Beg pardon for delaying in posting, faithful Reader, but medieval conference season has finally begun for this Viking specialist. This is a ridiculously big deal for me. Up until this year the only medieval conference I’d presented at was the UC Berkeley Graduate Symposium. Moving back to California meant for a significant time I couldn’t afford the conferences I’d grown to love while in grad school in Europe. For those in my field- you already know. There are as few things as fun as a group of medievalists at a medieval conference. In particular Old Norse conferences are some of the most hospitable, mentally stimulating and friendly events you’ll find. I’d missed that. A lot.
This past weekend I presented at the ACMRS annual in Scottsdale. My presentation on the integration of production into medieval north Atlantic identity was well attended for a 9am Saturday morning session. I had a major case of the nerves but I still got through it. There were few questions in session but some came up after to discuss my application of medieval social theory.
I’m still reeling a bit from how well everything went. You see, literally the only person I knew at the beginning was Dr Bjork, who I had once been advised to talk to after I graduated from UC Berkeley with my BA. I’m naturally hesitant in group situations but was quickly spotted by the ACMRS staff and introduced around. I’m really grateful for that- I’ve made a lot of contacts because of it. Reader, if you happen to be one of those I met, thank you. I look forward to future years of medieval discussion with you. Those staff who saw my CV all made comment on my accomplishments at some point. For someone who began their post-secondary education at a community college to have those that are established make a point to say something means a lot. I’ve worked really hard both academically and physically to go to good schools and study under the best I could find. Very good instructors thought enough of me to encourage me when others didn’t think I could, or even should, want to holistically study the North Atlantic during the Viking Age. And here I am- accepted at conferences in multiple countries and presenting on social theory. I wonder what it was they saw then in that overly serious student.
My next conference is in April at the Medieval Association of the Pacific’s annual in Reno.