The start of term, and the end of the conference season

Term is officially here (or does 0th week not count?). Seeing the freshers unloading reminds me of my own arrival here, which was 2 years ago now. Time flies, and as I enter my third year it definitely seems to be shifting quicker.

Last Friday I attended the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association (FWSA) and Contemporary Women’s Writing Association (CWWA) conference on the theme ‘Feminism and Academia: An Age of Austerity?’ at the University of Nottingham. This was the last conference I have lined up for 2012, and I presented a paper on book reviewing practices in feminist journals and webzines. You can read the abstract online. (Which reminds me, I have a book review in the new issue of Modern Language Review.) Presenting on something other than poetry made a nice change, but was also a little nerve wracking.

Over lunch, the two host associations held their respective AGMs. I was running for the CWWA’s Website Officer position, and I’m pleased to say I was elected. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth into another WordPress based site.

The conference was a great success. Bringing together different associations with similar outlooks to host a joint conference is one way to combat the financial austerities, and the different papers and keynotes showed that across the humanities disciplines, feminist scholars are acknowledging the changing circumstances of Higher Education and adapting. I listened to papers on queer theory, medieval literature, Jane Austen scholarship, African feminism and women in Austrian science. I also attended an early career workshop, a panel discussion and a keynote from Professor Mary Eagleton on the anxious female in austerity academia in fiction in the modern and contemporary period.

As term gets underway, I have plenty to be getting on with. I have a plan of my thesis targets in place, and the Strange Bedfellows project launched today. I’ll also be welcoming my Modern Irish Literature students to our virtual learning environment on Wednesday.

(via AyeshaKazmi from the Occupy Boston protest, found on Mark Carrigan’s blog)

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