end of semester survival a round up

Last week I went to the Attending to Early Modern Women conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to the workshop sessions such as the one I co-led with my colleagues, there were also several plenary sessions, in which presenters read formal papers, and a keynote talk by Valerie Traub. In more than one plenary paper, and in Traub’s presentation, there was a clear and present anxiety about the use of research and analysis techniques from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines.

While the work that Traub and the others are doing is important and meaningful, this cultural anxiety greatly concerns me, and the attitude of the presenters in dealing with it as intimidating, alien, less important, and “for someone else to do” was disturbing.

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