October was a busy month; November promises to be more of the same, and December will present its own unique set of challenges that I will discuss at some point in the future.
Last Monday (that is, the Monday of last week, not this past Monday), I returned from a week in Miami, where I was attending the annual meeting of the American Folklore Society. This year’s meeting was a joint meeting with the International Society for Folk Narrative Research, and it was the “fullest” meeting I’ve attended yet—that is, there were more sessions than I’ve seen in previous meetings. The meeting started in earnest on Wednesday afternoon and continued through Saturday afternoon and evening.
My own panel was on Thursday morning, which was nice. I’m used to getting stuck on the last day of the conference, so it was a welcome change to be able to present my paper early and then enjoy the rest of the conference. I did quite a bit of sightseeing as well—I actually arrived early and spent a day checking out the sights in South Beach and Wynwood (although in Wynwood I ended up spending the majority of my time in the Wynwood Brewing Company). At some point soon I hope to put up a small selection of my photos from the trip, and I’ll go into more detail on my sightseeing then.
The AFS meeting has become an annual ritual for me; I have attended the last three, since my first in 2014 in Santa Fe. Attending allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of my field in the US, giving me the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and hear about new research, and in return I try to bring a little of Korea to the AFS. Perhaps most importantly, the meeting broadens my horizons. My study of folklore and oral literature was undertaken entirely in Korea, so there was a lot of scholarship and ideas that I had not been exposed to (or had only been exposed to second hand). When I come back from the annual AFS meeting, though, my head is full of ideas about projects I can do and new directions I can take my research. It’s probably pretty geeky to get excited about such things, but I’m just thankful that I have opportunity to work in a field that can excite me.
I planned on mentioning this a little earlier, but immediately upon returning to Korea I had to prepare for another conference, which took place today. I still have plenty of things on my plate that need taking care of, but I feel like I’ve finally gotten on top of things after having been away for an entire week.
And I think I’ll leave it at that for now. It’s not much, but it’s something. There are, of course, plenty of other things I could write about, but most of them would be depressing, so I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’ll just say that hopefully I’ll have some nice photos of Miami for you in an Imagery gallery sometime next week.