Building a Fancy CV

This semester, I’ve been trying to take advantage of all of the opportunities—beyond Simmons—that living in Boston has to offer.  Three weeks ago I attended the NEA Spring Meeting, and this week I attended a conference that on the service might not seem strictly relevant to our field:  the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PC/ACA) conference in Boston.  True, there were a lot of panels on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, World of Warcraft, and other popular fandoms, but the conference itself was huge!  The program was over 450 pages long, and I managed to find a few sessions that were on the intersection of popular culture, research, and archives, special libraries, and museums.  So of course I attended!

I’ve found that some panels on an archive’s holdings can turn into a form of show and tell—look at these awesome things I have in my collections!—that never evolve into a discussion on methodology, theory, or issues of access publicity, etc., which can be frustrating.  One of the most interesting presentations, in fact, was on the proposal for a new National Museum of the American People.  Somehow, this had completely flown under my radar, and I find it an interesting solution to the controversy over minority representation in our current National Museum line-up.

Rather than erecting a museum to each individual group that demands representation, essentially fracturing the Mall, one museum would function to bring those stories together.  Irish-Americans, Indian-Americans, Muslim-Americans, etc., etc., etc.  Maybe I’m an idealist, and maybe that museum doesn’t need to exist at all, and there’s plenty of opposition (check out this Washington Post article:http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/one-museum-over-all/2011/09/23/gIQA537mAL_story.html), but it’s definitely a discussion worth having.

All in all, I was really happy with my experience at the PC/ACA conference, and as I overheard one of the panelists mention as she was leaving, sometimes it’s nice to get away from librarians.  Our profession touches so many disciplines, it’s important for us to branch out and share what it is we’re doing with other people.  So if you’re looking for a conference to attend and add to your CV, branch out from library conferences and see what’s out there!

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