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Tuesday, 03 July 2007

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SEK

I wanted to do this, but realized it wouldn't work (RSS feeds, different monitors, &c.).

Sisyphus

Wait, I thought you lived in Southern California? Your own parking lot isn't even within walking distance of your apartment down there. (I should know; I have cousins in FV.)

Well now maybe I'll have to go. If the panels aren't concurrent. And my head doesn't explode from job market stress.

SEK

But I live in the projects. Seriously, graduate student housing is "a qualified low-income housing project," so when they take the census, I have to fill out all sort of special forms. Were I a little wealthier, I'd have to hike to my car; as it stands, I can hike to my first ever dissertation-related conference presentation ... which you must attend, under penalty of wrath and/or remorse.

CR

It's strange - usually people (whatever is going on inside) say that they don't want people to show up at this sort of thing. I don't think I've ever attended a conference where I didn't play at least one of the two parts in the following dialogue:

A: Oh man, my paper is so shitty. I wrote it on the frigging plane.
B: Come on. I'm sure it's not like that.
A: No seriously. No argument. Half my examples are from the wrong book. And I don't even talk about anything that my title claims that I will talk about.
B: No...
A: Seriously...
B: No... Really...
A: Seriously! Really!
B: Um, OK. But... You know nobody ever shows up at these things. All spouses of other presenters and some guy that go lost on the way to the gym.
A: I certainly hope so. Maybe it will be an empty room, and we can just swap papers and call it a day.

Seriously, I've had a version of that conversation at every conference with very little variation.

So what do you have to say to explain yourself and your unprofessional behavior, Scott? Rookie mistake? Hormonal imbalance? Or just unvarnished megalomania?

CR

On the other hand, I was just notified that the seminar I'm running at the conference in SoCal this fall has only 3 enrollees. I take it for granted that this means that Kugelmass hasn't sent in his registration form yet.

You are sort of in my field, Scott. What's the hold up on your end?

It hurt my feelings until I realized that it is evidence of the edgy, paradigm-shifting nature of my work.

SEK

"HORMONAL IMBALANCE"!?! ARE YOU MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE I HAD CANCER!?! Ahem, sorry, that other thread, its rhetoric went to my head. Obviously, the answer's megalomania, but mine's varnished, thank you very much.

Seriously though, it's because my paper's based on something I've researched for so long that I'm confident I'll do fine. That said, if you can find some way to publicize your seminar in that place near here without leveraging your anonymity, I'm sure you'll have plenty of people (Kugelmass especially included) eager to attend. (I warn you, though, not to look directly at the Kugelmass if you're at all attached to your sense of self-worth. Can't think of a better guy, but man, his stuff makes you wish you'd studied something you had a chance of being a Kugelmass in ... like, say, Advanced Walking.)

Jonathan Dresner

CR: I've seen some pretty slapdash papers, but on the whole the presentations I've seen at historical and Asian studies conferences have been really solid. Sometimes the presentation itself is a bit rough, but usually its based on a lot of background knowledge.

Can't speak to lit conferences, though.

I was talking to a student many years ago and she said that her father had written his MA thesis in 72 hours. I asked her if it was in Literature or Philosophy, and she seemed surprised that I'd called it (philosophy).

CR

Jonathan and Scott,

You guys are missing the point, I think. Perhaps I should have been more explicit. It doesn't matter whether you really did write the thing on the plane or slaved away on it for a semester. Totally immaterial. This is simply what one says when one is at a conference. It's the more grownup version of the mandatory disclaimer that grad students deliver before they give their seminar presentations. "Um, this is just very much a work in progress. I don't think it's very good, and it's not very clear, but maybe you'll be able to make suggestions" etc. I'm not sure I've ever heard a seminar presentation that didn't start with some variation on this move - it's like a generic mandate.

(just to be clear - I'm sort of just kidding with all of this stuff, as with nearly everything non-Moore related that I write in SEK's comment boxes. You guys see that, right?)

Sisyphus

Just Kidding? CR, does that mean you don't want people to enroll in your seminar? Or maybe that you want a large crowd but expect everybody to disclaim before they declaim? (hey, I kinda like that phrase.) But if you're doing one of those round-robin paper exchanges before the conference, they won't actually be able to properly do the "oh this is a work in progress" dance.

Is this the conference with the boat? I haven't signed up yet.

GDM

Walking distance? Assuming this is the Hyatt on Jamboree, isn't that like five or six miles from your apartment? Have I gotten so lazy that what's walking distance for others seems like a mighty trek, one to be undertaken with water bottles and flares, to me?

CR

Sisyphus - you're definitely on to something. If you look fairly carefully at my blog, you'd likely be able to guess which one is mine. (My categories are a good blue) But I don't know who you really are, therefore, I can't hold it against you if you don't sign up.

And no, I'm not kidding about that. I do want people in my seminar. 3 is a little small.

Oh, and one can (and, probably will) follow that format in a paper exchange. That's what the body of the email to which the paper is attached is for, right?

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