One good thing about conferences like AERA is the way that presentations – both the good and the not so good ones – can create a sort of collage of ideas. For me this last week, it’s been the theme of ways of resisting dominant discourses, from Allan Luke’s reflections on engaging with policy-makers (a sort of entryism) through to Colin Lankshear’s idea of tactics for ‘messing with the space’ (more like situationist-anarchism). The theme became manifest in other ways too – with Kurt Squires’ serious examination of different discourses around Grand Theft Auto and Debbie Rowe’s close analysis of ideologies and routines in early writing.
I rounded my conference off with a few beers in the good company of Colin, Michele and Michael. Among other things we talked about the uses and misuses of theory. It must have been a good discussion because I had a hard time remembering where my hotel was! It was great to be with the Travel Notes people, to meet up again with Sarah and to start up discussions that still have some way to run. Like with Julia Gillen – are there dangers in using the term “social software” as a category? And with Kate (and Jennifer) – is blogging a community of practice, an affinity space or neither? Some of these debates may well get rehearsed over on Blogtrax in the near future.
Because of technical problems I’ve not kept the sort of ongoing conference record that Kate has – but I have pictures which I’ll probably be running out-of-synch with my posts over the next few days. Time bends, or so it seems.