coraa: (sirens 2009)
Since I know a lot of my flist attends Sirens, presents programming at Sirens, or just plain loves Sirens--

Remember that the Sirens programming submission deadline is May 10 this year, which is coming up. (My goodness, 2013 seems to be passing in a blur....) And since all programming at Sirens is attendee-driven, if you're thinking, "I'd love to see X at Sirens!", now is your chance to either propose it yourself or bug your friends to do so. ;)

We always end up with fabulous programming, so I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with!

(I know I haven't posted in donkeys' years. I'd like to promise that I'll post more soon, but we all know how those promises go. But I miss you all! That much I can say with truth.)
coraa: (sirens)
Another set of panel notes! (These are out of order, because some of these need more editing than others.) This was a fun one: I personally happen to think the golden age of YA, inasmuch as there is one, is right now; there were certainly great YA books when I was a teenager, but frankly most of the new and interesting things I see in fantasy these days is coming out in YA, and I quite cheerfully read mostly YA as an adult myself. (This is not meant as a zinger against my friends who write books for adults, nor is it universally true! It's just a trend I've noticed.)

Moderator: Rachel Manija Brown ([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija)
Panel: Janni Lee Simner ([livejournal.com profile] janni), Malinda Lo (http://www.malindalo.com/), Sarah Rees Brennan ([livejournal.com profile] sarahtales)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase.

Panel notes )
coraa: (sirens)
This was one of the panels I was looking forward to the most, because I really think that non-Western European fantasy is a topic and inspiration that has not been much tapped (in the Western market, anyway). Also, I was curious how the panelists were going to define "faerie" in a non-Western context. I wasn't disappointed: the panel was fascinating.

Moderator: Shveta Thakrar ([livejournal.com profile] shvetufae)
Panelists: Cindy Pon (http://cindypon.com/blog/), Andrea Horbinski ([personal profile] ahorbinski), Valerie Frankel (http://frankelassociates.com/calithwain/author.htm)

For privacy reasons, I'm only including LJs/blogs of people on the panels if their LJs or blogs include their names in some kind of clear fashion, on the principle that the connection is therefore already public. That said, if I have miscalculated and you want me to remove either your real name or your blog link, or if you want me to use a different link, please let me know and I'll do so immediately.

Notes behind the cut. People are attributed by initials; Q/C indicates an audience comment or question. As always, transcribed fast and edited only glancingly, misattributions and errors are my own, assume everything outside of quote marks is a paraphrase. ??? indicates a name I missed; if someone else can fill that in, I would be forever obliged!

Note: As Shveta disclaimed at the beginning of the panel, the terms "mythology" and "folklore" are used in the technical sense of "sacred stories" and "knowledge of the people," and not in the colloquial sense of "untruths." Use of the terms is not intended to cast any aspersions on the credence or truth of the ideas and beliefs. Some of the things being discussed are still part of a living religious tradition, and are respected as such. That being the case, I've preserved the terminology used in the panel itself.

Panel Notes )

EDIT: A link to the presentation handout.
coraa: (changeling)
In a week, I'll be in LA; a week from Wednesday, I'll be at Sirens.

Who am I going to see there? :D
coraa: (history)
I had a marvelous time at the MAP conference with [livejournal.com profile] morganlf. I have reams and reams of handwritten notes, which I will begin work transcribing so I can post them!

In general, it was very interesting to go to an academic conference as a non-academic. It's the first academic conference I'd ever been to. (Sirens has the shape of an academic conference, but is run by fans, and so is not quite the same thing. In a good way.) I'm sure there must've been at least one other person who just went as a person interested in medieval studies (as opposed to as a grad student, post-doc, or professor), but I didn't see any.

In a lot of ways I think I enjoyed it all the more for that: I didn't have to network if I didn't want to, could just attend whatever sessions caught my fancy (and skip sessions if I felt like it; I spent a few sessions with a cup of coffee and my laptop, writing, because I wanted a break from Focused Listening), and was free of the pervasive anxiety about acceptances, publications, jobs. I listened to fascinating sessions, and enjoyed a beautiful, clear, blue-sky spring day on the lovely University of Puget Sound conference with the daffodils coming up and the apple trees in bloom.

The highlight, though, was on Saturday. We'd just sat through the plenary (which featured the most unbelievably beautiful illuminations from the Arnstein Bible), and were discussing going home early since poor [livejournal.com profile] morganlf was coming down with a dreadful head cold. (I hope you feel better, by the way!) And then, across the room, I spied a familiar profile.

In college, I had a professor, one of the medievalists, who was my favorite prof and my senior thesis adviser. I took a ton of classes with him over the course of my time there, from the general medieval overview course my freshman year through a series of courses focusing on various elements of medieval central Europe (Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, Austria). He was my adviser for my thesis on Charlemagne's capitularies and manorial management. But it hadn't even occurred to me that he might be there.

"OMG," I said to [livejournal.com profile] morganlf, "that's my professor!"

"Go say hi to him!" she said. "I'll watch your laptop!"

So I lunged across the rotunda, saying, "Doctor Knoll! Doctor Knoll!" And I had that little flash of thinking, wait, he's had thousands and thousands of students, it'll be kind of embarrassing if he doesn't really remember me....

But he turned around and smiled really wide and said, "Connie!"

We had a nice chat, during which it became even more clear that he actually did remember me. ("I was just thinking of you this year. I'm trying to reorganize my library before my move, and I was wishing I had someone to help me who had both an understanding of library organization and the history of central Europe, and you popped immediately to mind.") He also didn't seem to be fazed about the fact that I just went to work after college instead of grad school, and he was downright delighted that I was still interested enough, nonetheless, to attend the conference so I could keep learning. I also found out that he retired two years after I graduated, and is moving to Portland soon. So we exchanged contact info.

I'm really glad. He was part of what made my undergraduate experience at USC so great: he was very intelligent and academically rigorous in his classes, and pushed us to do well—but in a way that was unfailingly supportive and genuinely kind, and that made me believe that he actually cared and wanted every one of us to do well. And he was a fantastic thesis adviser. I'm so glad I got to see him again. It was absolutely the perfect ending to a very fun conference.

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