Tuesday, April 25, 2006

My current activities

I had my second interview on Sunday. I am still waiting to hear the results. Thanks to everybody who e-mailed me wishing me luck. Besides waiting patiently to hear about the job I have been reading, writing and walking. Recently I have been reading about Siberia, the Second Chechen War (1999 on) and Mennonites. My current book manuscript is up to 105 pages now. I still need to complete the chapter on the 1980s and I have not even started the chapter on 1917 to 1920. I skip around alot when I write long pieces. Other than that the work is almost done. I am not sure what my next writing project will be yet. This summer I should have two book chapters and a journal article come out in print. In the fall I have an encyclopedia article scheduled for publication. I will post the details when they come out.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Good News

It looks like I made it through the first cut on the phone interview. Now they want to set up a second phone interview. So it looks like I am still in the running for the job. In other good news the book from the Woodrow Wilson Center to which I contributed a chapter will be published soon. The film project which I will be working on as an advisor should also get underway shortly.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Easter

In the unlikely event anybody other than myself reads this blog then I would like to wish them a Happy Easter. My uncle and I will again have the traditional Holiday pizza to celebrate. The weather is just about perfect now here in Arivaca.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I got a job interview yesterday

Yesterday I got a call from overseas to interview me for the university teaching job which recently shorlisted me. The call came unexpectedly, but I think I did okay. One thing that I thought strange was the interviewer said I was "overqualified." If I am overqualified for this job then I am definitely qualified for the 100 plus other jobs I applied for that did not interview me. In fact most did not even acknowledge me with a rejection. Instead they just ignored me. For some reason US universities don't count professional publications or British degrees. They would rather hire an ABD with no publications who was a TA at a third rate US institution provided the applicant is a Marxist and not a white male. If I get the job I will again leave the US for at least several years. If I do not get it I will refocus my job search. One thing that is evident is that my work is respected far more in foreign countries than it is in my homeland.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Woodpecker is Dead

My uncle shot and killed the woodpecker this morning. He will bother us no more. I hope that his execution deters future woodpecker assaults.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Current Writing Projects

Today I got a rejection from a job I had forgotten I had even applied for. Of course with over a hundred applications sent out in the last two years that is not surprising. I sent one last academic application off on Tuesday. I do not think I will be sending anymore out. I do not like bothering three separate people in three different countries to waste their time and effort to write letters for jobs which I have no real chance. In fact I would probably be better off if I had spent the money I wasted on postage applying to academic jobs at the Casino del Sol/Casino of the Sun, an enterprise of the Pasqua Yaqui nation near Tucson. I certainly would not be any worse off.

So I have resigned myself to engaging in more productive activities than job applications recently. I have been getting a page done a day on my latest book manuscript. It is up to 95 pages now. I am currently finishing up the chapter on the 1960s and the movement by a small group of Russian-German activists to convince the Soviet government to restore the Volga German ASSR. Last night I completed the section on the second Russian-German delegation to Moscow during the summer of 1965 and its two meetings with the Soviet leadership. Like the first delegation earlier that year these meetings did nothing to address the grievances of the Russian-Germans in the USSR.

Currently, I am pretty free to pursue the book manuscript since I have no deadlines until 15 of July 2006. I have a paper due for a conference in Canada in August due then. I have written the paper already and just have to edit it fit their format before I send it off. The conference is on German diasporas and my paper is on the Russian-German diaspora in Kazakhstan. In 1989 there were almost a million ethnic Germans in the Kazakh SSR. In a number of oblasts they constituted over 15% of the population. Karaganda Oblast was over 20% ethnically German. Now the Russian-German population of Kazakhstan is less than 200,000 due to emigration.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Recent Doings

Recently I have been reading alot about the "Great Game" between Tsarist Russia and Great Britain during the 19th Century. It has expanded my background knowledge about the areas bordering Soviet Central Asia considerably. Most notably I have been reading alot about the history of Afghanistan, Tibet and the northern regions of British India. The history of British exploration and espionage in the region is quite interesting.

I have also started working on my current book project again. The one on Russian-Germans under Soviet rule meant for a general rather than academic audience. It is up to 93 pages. I wrote three pages yesterday. Currently I am writing up the section on the 2 January 1965 meeting between the first Russian-German delegation and Mikoyan in Moscow. The delegation itself was formed at a seminar the previous year in Bishkek (then Frunze) Kyrgyzstan. The activists forming the delegation requested that the Soviet government restore the Volga German ASSR. Despite strong arguments supporting such a course of action the regime refused to make any concessions on this issue.

Other than that I am still waiting to here from the job that shorlisted me recently. I could have greatly improved my ratio of applications to shortlists if I had only applied to jobs outside the US. I am also still walking about 15 miles a week over unpaved roads. I figure if nothing else it has to be good for my health.