Ain’t I authentic?

On Saturday I attended The Shape of the I, a conference sponsored by ELN, Colorado University’s journal of literary studies. I missed out on the Friday panels, but fortunately Timothy Morton recorded some of the discussion. In fact, the impetus for my attending the conference was to meet Professor Morton, shake his hand, and thank him for his pedagogy; I’ve been listening to his recorded lectures (via iTunesU) for a couple of years.

I enjoy panels and discussions such as these but always feel anxious and out of place at academic events. Actually, I feel anxious at all events (and non-events), but talk of literature and art is delectable and motivates me to confront my social anxiety. So despite my nervousness, I went. Even a small moment of bravery generates serendipity; another teacher of mine, Bhanu Kapil, happened to sit next to me in the afternoon. Instantly, I felt at home, as if I were back in a class at Paramita or an impromptu conference on the sidewalk outside Sycamore; even a brief moment […]