Off to ACCUTE

Well, my time is up: tomorrow I leave for my nation’s capital to attend the yearly conference-formerly-known-as-‘The Learneds’. (I actually sort of wish that was still its name.) I have completed a version of my paper, which I will read to the 2 other members of the panel and the 4 or 5 other people foolish or obsessive (or kind) enough to attend a 9:00 session on Sunday morning. I had the same time slot the last time I gave a paper at ACCUTE and there were about 9 people there–a bit anticlimactic, given the amount of stress I experience in the lead-up to these events. But 9 interested people is better than 50 inattentive ones, as any teacher knows, and I appreciated the comments and questions. I did make 25 copies of my handout. I’m a Victorianist: optimism is my thing. I’ve flagged a number of other sessions I hope to attend, mostly on 19th-century topics. I’m also holding an informal lunch-hour session on academic blogging (this is the downsized version of my failed blogging panel). Lurkers: please come! You don’t have to reveal your mysterious blog-world identities. As this will be my first visit to Ottawa, I’m also planning to look around off-campus a bit; my hotel is not far from Parliament Hill, and also, if I read Google Maps correctly, not far from the Byward Market. Maybe I can get one of those Obama pastries! I’m also looking forward to dinner and lots of good book chat with Ottawa’s own Nigel Beale, and an evening with a dear friend who recently relocated to Ottawa from Vancouver.

I’ll probably post a version of my paper at The Valve, either while I’m in Ottawa or after I get back. I’m a bit nervous about putting it up over there because I know there are some people who really know a lot more than I do about some of the things I try to talk about in it. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure I’m the only Valve-er who has read In the Eye of the Sun, so I have an edge in that respect. It would be interesting, I think, to see if I get more useful feedback from the in-person discussion or the bloggers.

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