07 October 2006

Presenting... The dead.

I've now made my first ever conference presentation. And it was much more painless than i expected. Attended by only about 12 or so people, I talked about Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds and how it helps us/hinders us thinking about our own deaths (as individuals and as a society). I was the 3rd of three folks to present at my session, and thus garnered the most questions, both because i had lots of cool pictures to look at (see left) & because i was freshest in all their minds. It was the first time i'd ever tried to simply read a paper i'd written straight out (i wrote it in a slightly more conversational tone than i normally do because of this plan) and i felt like i was looking straight down at my paper non-stop, not realizing anyone else was in the room whatsoever. Perhaps had i gotten the words down on paper (and by paper i mean Word) earlier than the morning of the presentation i could have looked around a bit more during my presentation, but as it was, i felt that i could not risk losing my spot and looking like a total boob (until the point when my paper just stopped & i then started talking about the things i thought i might have included, but couldn't figure out how to fit in).

I think part of the reason my presentation went so well, despite not being fully thought out or "finished" was because i didn't (as i usually do) pretend to know everything about anything. I admitted that there were parts of my thinking in this paper that didn't quite work & that it was a work in progress and so a lot of the questions/comments garnered were helpful, pointing me in new directions... sometimes possibly helpful (Foucault's "Birth of the Clinic") and sometimes perhaps less so (J.G. Ballard's Atrocity Exhibition), but overall i was pleased as hawaiian punch to have received a response other than pretensious scoffing & academic one-upping & felt a huge success afterward... so much so that i drank myself into a stupor later that evening in celebration.

1 comment:

jacks said...

Hooray! I'm glad it went well!