Carrie, I think, is still at the conference, but I had to head out this morning to catch my plane out of Manchester.
This was an interesting conference for me, because first of all this was my first opportunity to meet Carrie face-to-face, after communicating online with her, and collaborating on this blog, for well over a year. I still find the differences between virtual and face-to-face communication disconcerting, especially when it involves the same person, but I think it went OK. Incidentally, I learned that Hanover, like many college towns, is not a great eating town. (please correct me if I’m wrong)
The Blogging the Eighteenth panel went well, and provoked some good discussion. Anna Battigelli (Hi Anna!), who was kind enough to invite us to NEASECS, turned up, as did some old and new friends of the Long 18th. I’m hoping we can figure out an effective way to put the talks out, and perhaps see if others who were not there might be interested in chiming in and responding.
Carrie will probably give her own impressions, but I was struck by the technological divide reflected in the audience’s questions: some were familiar with the mechanics of blogging and the internet, and others were not. Some used technology in their teaching already, others were receptive to the idea but nervous about the investment of time, and some seemed pretty familiar with the whole enterprise, and were ready to start reflecting and generalizing about the impact of blogging on scholarly communications.
One of the interesting topics that came up was the whole phenomenon of trolls, and the challenge that they present to the blogs’ self-image of free and self-regulated discussion. Another question was the perennial question of “Should grad students blog?” (Answer: only in moderation, and perhaps only with pseudonyms). A third topic was the value of book events, and how different these reviews were from conventional journal reviews.
Speaking of book events, a number of people at NEASECS asked me when we would do our next collaborative reading. I think it’s time for us to gear up to do another one. Any suggestions for the next candidate? Susan Staves’s latest was mentioned again, and I’m looking to see if there are other books that might also attract some good contributors/readers. If you have any ideas for candidates, or are interested in joining in, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to set it up for the next semester.
I heard some good papers at a Libertinism and an Equiano panel, which I might blog about if I have the time/others seem interested. And keep looking for our followup to the blogging panel.