Our html version of the program is now available here.
We are delighted to announce our keynote speaker for the conference: Kate Flint.
Kate Flint is Professor of English at Rutgers, and has published widely on the art and literature of the Victorian era and the early twentieth century. She has edited and introduced numerous books, including the Oxford World’s Classics editions of Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room, D.H. Lawrence’s The Rainbow, and Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? , and is the author of The Woman Reader: 1837-1914 (Oxford UP, 1993), The Victorians and the Visual Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2000; recipient of the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize of the British Academy), and the just-released The Transatlantic Indian: 1776-1930 (Princeton UP, 2008). Kate’s work has been tremendously influential within Victorian studies and has been hailed as a model of interdisciplinary scholarship, combining formidable research and theoretical acumen with an engaging writerly touch.
It looks like we’re still picking up some traffic from teh nets, and I’m in a procrastinatory mood, so I’ll do one last post, unless, Holmes-like, I decide to return from the dead. I’ve actually been meaning to do some kind of wrap-up post, but I’ve put it off. Leila and I have both been knocked out of commission by a vicious cold, made all the more vicious by pre-conference stress, and I’m still coughing, which is just annoying. And I’ve been feeling all post-partum from the conference. It happens to me at the end of pretty much every semester too, which is hella annoying.
I’m not feeling up to any commentary on the conference. I spent pretty much the whole day terrified some disaster would happen, but I’m glad that other people seemed to be having a good time. Instead, I thought I’d share how this whole damn thing began. I had just come back from T-Dot (are they still calling Toronto that?), where I was at my first away conference, a three-day affair, in April of last year. We had our long 19th century group meeting soon afterwards, and I was pretty delirious, especially since it felt like it was the 90th consecutive hour I’d spent with Anne McCarthy, my roommate at the conference, bvff (v is for victorianist), my plane mate on the trip home. After the meeting, I was blabbing about the conference, and mentioned a paper about a secret society that made arrangements for interplanetary travel via astral projection. Leila thought it would be a good idea to have a whole conference on astral projection. I agreed. Somewhere along the line the astral part dropped out, projectile vomiting entered the picture, and I learned how to do mail merge.
Our registration will now be set up in the C Level foyer, which is the first room you’ll walk through on the way to the conference rooms after exiting the elevator. Breakfast and coat rack remain in room C-205.
See you tomorrow!
when people stop buying beer.
If during the run-up to November 2008 straight girls everywhere openly declared their crushes on Rachel Maddow, queer girls confessed their hots for Nate Silver, the dude who runs www.fivethirtyeight.com. Okay, so maybe that latter is a slight exagerration, but his electoral projections were scarily accurate and his breezy explanation of sexy graphs and numbers would charm the sensible shoes off of all of us bespectacled types. His site continues to run, and he’s still blogging all those sultry, seductive statistics. A recent post showed a rather alarming trend: Q4 of 2008 showed a 9.3% decrease in purchased-off-premise alcohol revenue, which is waaaay more than anything since 1959. There could be a million explanations that don’t involve an apocalyptic scenario (although 2.5 hours of gmail downtime does not encourage my belief in the world’s continuation), but our planning of this conference certainly isn’t one of them. And, we hope, if you’ll be at the conference in whatever capacity, you’ll raise a glass to fighting this disturbing new trend. Alright, I’m off to the bodega to do my part in saving the world. After I write a page of the paper I’m working on. I promise.
Posterity! What use is it to me? A dead man doesn’t know that people are visiting his grave, visiting his birthplace, putting up tablets to him, unveiling statues of him. A dead man can’t read the books that are written about him. A hundred years hence! Think of it! If I could come back to life then–just for a few hours–and go to the reading-room and read! Or, better still, if I could be projected now, at this moment, into that future, into that reading-room, just for this one afternoon! I’d sell myself body and soul to the devil for that! Think of the pages and pages in the catalogue: ‘Soames, Enoch’ endlessly–endless editions, commentaries, prolegomena, biographies…
From the private correspondence of the famous poet.
The very same weekend as our conference, Trevor Paglen is showing some of his strange astronomical photographs at the Bellwether. Paglen’s past projects include an installation of signatures from people who exist only in the CIA’s imagination, and he has authored Experimental Geography and Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World. His exhibit at the Bellwether, “The Other Night Sky,” documents 189 classified American satellites orbiting the Earth. The combination of secrecy, photography, and objects frequently mistaken for UFOs might make this the most fantastically nerdy event (besides our conference!) this spring.