Conference paper went over decently well, I think. I must admit that at least three minutes of it were devoted to explaining the exceedingly complicated plot of The Fair Maid of the West, and I didn't even get to the part about castration (that will be my next conference paper, I think). But the rest of it had some semblance of an argument, and I met some Other People Who Are Excited About Heywood, which is such a rare experience that it makes me very happy indeed.
It's sort of weird being at a conference where I know next to nobody, and of the handful of names I do recognize, most of them are members of search committees that have rejected me, or are about to do so. (I haven't gotten the official word from my most recent campus visit, but the SC member who's here didn't even look me in the eye when I passed him, which is damning.) One of my office-mates from grad school is presenting tomorrow, and I'm going to her panel session if I can get up early enough, but I have yet to run into her.
I seem to have landed a nearly-impossible assignment for the teaching demo at Last Chance Saloon College (it is something highly specific, involving an author and a historical event that are way outside of my field, AND the instructions were incredibly confusing). Ugh. Since I seem to strike out even with schools that request teaching demos on topics that are right up my alley, I'm not holding out much hope for this one. (Also, why -- WHY -- does every school request something completely DIFFERENT for the demo class? Wouldn't it be great if the MLA could mandate that all teaching demos be, say, forty-five minutes long and on a short story, poem, or scene from a play of the candidate's choice?)