For several reasons, I prefer small academic conferences over large ones. Still, it is good to go to a major annual conference once in a while, which was the case this past weekend at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC). “Major,” however, may be inaccurate. At about 300 attendants each year, the ACTC pales in comparison to the thousands who trek annually to the MLA (language & literature), AHA (history), AAR (religion), AAA (anthropology), ASA (American studies), AAS (Asian studies), AAAS (Asian American studies), ICMS (Medieval studies), AWP (writers and writing programs), and other alphabet-soup biggies in the humanities and social sciences. The AWP, for instance, typically has 2000 presenters and 12,000 attendees. (It is not a typo: twelve and three zeros.) The ACTC is decidedly small potatoes in number and scale. On the other hand, the relative smallness – let’s call it “medium-sized”- probably contributed nicely to my enjoyment of the event in Atlanta.
I just had a really good semester in the classroom, the best at Pepperdine. In the first two years, I had some good classes and even three or four great ones: “great” means you cannot ask for more. But for each semester there was at least one class out of three or four (depending on the semester) that was average at best or, at least once in my first year, quite sub-par. Well, not this fall. If the third time is the charm in trying most things in life, then the third year might be my charm in full-time teaching.
Along with three Pepperdine colleagues, I participated in a faculty panel at a gathering of a Lilly Graduate Fellows cohort in Malibu on August 3 of this year. Academic in setting, the atmosphere nonetheless leaned towards the personal. So were the reflections from the panel, mine included. My appreciation goes to my Great Books colleague Jane Rodeheffer for the invitation, and to Michael Ditmore for comments on an earlier draft of this still half-baked reflection.
“Cradle Catholic – Ridiculous Phrase; Who Invented It?”:
My Religious Upbringing & Historical Sensibility
BÀI GIỚI THIỆU: HỒI TƯỞNG CỦA NHỮNG NGƯỜI ĐÓNG GÓP XÂY DỰNG NỀN ĐỆ NHỊ CỘNG HÒA CỦA MIỀN NAM VIỆT NAM (1967-1975)
We have the first guest blog post, of a sort. Tuong Vu asks to post his Vietnamese translation of the introduction to the recent volume Voices from the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1967-1975), and I am most happy to oblige.
This is the first of two posts on music in South Vietnam. Here is the second post.
The first time at the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), I presented a paper on ethnic nationalism in South Vietnamese music. Thanks to a nice line-up that I put together plus auspicious scheduling – it was after lunch without another panel on Vietnam at the same time – a lot of people in the field showed up to this panel. It seemed, indeed, as if Keith Taylor was the only big name from the U.S. missing. (I did see him a few days later at Cornell.) The sizable room was nearly packed: a most desirable outcome for a conference panel anywhere.
Alas, it was a successful outing in most respects but for me. KEEP READING!
Posted on VSG on April 14, 2015
On this day, a dozen of scholars in history, religion, and the social sciences gathered at Occidental College for meals and conversations. KEEP READING!