Can it really be the first day of October? Life is on warp speed it seems, and my days are packed.
Two weekends ago I co-chaired my first symposium — the Costume Society of America Midwest Symposium and Annual Meeting, titled “Uncommon Beauty.” The running gag between the three of us co-chairs was that the event was living up to its name — when it came down to it the event was quite uncommon. We had more than twice the normal number of attendees for a Midwest symposium, our speakers (some of whom became new CSA members or were from outside the region) presented on a really diverse range of topics, and we tried out a new presentation format for one session that we called Ideas Theater (as documented on my camera phone below — we asked presenters to host discussion groups).
I believe we pulled off a successful event due to the fact that the three of us co-chairs work so well together and share high expectations. I have to say a huge thank you to my great friends and colleagues Caroline and Michal Lynn. It was a pleasure collaborating together.
Now that the symposium is behind me and October is here, I find myself getting into the thick of the fall semester and a bunch of already-made commitments. I’ve got a few things in the works. I’m intensifying my efforts at work to turn the study collection into a more active, student and curriculum-centered space. On the side, I’m working on a series for the blog Raincoast Creative Salon on fashion-history game changers. For a personal project, I’m starting research on the intersection of ragtime music, dance, and fashion. And I have research and projects in the queue related to my volunteer position as VP of Technology for Costume Society of America. I’m tired just thinking about all this stuff ahead of me, but eager to refocus and make them happen.