On Panels, Conferences and Plans

I’ve just returned from the BAAS postgraduate conference at the University of Nottingham. While I didn’t give a paper, I still found it very useful. It’s interesting to see what people are up to and I’ve discovered some surprising links between my own work and that of other people. Who’d have thought that, somehow, transgression can be connected to disability in the American South and the horrible deeds of Ariel Castro?

The conference was also a nice distraction, as it took place during the weekend before my second transfer panel. I’ve worked hard on my new panel document over the past few months so being examined felt pretty daunting. I went through at least five versions of the panel in dreams during the night before. One of them included one of my supervisors in a swimming pool, asking me about my holiday plans. No joke.

But the thing went well. Obviously, there’s a lot of work to be done, but that comment didn’t come as a surprise. And actually I’m looking forward to building from the base I’ve created. Obviously the announcement that I’d passed was a huge relief. But it’s taken a few days for the message to actually land. I’ll have a proper celebration tonight.

Tomorrow it’s time for the third Public Intellectual event on media training. It will involve filming myself and others and getting feedback on it. This could potentially turn into an embarrassing and disastrous exercise, but then again, my first TV appearance happened when I was only six years old, and I did a neat job at the time. Eightteen years onwards, I hope I’ve maintained some of that professionalism.

The semester is almost over and everyone around me seems to be preparing for Christmas. This is not a good week to get loads of work done, as everyone’s banging on about pudding, trees and reindeer. I’ll be leaving the UK next Monday for a well-deserved Christmas break and will be back in January to embark on a new adventure: teaching my very first module.

Have a lovely Christmas!

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