Monday, 22 April 2013

Day 130: The Masters (oh, and a golf match)

Day 130 (14 Apr) Sunday and it is the last day, or half day, of the conference. I'm a bit sad the conference is finishing, but secretly, (well, not so secretly) pleased that I'll get to spend the afternoon in the Art Institute of Chicago which is practically across the road from the hotel. But before that, to be fair to the presenters who are scheduled for the last sessions, I have two session to attend. 

The skyline to the left,
at 6.12am
I will still have another morning to wake up to this magnificent skyline but I can't help but be up and at it at 6.12am. Yesterday was the view to the right of the window, today is the view to the left. 

This morning's session (again, too many to choose from) was looking at American politics in film and television, including an important take on the 'six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon' and the influence of Kevin Bacon on the American presidency since 1980 (Steven Dobransky, Kent State), a fun paper with serious intent. I'm finishing up a paper on the mix between fact and fiction in Australian novels and post 9/11 security issues. What do we learn about our politics from our popular culture? Great panel. 

Who is 'Adonna'?
The final panel was one on terrorism and the state, another teaching area of mine and one which included a paper right in my area of natural resources and security. A largely quantitative series of papers but of interest nonetheless. In fact, it is one of my major takeaways from this conference--American scholars do it differently. Very many of the papers by US-trained academics are quantitative, model-driven and data-driven in a way that contrasts with the more qualitative approach a number of my Australian colleagues take. Very interesting.  

And clearly, my accent, when I ordered coffee, was a problem...>>

Conference over, my afternoon was spent in the Art Institute, a place I have spent time before, but always a joy to find myself in again. So much to forward to 'Day 131 and a half' to see some pics. 

The Masters, at 6.12pm
I spent a few hours there, new permanent photo exhibitions I hadn't seen before, the modern annexe, a special exhibition on Picasso and Chicago, and another leisurely walk through the Impressionists... a truly marvellous collection of true Masters. 

Sunday evening, back in the room, a little tired but very satisfied. A quick look on twitter to see it was Monday morning in Australia and everyone was hanging out to see whether or not Adam Scott might win the Masters...what else was there but to watch it 'live' US time at 6.12pm (and I'm not a particularly huge fan of golf...). 

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