Sunday, September 19, 2010

Post-conference letdown. Today I participated in an Unconference about online criticism at the Wheeler Centre. It was the culmination of the Critical Failure program about arts criticism, which has raised some intriguing issues. The unstructured day of discussion and debate was an invitation-only event – I was invited because I'd spoken at the panel on film criticism. (I am still too embarrassed to watch that video – I feel I have a face and body for radio – but you can if you want.)

The setup – an informal ring of chairs – reminded several participants of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and there were indeed certain similarities. The feeling of seeking temporary refuge from a demanding, stressful world with like-minded individuals who understand your problems. The anecdotal atmosphere, in which people felt free to share war stories.

There was also the same feeling I've got from conferences in the past – a feeling of collegiality, that I was among other professionals in my field whose intellectual projects were similar to my own. And now it's over I feel the same letdown as I have done from returning from a conference.

Much as it used to be terrible to return to my hostile, stressful university department after several days out of my ordinary routine, enjoying the company of my intellectual peers, I feel terribly flat now that I am at home again, in front of my computer, with two different jobs to get through tonight in order to be ahead for this week.

Thanks for this speedy update, Mel, and we're sorry you're feeling flat. We hope to keep the collegiality from the event going.
We've posted a Daily on the event and linked to your post.
I had the same feeling when I got home on Sunday! Was a great day.
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