What a jolly day it was. Last Thursday the almighty American Studies Annual Review Symposium took place. Organized by myself and my colleague David. I gave a paper which summarized my project so far, and got some difficult, but thoughtprovoking questions. I actually spent the last few days looking for answers, as I believe the people who asked them pointed out some fundamental weaknesses of my project. Thanks for that, it means I can fix them.
We had three panels: one on cultural discourse, one on complex agency, and one on women’s voices. I wasn’t sure whether they were going to work; after all the individual papers were very different. But I was impressed by how well they spoke to each other. The great thing about American Studies is that it’s an interdisciplinary department; this symposium surely proved that interdisciplinarity can work (something some people aren’t so sure about). Apart from that, it was also a lot of fun.
Getting the department together – thanks for showing up in such great numbers – was also a goal we hoped to achieve, and I think we did. I’ve been toying with the idea of organising a similar thing which would also involve BA students and who knows, maybe next year. It’s always helpful for me to present my work to others and see how they do things differently; many people I know have the same experience. I keep repeating myself, but scholarship is a social activity and I think we should get together as often as we can.
Right now, I’m busy with the transferring up thing. I spent today thinking about some really difficult questions, but it’s all for the good cause. I’m tired, I need a holiday, but I’m still enjoying my work. Nothing beats the feeling of a proper eureka-moment, and I had several today. Hopefully more will follow.