are interesting papers from Andrew Fleming, Killian Driscoll and Matt Edgeworth. Our own ‘ceramiscene’ concept features and we have papers from classical to contemporary archaeology. It took two years from the original TAG session in Bournemouth, but we are always dealing with other people’s timetables, our own timetables and the peer-reviewing process with edited volumes. Nevertheless, it should show that taskscapes are not just for prehistoric, especially Neolithic, landscapes. Now we just wait and see how the publishing process will go.

I am also at the moment in Stockholm even if I sit in our living room in UK. My contract at Stockholm started at New Year and I am lucky to have three years of researchership ahead of me. At the famous Swedish 0.75ft, but that will give me time to factor in my life in UK. I was surprised to get national Swedish funding, considering that another funding body there found my application wanting. However, I did lately get every single grade in the evaluation range in the ERC application process, from completely rubbish to outstanding, so what I do – or at least how I present it – either contains some true innovation or just confuses people. Some people seem to see me having a vision, whereas some doubt the value of my potential output. Either way, I am now sorted and working in a good place.

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