Sunday, November 23, 2008

Why giving a plenary at Leeds is causing mild panic attacks and a small rash

by J J Cohen

From Axel Muller's email:
Next summer's Congress has attracted a huge amount of attention among the academic community and the programme is starting to look very exciting - at the moment it looks like more than 1200 people will be actively involved in the 2009 programme ... Your lecture is intended (no pressure!) to start off the academic discussion on Heresy and Orthodoxy on the first day of the Congress (which is intended to continue for the following four days) ... The other speaker on Monday morning is intended to be John H. Arnold (School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London) ... The lecture will be held in the main conference auditorium which seats 180 (with a video relay to an adjacent room which seats a further 180) ... At risk of stating the obvious, please bear in mind that our Congress delegates are coming usually from more than 40 countries from across the world and a large proportion will be non-English native speakers (in 2008, this proportion was just under 40%). I would like to ask you to bear this in mind when preparing your lecture (which is largely about avoiding acronyms and talking too quickly).
Yeah, nooo pressure at all. I'll just wear a nice suit and juggle oranges on a unicycle while reading from my translation of Judith Butler's Giving an Account of Oneself into medieval Latin. Slowly.

7 comments:

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Ok, your Leeds panic is scarier than mine!

And considering that mine is: 1) oh, shit, Leeds! and; 2) Oh shit, the single scariest doyenne of my field is on the same panel!, that's scary.*


Remind me to buy you alcohol.


*providing, of course that the panel has been accepted which, see above on scary scholar.


Dedba: what sheep are when they aren't alive

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Oh I will most certainly remind you re: alcohol, and will keep fingers crossed til your panel acceptance arrives!

Eileen Joy said...

I will be there and you won't have to worry about the acronyms because I am having a special suit made that will have all of your favorite acronyms on it and I will sit near the main podium under a special floodlight.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Make sure that ITMBC4DSoMA is one of them Eileen, along with LOL, OMG,ROTFL, AMNBPH2A...

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Oh and WC45 (Welcome Carnivelsque 45).

tenthmedieval said...

It may only be small comfort, Prof. Cohen, and you may well know it already, but I used to work with John Arnold and he's a lovely guy whom I imagine will be a stalwart help in the questions.

Watching the plenaries at Leeds on video relay is always weird. The screens only really include the speaker, so it looks like a TV broadcast only the speaker is not talking to a camera, but loudly to an audience who aren't visible. One has to sort of tune out the incongruities and just listen , but it does mean that whatever you do your visual cues to your audience are going slightly left of centre for half of them... I think just being understandable is the greatest feat anyone can expect of a speaker in these circumstances.

ADM, I must buy you alcohol too, and I assure you that said doyenne is less scary than she used to be and is extremely likely to be very interested in your paper, too. Which is also scary but much better than her not so being...

Sarah Rees Jones said...

I'll be there. Somewhere. Though whether it will be in the first 180, the second 180 or the 3rd-class-hangers-on-840 we'll see .....