June already. I’m in the field, though my project has taken some unexpected turns that may actually giving me some breathing space to really devote the summer to developing my own thoughts and making progress on my writing. In the time that I’ve been here (one week), I picked up T.H. Luhrmann’s Of Two Minds: an Anthropologist looks at American Psychiatry. The thing I love about this book is the fact that it is written for a broad audience, but it is incredibly well-researched and sound.
So, of course, as I read this book I thought, now this what I want my book to be like.
And then, a realization: as far as I can tell, this is Luhrmann’s third book. The project that informs this book lasted four years. She was already well into her career. I’m wondering if maybe I’m jumping the gun a little bit –I don’t have nearly as many years researching my topic, in fact I have some follow-up research to do now that I’m here.
Meantime, my dissertation is still there. I developed some chapters into articles, but on the whole, the text is there. I have spent a lot more time thinking about suicide than I have about psychiatry specifically –and psychiatry certainly has a role to play in that story, so the work I’ve been doing is certainly relevant. I think I need to take a long, careful look at the thesis I left for dead. Maybe it has some life to it that I was too burned out to recognize a few years ago. Certainly it might be a good place to start.
Meantime, I was asked to review a book for a prestigious university press. Without divulging anything, I can say that this is experience is coloring my next steps.
So, I still have an article to churn out, and a manuscript review to return. But once that’s done, I’m going to take advantage of this unexpected time to take a second look at the book that might just be sitting there, waiting to be revised, in my own files…