Every so often I'm asked what life as a postdoctoral fellow entails. As far as my three-plus months of experience indicate, it isn't much different from grad life, insofar that, while the focus is on researching and writing a new project, there's a plethora of activities on the go. (Of course, there's the wonderful benefit of having your dissertation behind you and no tuition fees to pay.) While postdoctoral positions take a number of forms, the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship that I hold is two years in duration. I've spent the past month and a half researching my topic - the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain - at the University of Waterloo archives. I've also begun work on my latest oral history project, which focuses on the stories of children of back-to-the-landers on Prince Edward Island. These interviews will form the basis of a chapter that I will co-author with Alan MacEachern in an edited collection on counterculture and the environment in Canada. (These interviews may also be used to expand our digital exhibit, "Back to the Island.") On top of this I'm revising an article, based on a chapter from my dissertation, for publication, and preparing to teach H483: The History of the Environmentalist Movement, which begins next month at the University of Prince Edward Island.
Things won't slow down this summer. In addition to teaching the aforementioned course I'll be revising my dissertation for publication, preparing a book chapter on the Is Five Foundation's recycling efforts, and, hopefully, completing my long-promised digital exhibit on the small party, which is the predecessor to the Canadian Green Party. Somewhere along the line I hope to put some more work into my history of the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain, although I suspect writing won't begin in earnest until I relocate to Peterborough in the fall.
I have a few more projects in mind, but I'm hoping to cross a few items off of my "to do" list before beginning anything else. So, if you think life as a doctoral candidate is complicated, I suggest you learn to juggle projects. The truth is, if you're fortunate enough, it's only going to get busier.