This update is coming a bit later than I would have liked, but I wanted to get some things done first, and there's something I couldn't talk about publicly until recently. (There's actually something else coming soon that I can't quite talk about yet, but I didn't want to wait for that too! UPDATE: here it is!) So here we are, almost exactly in the middle of summer... and let me tell you what I've been up to since my last update at the end of March.
By the way, the picture at the top of the post is actually not the view out of my window, but it is what I imagine about when I think about retirement. (Sigh.) It's my happy place, wherever it is.
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Just yesterday, I submitted the manuscript of The Oxford Handbook of Ethics and Economics to my editors, all 27 chapters, 995 manuscript pages, or 282,327 words of it. (I immediately tweeted the news with the GIF to the right, which shows what I'm still doing today.) I've done a lot of edited volumes, some with co-editors but most of them by myself, but this was by far the largest and most involved project I've been involved with. I've been told that there will be a page at Oxford's site for the book fairly soon, so I'll hold off on further details until then (which will likely be posted at Economics and Ethics, natch). From what people tell me, we managed to finish it fairly quickly, for which I'm grateful to all of my contributors—including the one who bet me it wouldn't be finished until 2020. (He should have known better: even my co-edited volume on procrastination was delivered on time!)
My scholarly output was fairly limited the last few months to editing the handbook (and writing my chapter and introduction for it), but I did manage to write a short piece on the relationship between economics and ethics for a journal symposium (which was well timed, helping me to think through some issues I was planning to discuss in the handbook introduction anyway), and do the normal amount of journal article refereeing and book proposal reviewing.
And oh yeah, I wrapped up the academic semester too. Here's a photo from commencement day, with my indispensable administrative assistants Florinda and Joan, who actually run my department. (I never gave much thought to my own graduations, but I've come to appreciate them more and more since I became a department chair.)
I am mulling several possible academic projects now that I wrapped the handbook, one of which may have been proposed to a press and may be under review as we speak. (Maybe.)
It's not academic, but before we get to the comics-related stuff, I'll mention the trio of Psychology Today posts since my last update: "What Is the 'Other' Issue in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case?" (June 4), "Helping the Self-Loathing Break Out of Their 'Comfort Zone'" (June 14), and "What If Your Partner Doesn't Believe Adultery Is Wrong?" (June 29).
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There's a fair bit of news to announce in the comics realm. First, Doctor Strange and Philosophy was released in May. According to the first Amazon review, it may hurt your brain, but "in a good way." High praise! (And check out my pal Scott's Nerdsync video on the philosophy of Thanos, which draws on the nihilism discussions in the Doctor Strange book.)
More recently, I launched my new blog I've been hinting at for a while, The Virtues of Captain America, which serves as an online complement to the book of the same title. As explained in the About the Blog page, my plan is to go through every appearance of Cap from his Silver Age revival in 1964's Avengers #4, exploring his ethical behavior as reflected in every marvelous issue. Some comics will have more ethical content than others, of course, but I have fun with all of them.
As you can see at the right, the first three posts are currently live: Avengers #4 (March 1964), Avengers #5 and Fantastic Four #26 (May 1964), and Avengers #6 (July 1964). Soon, we'll get to his solo adventures in Tales of Suspense, which began in issue #59 (November 1964), but we'll begin with his guest appearance in issue #58 the month before. I have about 50 posts stockpiled, and I hope to keep this rolling for quite a while, posting two or three times a week.
I also wrote a couple posts at The Comics Professor, both of which happen to be on recent Captain America comics: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee's Captain America #700 and Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu's Captain America #1.
I will be mentioning the new blog—and possibly also my next superhero book, which is almost in production at long last—next week when I speak for the first time at San Diego Comic-Con. (Crazy, right? Definitely crazy.)
I'll be speaking at two panels (because one wouldn't be crazy enough):
- The Friday panel, "An Evening with Batman's Brain," will be a reprise of the event held at Victoria University in March 2016 (recounted here) with E. Paul Zehr (Becoming Batman) and Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology), plus Lee Meriwether, Michael Uslan, and Paul Levitz, and moderated by Aaron Sagers. (Note that participation can change up to the last minute.)
- The Saturday panel, "Chasing Captain America: Physiology and Philosophy from Stem Cells to Socrates," will also feature Zehr (who recently published a book titled Chasing Captain America), along with Daniel H. Wilson and (OM)G. Willow Wilson, moderated by Andrea Letamendi.
I imagine this will be quite an experience; I've only been to one major con (New York Comic-Con in 2011), and I've never spoken at one. (Needless to say, I couldn't have finished the handbook at a better time!) UPDATE: See this post for my SDCC experience.
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As I mentioned above, I should be able to discuss my upcoming book on superheroes and philosophy very soon [here it is!], so watch this space for more on that... assuming I survive San Diego! Until then, enjoy yourselves and please be kind.