I've been to 8 sessions now and had my brain poked and prodded from all different directions. I've heard "homonormative" bantered around in multiple talks, learned about the class implications of oral versus digital sex among lesbians in the 1940s and 1950s and pondered the "publicness" of bathrooms in Chinese-American homes in LA at the end of the 19th century. I did my own song and dance calling for seeing cities as gendered spaces and seeing gender as an urban process. At this point, the only thing I can take away from it all is that the essence of what we (historians) all do, is find a new way to prepare the cucumber: we slice, we dice, thick, thin, strips, chunks... it is still a cucumber, but we do this in the hopes of seeing something new, seeing old things in new ways.
Stick a fork in me, I'm done... at least until tomorrow when I shift out of conference mode and back into research mode. I have three oral histories scheduled, which is ambitious.
2 months ago