This weekend I’m away in Asheville, NC, for INCS, and really looking forward to a few days discussing the nineteenth century.
INCS is a little different from other conferences I’ve been to in terms of its format for sessions. Instead of reading my paper, I uploaded my 8-10 page document for my fellow panel members, and those thinking of attending my panel, to read in advance. Then, at my session on Sunday morning (I do hope some people show up…) I just present a 5-7 minute summary of the paper. This leaves a lot more time in the session for discussion which, if people really have read the papers, should be of a high quality. Or at least I guess that’s the plan. I wonder slightly whether this is a better format for smaller, more focused conferences, but I’ll be interested to see how it works here anyway. So far it feels like it’s been more preparation than I normally end up doing for a conference, but I’ve really enjoyed reading the papers in advance.
The theme this year is ‘natural and unnatural histories’. I’m presenting on Sunday morning (Panel 10D Re-reading religion) as part of a panel exploring Victorian religious understandings of history; my paper focuses on how women missionaries could understand themselves as significant historical actors – more about this another time.
I’m also looking forward to facilitating a panel on Friday, discussing Victorians’ responses to Darwinism (Panel 3B After/Against Darwin). Should be really great.
I’ll try to live-tweet when I can – follow me on twitter if you don’t already – details on the right.