Moshimoshi folks! How have you been?
Since the last procrastiprogress update, I’ve casually gotten married, gone on a kickass sunny honeymoon, and started postdoc #1 in a new country.
My official faculty headshot is also the best thing ever, snapped in a random dumpster in Oslo on an iPhone when I visited my dear friend Mathilde from The Selfies Research Network (TSRN) last year.
I’ve pretty much settled into a routine managing teaching, writing all the things, and juggling different strands of fieldwork.
It’s nice to finally have a transiently permanent wishcrysoffice. I no longer worry about power sockets and pee breaks from my mobile office(s). My new officemates are equal parts weird and cool (hi J, hi S), which make for quite the adventure everyday.
I recently designed a brand new syllabus for the Sociology of Popular Culture undergraduate course, which has been a dream to teach. I’ll share the module syllabus soon.
In other news, the amazing folk at The Sociological Review recently published my conference report as a result of a travel grant I won, and CNET en Español – one of the most read platforms on technology news – published a piece on Snapchat Influencers including my work on the social media industry. The Guardian also gave a shout-out to the emerging field of Cute Studies, and my aforementioned research ‘Agentic cute (^.^): Pastiching East Asian cute in Influencer commerce’ can be accessed here.
In fieldwork land, things are as best as they can be despite the perpetual torturous humidity. I’m working broadly on five projects in the next twelve months.
The first continues from my Honours research on blogshops, mapping out the industry’s ten-year history and analyzing trajectories of vernacular branding, regional trade, and longevity. I’m wrapping up fieldwork in a few weeks, and also just clinched a book contract for the monograph this afternoon (!!!)
The second continues from my PhD research on the Influencer industry in Singapore and East Asia. This has been my favourite brainchild and baby, for which I am working on clinching some last few interviews while hunting for a book publisher.
The third is a new project on memory and remembering in the digital age, seeking to understand how people construct individual, social, and cultural repositories of milestones and folklore. If you’re in Singapore, please do attend the first of my public initiatives on this research at Project SG50+1.
The fourth is a side project largely motivated by my personal grappling with death, grief, and artefacts. I want to understand how young people experience loss, manage grief, and perceive death alongside social media and digital technologies. The first of my interviews for this project begins tomorrow (I can’t promise I won’t weep through the interview), and I will be presenting preliminary findings in the panel ‘Identity and Vulnerability on the Internet‘ at the Australian Anthropological Society Conference in December.
The fifth is my postdoc project on Public Coupling. I have so much to say about this (fieldwork has been awesome sauce so far) and will dedicate a post to the project soon. Some public notes are here and a journal article on the practice of ‘monthsaries’ will be published in a few months.
On the affect front, my person and I are back to LDR-ing with affective technologies. This distance thing is always tough, and I have all the respect in the world for a whole bunch of my academic pals who are also negotiating affective space and career aspirations.
Having done this intermittently for the last 11 years and 08 months, you’d think we’re some sort of experts by now, but in all honesty, we’re just haphazardly winging it all the time.
I cope by reminding myself that if home is no where, then home is every where. Besides, I carry my person in my pocket <3
So it’s been a crazy four weeks in Singapore, crazy humidity and crazy wild baby hair included. Here’s to more successful weeks of fieldwork ahead, better weather, and a less whiney wishcrys.
Am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend, and bask in the whoohoo of the book contract (!!!). One down, three to go!
PS: Am still sharing research snippets on-the-go via Snapchat, so see you at @wishcrys.