Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The PIC Roundup

Being buried under a stack of grading, I will be brief. I had a good time at the recent PIC conference. It was great to meet Scu, after reading his blog Critical Animal (his thank yous are here) and occasionally corresponding via email, and he and his co-organizer Cecile Lawrence did a great job getting everything together. 

Peter Gratton delivered a sharp (and polemic) keynote address, wedging his position on what he calls 'real time', and 'temporalism' (that "all political categories must stand the test of time"), between the new materialisms (many iterations of which sound like 'new' vitalisms) and the permutations of speculative realism. I discovered that, not only do we share agreement on the critique of the concept of equality, but also that I might be marching on some of these other problems from a very different direction. Peter's brief thoughts are here, and his summary of his Monday talk at Cornell are here.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Barber, who was also part of the panel I was one, and, who not only presented a strong paper, but managed to convince many of us (this was during the evening, not the panel) that "buying back in" had a much more humorous and subtle series of significances than much more often used "doubling down."

Finally, a big thanks to Ross Birdwise, who split the four to five hours of driving time between Ottawa and Binghamton, with good conversation.

2 comments:

Doc Nagel said...

I have extremely mixed memories of going to PIC as a grad student and later. My first conference presentation, in (gulp) 1994 was there - and I and my buddy Paul presented papers on Hunter Thompson there, with an audience of three. Good times.

Devin Z. Shaw said...

This one was (more than likely) very different. There were no three person audiences, and there were many junior professors from other universities and colleges (myself included) presenting papers (which apparently is not the historical norm). These changes were attributed by some to the wide distribution of the CFP on blogs.