MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Friday, March 25, 2016

March 25, 2016: NeMLA Recaps: Many Thanks



[This past week, after many years of planning and many posts in this space, I helped host the 2016 Northeast MLA convention in Hartford. It was an amazing four days, and I could write much more than a week of recap posts—so here I’ll focus specifically on the new initiatives I brought to the convention. If you were part of NeMLA 2016 in any way, please share your own recaps and responses in comments!]
I can’t end a week of NeMLA recaps without thanking a few of the many people who made this conference so amazing and successful. The list goes way beyond these (including for example the entire wonderful NeMLA Board), but they are those for whom my personal gratitudes are most clear and in need of sharing.
1)      First and foremost, this convention—like all our conventions, but even more than usual because of all that I asked of them—would never have happened at all, much less been so amazing, without the phenomenal NeMLA staff. That starts with Executive Director Carine Mardorossian, Associate Executive Director Brandi So, and Administrative Coordinator Renata Towne; but also includes so many others, from Graduate Assistant/Webmaster Jesse Miller and Marketing Coordinator Derek McGrath to Chair Coordinator Kristin LeVeness and CV Clinic Coordinator Indigo Eriksen. It’s no exaggeration to say that NeMLA is both the most effective and the most supportive academic community I’ve ever been around, and that starts with all these folks and all that they do. Thanks all!
2)      When it comes to my most specific Presidential initiatives (ie, those about which I’ve written in this space all week), it’s safe to say that none of them would have gotten off the ground if so many of my friends and colleagues hadn’t responded positively to my invitations to take part in them. From my FSU colleagues and friends Joe Moser and Katy Covino joining the Thursday school visits to my dissertation mentor and friend Carolyn Karcher taking part in Friday’s public humanities conversations to my longtime New England ASA colleague and friend Siobhan Senier helping make our Sunday creative reading happen, among many other examples, these sessions became an inspiring reflection of how broad and deep my communities are, and how lucky I am to be part of them. Thanks all!
3)      And then there’s love. It’s not just that my Dad, Stephen Railton, joined us on the first of those Friday President-sponsored sessions, helping get them off and running so perfectly with his digital humanities projects and perspective. It’s not just that my Mom, Ilene Railton, came along to take part in that day of sessions and connect with our presenters and site. It’s most definitely all those individual things, of course—but through them, and through all the presences and contributions I’m highlighting in this post, it’s the overall sense that NeMLA 2016 connected to every part of my life and work, influenced and strengthened every side of my career, and was thus a culmination of all that I’ve done so far and an inspiring step toward what’s next. So once more, with feeling, thanks all!
Special post on what’s next for NeMLA this weekend,
Ben
PS. Thoughts on this post? Other NeMLA follow ups you’d share? I’d really love to hear them (and feel free to email them to me if you prefer)!

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