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I picked this session in part for the promise of an LGTBQ+ topic, and in part for an examination of race in early modern literature. But the middle paper also potentially intersects my interests (see the LHMP tag for Mary Wroth).

Sidney’s "Black Boies": Race as Emblem in the New Arcadia - Dr. Kathryn DeZur, PhD, SUNY Delhi

I primarily picked this session for the 2nd paper on a clothing topic, which was definitely worth coming for all on its own. I had skipped the first two sessions to work on this week's podcast (which should have been done already!) but may go back and pick up one of them in recorded form next week.

Personifications of Abstract Ideas as Expressions of Donors' Elite Status in Late Antiquity - Prolet Decheva, University College Dublin

Normally, browsing the bookroom at Kalamazoo is a kid-in-a-candy store type experience. The books are there, physically. You can leaf through them and figure out whether they hit the spot of your particular interests. Not having that direct interaction made it a bit difficult to determine what I wanted to buy, in this case. But there were still the conference discounts…

So here are the titles I ordered, that will trickle in over the next month or so, complete with commentary on why I bought it.

Publisher/Vendor: The Compleat Scholar

Usual reasons for listening to sessions of history of magic. A bit concerned that that presenters and presider make up over ¼ of the people on screen.  Ah, no, they just announced that three of the four anthropologists listed in the panel won’t be appearing, so the actual audience ratio is higher.

And I ended up noping out of the session. No one had actually come prepared to speak to the subject, so it ended up being a meandering discussion that would have been great as “hanging out in the bar shooting the breeze” but doesn’t work as a formal session. Sometimes that happens.

Honestly, I added this to my schedule with no idea what the content is going to be. I was originally planning to do a bike ride in this time-slot, but I just got my second Moderna shot this morning and decided to take it easy. Roundtables typically involve multiple short presentations (we have 5 people on the panel) followed by discussion. I don’t think I’m going to try to take detailed notes [spoiler: I took detailed notes], but rather give an overall impression at the end. Hmm, but they’re testing the presentations before the panel and there are fancy purses. So maybe notes after all?

In addition to a general interest in early medieval cultures, in early Ireland, in Viking-era material culture, the simple fact that I have a book planned in Viking-era Ireland would make a session like this irresistible.

Gendered Patterns of Labor in Early Medieval Ireland: The Bioarchaeological Evidence - Rachel E. Scott, DePaul University

[Note: the presenter has requested that images not be presented on social media out of respect for the human remains. I’m interpreting this narrowly with regard to images this time.]

Went off and did a 10 mile bike ride during an “off” session to get my blood pumping and get away from the screen for a while. Now I’m sitting down to enjoy light snacks served in my reproduction medieval tableware and taking in one more session of papers today.

I’m going to be a bad, bad scholar here, because I’m only really interested in one paper in this session – the last one – and so I’m not going to take notes on the other ones. Sorry. (And apologies to the other two speakers if, by some unfortunate quirk of online searching, this comes to your attention.)

The Measure of a Man: Patrons, Priors, and Narrative Themes in the Book of the Foundation of Walden Monastery - Stephanie Skenyon, University of Miami

(not blogged)

Another history of magic session, and one that isn’t being recorded so it got precedence for watching above the other three things I wanted to attend. (The recorded sessions will be available for watching starting next Monday, so the ‘zoo blogging will extend into a second week.) I got to sleep in today, since none of the 6am sessions (9am by conference time) appealed to me. So I was able to set up a leisurely birthday breakfast with sourdough smoked salmon pancakes.

I’m something of a sucker for food-related sessions, though I’m sometimes disappointed because I’m used to hanging out with folks who work at a pretty in-depth level (as well as many of them being excellent cooks). Food is a major thread running through my historical fiction, which provides another reason for packing away layers of knowledge in the compost-heap memory. With five papers in this session (rather than the default three), they will presumably be a bit on the shorter side.


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