|from the Life Magazine archive at Google|
This is a good time, then, to disabuse non-academics of the common misconception that college faculty “have the summer off,” and non-Floridians of the notion that life here is a blur of beaches and mojitos.
The educational mission of universities like FIU includes the production of new knowledge through research and discourse. Yes, we spend a lot of time teaching (and much more time preparing to teach or evaluating and mentoring students), but the research component of academic labor is essential to the growth of our understanding of the world around us. FIU and other research-intensive universities evaluate junior faculty on the quality of their research through the tenure review process, and continue to evaluate senior faculty through the promotion process.
So how did I spend my summer vacation?
|The view of the Tuscan landscape from |
one of the archives where I worked this summer.
But the big news for the summer was that my book manuscript won the James Ackerman Prize, conferred by the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. Professor Ackerman is one the great living scholars of Renaissance architecture, and he endowed the prize as a way of recognizing young architectural historians. The prize includes publication of the book by the Centro and the Venetian publishing house, Marsilio Editori. This is a great honor, and an extraordinarily humbling one. Of course, the fun of summer “vacation” doesn’t stop just because classes are starting. With my tenure dossier due in April, the next four months are packed with writing and editing deadlines, in between the obligations of three (and a half) classes and 160 (or so) students.
And then there’s the matter of this house that needs to be completed.