This weekend, I attended my first-ever conference, the 21st Century English conference at BGSU. I was excited going into the conference, and I didn’t even realize how amazing it would be! It was exciting to plan my day and decide what presentations to attend, and then to hear my brilliant colleagues presenting about their areas of interest. It really reminded me of my passion for the field, which is easy to lose sight of as I get caught up in assignments and reading. There was a presentation for everyone! I wish more people had attended to absorb all of the amazing knowledge going around, but since it was the first conference, I kind of understand why attendance seemed low. Hopefully, my cohort will help make the conference a success next year, too!
I also got to meet one of my rhet/comp idols- Jason Palmeri. In case you didn’t know, his book is one of the foundational sources for my research in multimodal composing/Twitter. I found it ironic that he told me he’s not the biggest fan of Twitter, and his work supports my Twitter research! He signed my book, too, which made me feel so nerdy. Watching his keynote address reminded me that our field is interdisciplinary, and we do important work outside the academy as well as within it. Everyone in the room, no matter the discipline, had something to take away from his presentation, which means he did a very good job with his audience. Plus, he did a pro move and made a plug for his new book. Of course I’ll be reading that ASAP.
Eventually, I’d love to present at a conference, but I don’t know that I’m quite ready yet. In the meantime, I’ll attend as many as I can, and be involved behind the scenes. On that note, here are just some of the wonderful Tweets my colleagues and I circulated during the conference: