|I too enjoyed SAA this year. It was much better than last year, or, more accurately, I was much less miserable this year than last. Rather than being crammed into a too small venue, this year's reception was in a beautiful spot with plenty of room for moving around and with plenty of mojitos. (I should add that this was the only small hiccup in the Philadelphia conference; everything else about it was impeccably organized, i.e., Philadelphia was no Miami.) Rather than fretting about my Buster Bluth-like persona, I forced myself to spend more time socializing and actually met several new people whom I like a lot. And I learned more in my seminar this year (though I did enjoy last year's too). I didn't have James's enviable experience of three new paper ideas, but I did come away with some new ideas and new understandings of various issues that interest me. So, all in all, a good experience.|
Even the rumors were different this year. It seemed like last year I kept hearing gossip about someone's book being published, being accepted, being ready to send off to publishers, etc.--all information, if not designed to depress, then with the effect of depressing the hell out of me (as someone who does not have a book published, accepted, or ready to send off). This year, on the other hand, there were:
Me being me, or I being I, I'm still of course finding myself worrying inordinately about real and perceived slights I may have inadvertently given others. There are three or four that keep racing through my mind: why didn't I thank that person for that thing he did? why didn't I know that person's essay? why didn't I invite that person to dinner? why didn't I talk to that person more? But this is all part of the conference experience: three to four days of intense academic socializing mixed with academic drinking is enough to leave me quite exhausted, a little bit nervous, but also somewhat pleased.
- rumors of the "As You Like It" screening being cancelled (it wasn't, and I kind of wish I had gone to see it);
- rumors about the sexualities of sundry early modernists (I have no idea if these were true, and don't really care either way);
- rumors about finger pointing and raised voices (again, I wasn't there, so can't vouch for the accuracy of this information);
- and rumors about the real-life personae of various online academic bloggers (some true, some unverified). I guess it's worth adding that I like pseudonymous blogging. Not only do I prefer to keep my own online persona (marginal as it is) free from my real-life one, but I have no strong desire to suss out the real-life academic identities of most of the people I read. That being said, I did meet another pseudonym and was completely smitten (not in a romantic sense).