I've been spending less time blogging in the last few days because I've been working on several things I've been sending off for publication. Actually, they're all for the same series of books looking at pop culture phenomena from a philosophical perspective. I received word on Saturday that my submission "Mutants and the Metaphysics of Race" was accepted for the forthcoming Blackwell volume The X-Men and Philosophy. I'm very happy about that, because it should be a lot of fun to write, and it reflects a lot of the things I'm writing about in my dissertation.
The due date for submissions to two other books in the series is tomorrow, and I've been putting together three submissions, two of them based on things I've written about on this blog before. I've reflected before about destiny in Harry Potter and the limits of authorial intent given some of J.K. Rowling's comments about her stories. The one that took a lot more new thinking was about providence and chance in The Hobbit, which was a lot harder to think through than the same questions would have been for The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion.
I thought about something on race in Harry Potter, but I already had these two posts that I could refashion into abstracts for chapters, and I do have a lot of grading to do and still some class prep for tomorrow, so I went with the quicker path. I think it might have beenm harder to come up with something as philosophically-oriented given that the metaphysical issues wouldn't have been as upfront as the difficulties I'm going to be pointing out with seeing mutants as a race. With ethical issues, there would be much less that's controversial that Harry Potter is suited for pointing out. (The examples Rowling gives are much more clearly wrong in an uncontroversial way than the kinds of racism that really aren't universally seen as bad.) It's probably for the best, because now if any of these get accepted it will be a publication, albeit a popular-level one, on a philosophical topic other than my dissertation, and that shows more well-roundedness.
It remains to be seen if any of these will be accepted, but having one accepted for a different volume certainly helped provide the energy necessary to write up what I'd been thinking about for a while. Now I need to get something published in an academic journal in case any of these get accepted, or potential departments I apply to might think I'm only capable of publishing philosophy for a popular audience.