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Friday at the 'zoo

After breakfast with Cornellians and a Brown student, I went to Jan Ziolkowski's plenary. I knew from past experience that he's an amazing speaker: funny, entertaining, erudite, and well-spoken. A third of his talk was pseudo-society-like, the rest was supported by references provided in full with a finely-printed eight-page handout. Despite my lassitude from marginally less sleep than I would have liked, he was easy to listen to. Afterwards, a chocolate-chip coated chocolate doughnut tided me through the morning session.

I went to the DISTAFF session on textile trade, which was delightful - if nothing else, I now know of the trade of the friperers. Friperers were secondhand clothing salesfolk, a thriving trade in an era where clothing was so much more of a major investment. I would love to know more about them.

After the Avista board meeting, a wrangle of planning, I was distracted from my afternoon's intended session but a multitude of discussions and conversations. I meant to make it to the bookroom, but spent too much time in conversation to make it there. Still, in the process, I caught up with old friends, acquired a list of people in cognate fields to contact about London jobs or volunteer work, and sketched out a roundtable session for next year's Kalamazoo with juniperus.

Fourteen of us ate dinner in a caverous barn of a building (the Firehouse Bar and Grill); only five of the group did not have a weblog to the best of my knowledge, sursamajor being the most recent to join the hordes online. I ate a dull taco salad and stole fries from everyone else after inadvertantly insulting the venue to the waitress.

I made it back to campus in time to intercept part of the York reception. I'd already had a good chat with Mark Ormrod earlier in the day, so joined griffinick in getting to know Linn Mooney, J.B.'s mother, and newest professor of Medieval paleography at York! I also met Nicola MacDonald, who was at Toronto before I was, has taught at York since shortly after I left, and is currently advising my Smith/York/Toronto correspondant, who I met over Christmas. Medieval academia is a very small place, you see.

Despite all the enthralling conversations and pleasant meetings, the real highlights of my days were moments which marked my increasing establishment in my field: I'm now on the board of directors of Avista, and was invited to give a talk during this coming academic year. Perhaps someday - even someday soon - committee work and talks may seem mundane to me. These are my first of each, and I am thrilled.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)
board of directors! invited talk! that's great, congratulations!

Also, you're a great professional networker.
May. 8th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you and thank you!

Before this congress, it just felt as if I knew quite a few people. After the past few days, I really am starting to feel like a decent networker!
May. 7th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)
Textile history
Did I ever mention the paper on London silk weavers at the London Women's History Day Conference? I was rivetted - the person who gave it also does silk-weaving using the methods they did.
May. 8th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Textile history
You mentioned it, but I don't think I have the presenter's name to pursue the information further. I didn't quite make a talk on the making of medieval multi-strand bookmarks, most of which were examples of silk passementerie (decorative trim). Do you remember or could you locate the presenter's name? (And affiliation, if the information is handy.)
May. 8th, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Textile history
Ruth Singer, who is at the Victoria and Albert Museum (I can't make head nor tail of what their departmental descriptions actually mean) - I have her email, which I'll email. She was actually talking about 'silk throwsters' - I couldn't remember the word offhand - weaving silk cloth didn't happen until early modern period, they were using itty-bitty loom things or braiding and so on, to make trim, cords, seal-bags, bookmarks, etc.
Apr. 28th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
Re: Textile history
ooh, that's me. contact me if you want any more info on silkwomen!

May. 7th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
That is so great! Congratulations!
(My dad is writing a book -- part of why he attended that conference -- and he gets invited to lecture sometimes and he is always very chuffed.)
May. 8th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm sorry I missed your parents. I would have loved to meet up with them. It's a good conference. What does your dad work on, other than a book in general? Or is the book set in the Middle Ages?
May. 7th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
May. 8th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Also, thank you for your beautiful note. I did indeed enjoy your presentation. It was very nicely done. Keep me posted on where the research goes in the future!
May. 7th, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
have fun networking ;) You seem to be doing very well, next thing you know you'll be signing book deals hehe. :D
May. 8th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
I wish...

Thank you!
May. 9th, 2005 01:07 pm (UTC)
See, and I get to say I knew you before you were famous...;)
May. 10th, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC)
I love this sentence:

"I ate a dull taco salad and stole fries from everyone else after inadvertantly insulting the venue to the waitress."

It gives such a great image of the scenario in so few words. It contains both humor and tragedy.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )