Thursday, July 28, 2011

Conference: Visions of Humanity in Cyberculture, Cyberspace and Science Fiction

This was a rather extraordinary conference in Oxford Dassi Elber and myself attended in July. Since all the papers presented will be eventually published as an e-book, I won't spend too much time describing our contributions. But the conference clearly attempted to do something else than merely bringing together a lot of hurried researchers, uninterested in anybody's talks but their own. The organisers (the project called InterDisciplinary Net) made sure that everybody stayed in the same place (beautiful Mansfield College in Oxford), ate the same meals (served in the Harry Potter-like setting of the college's dining hall), and talked about the same subjects. There were no parallel sessions, time limits were rigorously enforced, Q&A sessions were long enough to actually have interesting questions and detailed answers, and everybody was treated equally, whether a tenured professor or a graduate student. Since this conference is only a small part of the InterDisciplinary Net's project, I encourage everybody, and especially students, to check their website and to consider applying to one of their conferences. One thing is certain: I have been to very many conferences but seldom have I had this much fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An End of the Year Celebration - A quick review

On Saturday evening, The Mad Poets struck once again, this time celebrating the end of the academic year at the Temple Bar, Glilot.

There was plenty of beer, music and quirky amusement. The highlights of the event began with the screening of the movie "The Seven Corridors of TAU's English Dept.," an epic poem read by students and staff members.

After the screening we had a short and highly entertaining poetry reading, and this was followed by a wonderful acoustic performance from Dana Loterman (we managed to sneak a low-quality recording of her John Donne cover).

It was great to see such a high level of participation, both students and faculty
members, and it showed us that the Department of English and American Studies really does know how to let its hair down!

It has been an extremely busy year filled with excellent extra-mural activities and enlightening lectures. Thank you all for joining us in making the film and the party so successful, and a special thank you to Yafit, Omri and Gerda for organizing a fantastic evening!


Until the fall.