July 27, 2010 by Lo
I attended the Omohundro Insitute’s annual conference this past June in Oxford, Mississippi (a historic town not only because of the civil rights era but because of William Faulkner, whose presence seems to pervade the bookstores and restaurants). My paper was called “The Dreamers: Elite Newcomers and American Identity in New Orleans, 1800-1820” and was part of a panel on Global Migrations put together by my friend Wayne Bodle, who wrote a paper on Charles Wollstonecraft, and a grad student from George Washington University named John O’Keefe, who wrote a paper on free non-white immigration in the early republic.
This was my first conference presentation and I could easily have been stressed and nervous, but I was very lucky to have the friendship of Wayne, who I knew slightly from attending the McNeil seminars and more from an email correspondence that developed after he discovered this very blog! I was also fortunate to have the company of Erin Greenwald, my friend and fellow grad student from New Orleans, who was there to meet with her advisor Alan Gallay.
As at SHEAR six weeks later, my paper went over very well, and I got some moderately useful feedback, although people were not as critical as they justifiably could have been. I also met several interesting people including Rosemarie Zagarri, who gave an interesting paper on Thomas Law, an “Indian nabob in the early republic” that thematically had a bit of crossover with my own work.
Both of these papers were challenges to write in various ways, which should perhaps be the subject of a future blog post. The length constraint (20 minutes) was frustrating but also I think good practice for editing and focus. Both were fun to deliver in my usual overdramatic style complete with voices. And both put an excellent period on a year of research. Now I’m in a bit of down time, writing this blog, and getting psyched up top start the dissertation writing process in earnest this year.