This weekend I'm at one of my favorite academic events, the English Institute, which I've been going to for four years now. The themes have been: Text, Form, Medium, and now Figure. What a rush! There are always so many chance opportunities to meet people, learn about things I would never encounter, encounter the rich embodiment of social and institutional history, and see how the profession works in other places and for other people. In the past, it's been held at Harvard, and this year for the first time it's moved to Yale (next year, Chicago; the next, Irvine).
So far I've absolutely loved Jeff Dolven's talk on poetry, style, and James Schuyler, "Cutting a Figure." The whole program is here. But it only touches the surface of what people talk about and all the other things they know and mention. It's been here that I developed my own idea of form, here that I learned about Luhmann first, here that I've made some incredible friends, and here now that I'm getting exciting advice about my work, conceiving and reconceiving my scholarly identity as it operates both inside OSU and in this (more theoretical) wider disciplinary world (er....well....America with some Canadians at least).