Last week I took my first-ever trip to the state of Massachusetts — I traveled with some colleagues to the ACLA Conference at Harvard. The format for the conference was pretty cool, and unlike anything I’ve experienced before. The presentations are grouped into seminars, and the seminars meet each day throughout the conference. So it really is like a bunch of small conferences going on at once, which allows for really in-depth and focused conversations on the topic. I was part of a panel that my colleague Linda organized. Our panel was called “Dead Things” and all the papers looked at cultural representations of death.
We also had time to be tourists in Boston. What a fabulous city!! Everyone we met — from the MBTA transit workers to the people working in the stores and restaurants — was incredibly friendly and welcoming. We enjoyed delicious food and the beer was exquisite!! (I don’t think I’ve ever tried so many delicious varieties of stout) Before we left I had made a list of the places I wanted to visit. Of course, we ran out of time, but some of the highlights we did manage to hit included: The Museum of Fine Arts, The Gardner, the beautiful Central Library, and the Harvard Museum of Natural History. We had pretty good weather while we were there (only one day of pouring rain), so we enjoyed walking around places like Boston Common and the Public Gardens as well.