S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen
owlfish

Notes from Leeds

It's been a very good conference. I went to a spectacularly good paper on Italian water clocks and the Villers slates, a set of five slate tablets inscribed with directions on how to regulate water clocks. I'd missed the news from 2005 that the tower clock in Chioggia has been dated as co-temporaneous with the world's oldest known extant mechanical clock in Salisbury. The papers on armor I made it to were engaging and well-presented; plus I learned interesting things about the ubiquity of chainmail. The pair of papers I chaired on geometry and architecture ended in what was effectively a roundtable discussion, luring a question-free audience into all asking questions!

All my contributions were in the last two days of the conference. My paper session was good, inasmuch as the papers being presented were all good papers, strong narrative drive, good, interesting insightsl. Our audience was a modest seven people, and we each received one question or comment apiece. (I wished then for a roundtable discussion!) Still, two people came just to hear my paper, which all on its own made it all worth it. That evening, I joined a group of Brits for a roundtable discussion about the job market on both sides of the ocean. It was lively and brief, an hour of discussion and opinion in the midst of one-and-a-half hour sessions.

Four intensive and rich days of conferencing - yet fairly relaxed at the same time. It was a good chance to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues. I have a dozen recommended books to go away and read now - no, I didn't buy all those at the book fair. That's the bibliography accumulated in scribbles in my notebook. Although I may have bought a book or five while I was there anyways...
Tags: academia
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