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December 3, 2007

west brunswick toodle-oo

Posted by dogpossum on December 3, 2007 11:18 AM in the category conferences and djing and lindy hop and other dances and travel

So November is over. It was ok.

  • I had a birthday (that was ok)
  • I liked all the moustaches (I don't think there's enough facial hair in the world, and it made dance partners extra interesting)
  • we did mlx and it went well (biggest ever, zillions of interstaters and internationals, the usual reluctance on the part of Melbournites to play nice with guests)
  • we had galaxy plus a round of dancers stay with us (and that was very nice)
  • I did all my marking and got it in with plenty of time to spare
  • I got a job interview for a postdoc (argh! next week!)
  • I got a small grant to get me to the CSAA conference this week (double argh! paper not written! flights not booked! accommodation not sorted!)
  • I've had a few punters ringing me offering DJing gigs (I am resolute about only taking paying gigs - I've done enough freebies to know I never want to do one again, unless it's for a real charity)
  • Galaxy and I met up with Mz Tartan pre-GG and the Austenauts (dang, I'm sorry I missed that! blogged with excellence here) and she was surprisingly cool, calm and collected
...and now I'm desperately trying to get my sleep pattern back to normal for the conference this week. I managed to have a relatively stress-free MLX (in fact, incredibly so), and slept at least 8 hours every night. From 8am til 4pm most days, but still, 8 fat hours of solid, dreamless sleep. Unheard of.

I've also met another dancer doing a phd on dance stuff, but she lives in Perth, so we're squeezing in a natter-fest tomorrow before she flies out. She's into sociology and anthropology and I'm not sure she's up there with the hardcore sister action. But we'll see. It'll be neat just to sit and have a nice, nerdy chat.

I'm planning to meet up with the Adelaidean dancers during the conference visit this week (Wednesday). So I'll be able to say I've danced in every scene in Australia. Except Launceston. That should be nice.

My paper is pretty much done - just some tidying up to do. It's a combination of bits from these three posts, but obviously with far less detail, seeing as how I only get 20 minutes. 20 minutes kills me, especially when I want to play some music and clips of dancers to actually make clear what I'm talking about. It's ridiculous to talk about dancing without showing any, particularly when you're talking about gender performance in dance. In fact, it's so ridiculous I should just show 6 clips and provide an exercise sheet to stimulate group discussion, a la tutorials past.

I've also noted I'm in kind of a dud session, parallel with papers I'd really like to see, and which everyone else would really like to see as well. Not a big deal, really, and just desserts for someone who fucked the programming around at the last minute (I'd missed out on another grant and cancelled on the organisers, then been offered one by someone else, so squeezed back into the program - people who pull that shit deserve to get dud sessions). But it's parallel with an old buddy's paper and in a session of licorice allsorts, so we'll have trouble asking each other questions. It is in the last session of a day, but this time it's not the last session of the last day, so I guess it's ok.
I don't mean this to sound like a big old bitch - I really am very lucky to be going at all, and I don't want you to think otherwise. But the part of me that's trying to get a job keeps saying 'how will you pimp your fine self out if there's no one in the audience?' But really, it only takes one. And there'll be plenty of afternoon teas for me to pimp myself about. I'm cringing, writing that stuff. I hate the thought of such aggressive self aggrandising, but at the end of the day, in such a competitive job market, I have to be a bit pushy.
So I'm going to experiment with performing pushiness, and pretend like I'm one of those blokes who, obliviously, introduces himself to all the Names at conferences. It's the sort of thing chicks tend to be reluctant to do. And as a consequence, those pushy blokes get remembered, simply because the chicks have been to shy to step up.
But I'm going to focus on Names that mean something to me - you know, the Old Girls network. The ladies who do. The sorts of women academics who I admire and want to work with and be like. They're the ladies who'll call me on bullshit pushiness and demand some sort of fer real talk. No bullshit (unless it's a story about my career as a stunt woman and there are Tasmanians in the room), all kick arse Sister. No pathetic arse-kissing. No sycophancy.... like I'd have the patience for that. And for sure I'd forget that it's not cool to swear in polite company. Must remember that for the job interview, actually. Swearing = not cool.
But we'll see. No doubt I'll forget all these plans and end up talking shit and eating all the chocolate biscuits with the homies from UQ. Awesome.

Galaxy asked me the other day if I'd written a 'why dance is important to cultural studies' paper, and I haven't. I'm not sure I really, hugely care - if you don't dance you don't understand why it's important. Words won't help convince you - you have to feel it to understand why it's good stuff. But I do have a short list of reasons which include things like 'class' and 'not needing literacy' and 'ethnicity' and 'faster than words' and 'freakin' great fun!' I'll have a think, though. Perhaps it'll be a paper I write when I actually have a job or a book or more than half a dozen papers. Right now I think I'd get more from a paper called 'Why cultural studies needs dogpossum' which is so effective it gets me lots of jobs. But I'll work on it.

Posted by dogpossum on December 3, 2007 11:18 AM in the category conferences and djing and lindy hop and other dances and travel