2018 in Review
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2018 was crazy and successful—crazily successful? In pure numbers, two essay collections which I co-edited came out (and a third one just about didn't make it into 2018—it will be published in February), five peer-reviewed articles were published in journals such as The Journal of Popular Culture, the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and The Journal of Popular Television, and eight volumes featuring contributions penned by yours truly came out. Two of my monographs-in-progress were contracted and a handful of new publication projects emerged. I finally made it to a conference in the U.S., giving a paper at ICFA39 in March. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it to IGA2018 due to rupturing a disk just two days before I meant to board the plane.

The 'project' of introducing video games to American Studies (and/or vice versa) continued. After the panel on video games and American culture at the 2017 annual conference of the Austrian Association for American Studies, I managed to get two video game-related panels in for EBAAS2018 (the British/European Association for American Studies conference—which purportedly had an acceptance rate of <25%), in late April, Sascha Pöhlmann hosted a conference devoted to video games and American Studies in Munich, and my partner in crime, Steve Rabitsch, and I again conducted a video games panel at the 2018 AAAS conference. At that conference, I was voted into the association's board and became the managing editor of JAAAS: The Journal of the Austrian Association for American Studies.

However, the highlight of the year only took place about a month ago, our Worlding SF conference, which featured about 100 papers and 200 participants from over 25 countries, including keynotes by Mark Bould, Cheryl Morgan, and Gerry Canavan. Judging by the feedback, it was an incredible conference—which I, unfortunately, didn't really get to experience, running around all the time. The conference also brought some internal BS to the surface (though not at the conference per se), but I don't want to (nor legally can) go into that.

While 2019 shapes up to be similarly productive in terms of publications and whatnot (although there won't be another conference in the U.S. in the cards this year), there is a not-so-phantom menace lurking in the not-so-distant future. My current contract will terminate at the end of January 2020. While there is some news on that front that I can't quite make public yet, unless something surprising happens, my time in Graz will come to an end in 2020. However, since the IPCC predicts a climate catastrophe in 12 years if humankind won't change its ways (newsflash: it won't), the fact that I can't plan more than one year ahead might actually not be something to worry about ...


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