This morning I had to send a flurry of emails to rearrange my teaching schedule for next year, and I am amazed by how easy it all was. My two departments have wonderful administrators and staff members who can--and do--make things happen lickety split. I'm very pleased with how it all turned out; it looks like I'm going to be teaching my Aristotle and Rhetorical Studies course in the fall (a.k.a. "Spawn of the Dead").
In this course, we read through Aristotle's Rhetoric bit by bit, focusing on one main concept each week. These concepts include persuasion, philosophy, invention, topoi, phantasia, delivery, and more. And each week, in addition to reading the next section of the Rhetoric, we read "around" Aristotle's tome, which is to say, we'll look at writings by his contemporaries as well as a selection of secondary texts, in order to see both what A was responding to and also to consider how his writings have been taken up. The course is inspired by a wonderful classics course on A's Poetics taught by Helen Cullyer at the University of Pittsburgh, and it's designed to give grads a primer in ancient rhetoric, a stronger grasp of Aristotle, and a deep understanding of how A's concepts have shaped the field of rhetorical studies for better and worse.
How appropriate, then, to realize in the midst of the administrative breeziness and my pedagogical zeal that today marks the second annual Happy Woman Professor Day.
As the link above will show, HWPD asks women professors to post about things they like about their profession. One thing I love about my job at the moment is the fact that we get a sabbatical every six years. This is a pretty intense job with so. many. things and people to keep track of and such high expectations wrt research and publishing that it's very nice to be told to go away and focus on research for a semester. Very, very nice. And while this time gives me a chance to recharge my research batteries, I have also found that I've been increasingly fond of my colleagues of late, and (surprise) that I already feel excited about teaching again, when the time comes. So, mushy gushy. There it is.
Now if I can only remember to read this in, say, October.