Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Today, I am on my way to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to take part in the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies. It will be the fourth time I have attended the conference, and I am eager to return; I have had a good time every time I have gone so far, and I expect that I will be able to do so once again this time. I have the assurance of steady employment in the coming year, which will improve my outlook going into the event, and I have already been in touch with people I know from past years' meetings, so I am assured also of meeting up with old friends. (Not that I am saying any of them are old, per se, only that I have known them for some time. Please don't hurt me.)

While at the conference, I will be presiding over a regular session, Middle English Arthuriana, as well as presenting a paper in the Tales after Tolkien Society sponsored session and attending its business meeting. I was part of the initial sessions of the Society at the Congress, so I am eager to return to it. Too, the Society is still in its infancy, and I hope to be able to work with others to develop it into an ongoing concern. The Society is concerned with the place of medievalism in genre--and not just in fantasy literature (although certainly within it); there is much more work for it to do, and I would not be averse to taking on some of it. Indeed, it is that willingness that led me to submit to the Tales after Tolkien collected volume forthcoming from Cambria Press. (And I know I need to work on that. Guess what the first project after I get back from the conference is, as well as the reading I have decided to take with me to the conference.)

I will have computer access while I am at the Congress; Western Michigan University is generous in making resources available to conference attendees. I will still have some things to do from work; exams are not yet done, and the deadline for grade submission approaches. I expect, though, that I will be able to make a few odd comments in this webspace while I am at the great gathering of medievalists, even if they are not quite on my normal schedule. It is quite the event, and I hope to be able to convey some of the joy I feel at attending it, at being among other scholars in my field as I do not get to be as often as I would prefer, sharing ideas and partaking in some small ways of the things that we study for months and years at a time. I cannot do so as well in days-later retrospect as I can when I write daily, and so I will strive to keep up with what I post here. But I cannot make any promises...

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