Jul 7, 2013

Adventures in Academia: The Conney Conference

A few posts ago, I scratched the surface of what kinds of shenanigans I had been involved with in my academic life.  To be perfectly honest: I don't discuss my academic life much here.  Things--meaningful things--seem to get lost in the process of explaining, for example, the importance of academic conferences and the publish or perish mantra that so colors my professional world.  Discussing weddings I've attended and food I've made seems like a safer, if not more mundane and acceptable option for blogging purposes, if only because these topics are less likely to inspire awkward silences and confusion that the act of telling you about my academic life seems to inspire.

That being said: the Conney Conference on Jewish Arts, at which I presented this past spring, has recently uploaded videos of all the presentations onto its website, and so I thought perhaps you might like to see first (second?)-hand part of what I do as an academic.  

Without further ado, a link to the video page.  My presentation link is the third from the top: http://conneyproject.wisc.edu/videos-2013/  

The Conney Conference is a project of the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. This conference was really awesome in so many ways--an interesting, yet balanced mix of artists and academics from visual, dramatic, performance, musical, and yes--even culinary/domestic!--arts presented on a wide array of topics.  Everyone there was really friendly, not to mention extremely engaged, and the overall synergy was amazing to experience.

I did not take very many photos at this conference.  For one thing, the entire thing was videotaped, and is now online.  Additionally, the weather--early April in the Midwest--was rather unpleasant.  It was either quite cold, rainy, windy, or all three for the duration of the conference.  However, I did enjoy walking around downtown Madison, an area that is extraordinarily logically laid out.  I also enjoyed some fried cheese curds on more than one occasion, which I am pretty sure is a requirement for anyone visiting America's Dairyland.

The final morning of the conference, everyone met at Gates of Heaven, which is this little (former) synagogue (shown at left) that is situated right on the shore of Lake Mendota.  The dancers in residence had put together a presentation for everyone to watch, and then at the end we sat around, ate bagels (because what else would one eat at a Jewish arts conference?) and talked about how awesome the week had been.