Sunday, April 12, 2009

my first SAA

Cool stuff:

-- Getting to meet up with Bardiac and Flavia! It was very nice, in Bardiac's case, to finally be able to put a face with the name, and in Flavia's case, to have an actual conversation, which we didn't really have time to do the last time we met.

-- My seminar group did not say anything horrible or terrifying about my paper. This was, admittedly, mostly because they didn't have time to say very much at all about my paper, but several people told me afterwards that they liked it, and some of the other topics of conversation gave me ideas about ways this essay could be expanded / folded into the larger argument I'm making in the dissertation book manuscript.

-- Free exam copies! (And a couple of other books that were very expensive even with the last-day discounts, but I figured the expense was justifiable since they are both Useful Reference Texts and Books That Can Be Lent Out To Students. I am slowly building a library of Books To Lend Out To Students, because our actual library is woefully inadequate for just about everything.)

-- Being around several hundred other Shakes-geeks. This does not happen often enough, and I'm starting to feel like I have an actual cohort of people to hang out at conferences, thanks to the miracle of the Internet.

-- Papers about gangster Othello. There really need to be more papers about the myriad ways that YouTube enhances one's appreciation of Shakespeare.

-- Getting to say hello to Advisor and Youngest Committee Member, although I fear that I may have been unintentionally rude to Youngest Committee Member, despite her assurances to the contrary. (YCM is one of those scary-brilliant young female faculty members who always make me go tongue-tied and feel like I'm perpetually wrongfooting myself, although she's quite a decent person who always comes across as very human and genuine in front of grad students, so I'm not sure why she intimidates me so much.)

Not-so-cool stuff:

-- Being gladhanded by the Annoying E---n M----n Representative. (Blanking out the press's name because I'd prefer that this blog not turn up on Google searches, not because it is the academic publishing equivalent of Lord Voldemort, although come to think of it, the latter may actually be true.) Note to publishing reps: using the phrase "peer review and all that crap" does NOT help your press project an air of academic rigor; also, when you approach potential authors, it is better not to use manners that you learned on a used car lot. (Actual quote: "Do you have a father? Do you have a grandfather? Well, I'm the granddaddy of academic publishing." Yes. Really.)

-- Not having the nerve to approach other, less alarming publishing representatives, people whose scholarly work I admire, etc. Really, I suck at this networking thing, and being around masses of Senior Scholars always makes me feel like a jittery bundle of social awkwardness and an intellectual lightweight.

-- The sound system guy at the Lucrece reading. Trust the text, please. Trust your actors, because they're good. You don't need all the fancy reverb and sonic distortion. Honest.


Greenwit said...

hiya. I had a similar encounter with the guy from EM a couple of years ago. He's very creepy, and he depends on people not knowing that to lure them into publishing with him, which is always a mistake. On the other end of the spectrum: Erika at Ashgate. Truly a kind person who cares about her list. Always happy to talk to younger scholars, too. If you're feeling a bit over-awed by the CUPs and OUPs... you can always talk things over with Erika.

Fretful Porpentine said...

Thanks, Greenwit!

Flavia said...

It was great to see you again, too!

Bardiac said...

Indeed, nice to meet you :) And Flavia, too!r

Susan said...

My SAA experience is that often in seminars there are papers that are not explicitly addressed. (Once I was a commenter, and we were assigned papers to talk about, but otherwise not.)

Doctor Cleveland said...

"Peer review and all that crap" is a wonderful phrase. Except it tneds to segue into "your so-called tenure review, la di da."

If someone at a conference asks me if I have a father, I'm going to say, "Do you know something I don't?"