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the beauty of conferences

this summer i went to bogota, colombia to present a paper at conference on colonial latin american literature and history. my paper went well enough that a professor from a school in nc asked me to come and be a part of a panel she had organized on colonial latin american poetry. i was flatered, especially because her paper was stellar. i said yes, despite having 2 conferences lined up for this fall already. i said yes because isn’t this what getting one’s name out there is all about? getting invited to present at panels and knowing more people? besides, the paper i was going to give was related to the paper i had given in colombia and to the second of my two conferences.

this fall i’ve been working my butt off to get an article out to a journal, because at the moment i’ve only got one publication…a publication from days as an ma student so, so many years ago. (now, i’m just waiting on the final comments from my old-advisor, before i send it out.) so, in an attempt to get this article out and the three conference papers written, i’ve been working overtime.

my paper on a sonnet on the virgin of guadalupe, that traced out the development of the iconography of the guadalupe from the
(Immaculate Mary)
; and, it placed the sonnet in its cultural milieu in order to signal the uniqueness and what not of the sonnet and its strange ekphrasis of the guadalupe.

the conference was good, only because i was able to visit and speak with the professor that invited me. otherwise, only 5 people were in the audience (2 of which were fellow presenters). in trying to get this done, i neglected the grading of the students mid-term and now they hate me.

it has taken me this long to grade the exams because it was a take-home, short-answer, with a 3 page essay question. the exam, because i not only want to comment on content and grammar but also rhetoric, it is taking me 2-3 hours per test.

well, the good thing is that i now only have 2 conferences to go.

but, this is no consolation to my students…

the thing is, few other professors require writing…and those that do expect them to know how to write and never give them the feedback they need on how to make their compositions better.

i will now stop whining

 

Comments

3 conferences is a lot of conferences, regardless of whether or not you have your papers worked out beforehand. And they’re oh so frustrating when there’s no one there. It’s tempting to think that you put together all that work for an audience of five. I hope the panel organizer made it worth your while, anyway. As for your students, they will forgive you.

I love the Immaculate Mary engraving. Are the icons a narrative, or are they a collection of related-but-not-by-way-of-narrative symbols?

i have been a conference-hater.
in that past, i would generally rather do anything but go to a conference. however, now that i live and work far away from any colleagues who do the kind of work that i do, i may become more appreciative of the chance to find out what is the state of my art.

my soul resonates with your grading pain. i am giving all-essay tests for one of my courses this semester, and i now understand how that is a timesuck.

i am trying to do as much research as i can do, as well. now that i work at a 4/4 teaching school that requires a bare minimum of publication, i have started to like research more than ever. i have a wonderful collaborator at a far-away university, and i can study whatever i want b/c it doesn’t necessarily have to be publishable…although we hope it is. i think my newfound interest in research and publication comes from a rediscovered intrinsic motivation: for the first time in years, i am neither obsessing over my job-seeker credentials nor am i scared of perishing-for-lack-of-publishing.

tota pulchra es amica mea et non macula est in te

this is the banner that unfurls around the top of the image. it’s a common place for this kind of image, which, incidently, is most prominent in marian prayer books from the late 15th and early 16th century. like this one
it announces the beauty and immaculacy of mary(really it’s a pun on blemish—no blemish and mary’s immaculate conception)

around the central figure of mary…which comes from the 12th chapter of the apocalypse ...here durer renders it

(the cloud behind mary in the mural is ostensibly the sun)

the images around mary are the various symbols for mary.

they are:
the sun, the moon, the pole star, heaven’s gate, the lilly among the thorn, the tower of david, the stately palm tree, the planted rose, the exalted cedar, the well of living water, the garden fountain, the fruit bearing olive tree, the spotless mirror, the city of god, the flowering rod of jesse, the enclosed garden

here is a nice 17th century treatment of the immaculate conception that retains a good number of the symbols

I think I would know this more if I had not avoided all things Medieval. When the Virgin of Guadalupe became a printed icon, where was she printed? In Europe, or in the N.W.? If in the N.W.—and this I ask simply out of curiosity—where were the major presses in Mexico/Central America? Were they owned by the church, or by the empire, or is that a silly question since there’s little separating them? I’ve seen a lot on the history of print in N.America, but little on Central/S.America. This is likely because I am unaware who studies print history there.