Making the Most of Conference Attendance

It might seem easy to present at a conference — after all, it’s more or less just cashing in on the earlier work you did to apply to the conference and write your paper — but if you want to make the most out of your presence at the event, you have to be ready to do so much more than get up and speak. I’m freshly back from my trip to Europe, which included a presentation at the Practices of (In)Visibility conference held at the University of Brighton. I had an amazing time speaking about neoliberal and patriarchal violence in the Juarez femicide trend (a topic you’ve heard a lot about if you’ve been following me on twitter) at such a well-organized event, put on by the Critical Studies Research Group at the University of Brighton, but whether you’re speaking at your own institution or traveling abroad for the event, there are a few universal tips for the best possible conference experience, which I’ve shared after the cut. Continue…

Join the Festivities and Build Greater Cultural Networks

On March 28th, we attended the inaugural 17th annual National Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk. As a recent D.C. transplant, I look forward to activities that will allow me to discover the pockets within the folds of the city. The program is an embedded tradition, within what many city residents and tourists have come to enjoy as an event-filled few weeks of concerts and kite-flying. However, the annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk reminds us of the relevance of this national tradition, that goes beyond the welcoming of Spring after a long Winter.

On this brisk morning, we gathered within the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II. The program opened with an invigorating performance by Nen Daiko, a taiko (a drum style of Japanese origin) ensemble that has been performing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1994. It was truly empowering to witness this collective of women and men striking their instruments with unforgiving movement and resound (in a way that put my coffee to shame). A Nen Daiko musician, Maya Nakamura, informed us that the performance group is a collective built from various networks, many with ties to the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation (NJAMF), who helped sponsor this event. The Nen Daiko drum ensemble has committed annually to the Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk. Continue…