July 13th, 2006

Fishy Circumstances

Wednesday and Thursday at the Leeds IMC

I showed up for my first session on Wednesday thinking I'd stay for the first paper and then leave in favor of a nap. But there were only three audience members, so leaving was no option. It's just as well I stayed. The session ("Ecclesiastical Advertising") was a highlight of the conference, featuring some spectacular wall paintings of tradesmen in hell, and hilarious anecdotes about the monks of Rupertsberg's poor choice of patron, and their attempts to get back Hildegard of Bingen. Later in the day, the Royal Armouries put on an armour demonstration outside on the lawn, dazzling in the sunshine, and funny to boot.

Other highlights included a paper on Saturn and Melancholia, and gallows as geographic landmarks. While the theory behind one's PhD isn't an appropriate conference paper talk, at least it was a remarkably lucid and coherent presentation. Also, I observe that it's rather rude to be the first speaker in a session and then leave before everyone else's papers.

The dance was well-attended (eventually), and more people would have stayed out until the late hours socializing on the lawn if it hadn't taken chill. The bar, reports have it, was open until the better part of 3am or so!

And now it's over. Seven long, tiring, full, rewarding days of conferencing.(Two difference conferences back-to-back for those who have lost track.) I need a vacation.

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