Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Time tell, but epistemology won't: update.

As mentioned in previous posts, I attended and presented at UCI's Time Will Tell, But Epistemology Won't conference last Friday, which was a really unique event. As a combined tribute to Richard Rorty, celebration of his archives, and assessment of his legacy, the conference provided the opportunity for interdisciplinary discussions between people in fields that you don't usually see together at academic conferences: librarians, technology and information studies experts, philosophers, literary scholars, and students in all these areas. It was one of those intimate all day conferences in which almost everybody attends almost every talk, which personally I like, though there's always the risk that it will get tedious. Fortunately, this one was not tedious, loaded as it was with excellent talks.

Our panel was titled "21st Century Scholarship," which ended up being a little ironic in light of the fact that ours was probably the presentation most focused on materials found in the paper--rather than the born digital--archives. Not content with our inadvertent portrayal of the 21st Century Scholar as a Luddite, audience-members pressed us to contrast our experiences with the paper and digital archives, resulting in a conversation about the writing and revision process, searchable content, and the future of the humanities. It was (dare I say it?) fun.

Highlights for me included meeting Mary Varney Rorty--Rorty's widow and literary executor--as well as talks by Christine Borgman, Ian Bogost, and Michael Bérubé. For those interested, Prof. Liz Losh's blog has several posts detailing the talks given at the conference, while both Bérubé and Bogost have posted blogs about their experiences at (and before) the conference. As an added bonus, Losh's blog includes a link to Bogost's paper, which I highly recommend.

I'd love to say more, but I've got about an hour to come up with something interesting to tell my class about Heart of Darkness and write a letter that will convince the Algerian government that I can be trusted to take a train across their fine nation.

Oh, and my qualification exams are one week away.

There's no place like home...there's no place like home...

1 comment:

anna said...

best of luck, bjg. you'll knock it out of the park.