Sunday, May 27, 2007

Resurfacing from Saskatoon

April is a dark, dark period on the academic calendar: term assignments, exams, deadlines for conference papers make the professor's life almost as stressful and overwhelming as the student's. And with that excuse out of the way for not being more active here, lets get on with it.

Coming to the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Historical Association is one of the highlights for me: I get to see friends who live scattered in the scholarly winds and hear / read a wide range of papers produced / delivered by some really smart people. Who am I kidding: it is the book fair! A great collection of publishers and editors hanging out displaying, promoting, and talking books. The friends, the smart papers, the book fair all get me very inspired and it remains for me "the" conference. Since I am actually presenting this year, my inspiration is tempered only somewhat by the stress of having to pare down a paper that was already a little too long to a measly 15 minutes. Thank goodness for the question-and-answers since it is there when, inevitably, you get to work in all that "genius" (read: extraneous detail) left behind.

If I was truly courageous and brave, I would simply show the image at the top of this post and spend the 15 minutes explaining why I think it is both beautiful and important. Because, in the end, that is what the paper is all about. But if you are interested, take a look at the loooong version of the paper and decide for yourselves. (Session #20, Password: "sask-07")