Like all good Slavists with a research budget, we here at “All the Russias” are off to New Orleans this week, for the annual conference of ASEEEEEEES (I can never keep track of how many “E”s there are in the acronym, so I always err on the side of caution).
New Orleans may not seem to be an obvious gathering place for Slavists, but I’m sure Zhirinovsky must have claimed it for Russia in his treatise on the motherland’s manifest destiny (since I didn’t finish the book, I never made it past the Indian Ocean). Or maybe Dmitri Bykov has a satirical novel in which the Varangians’ and Khazars’ supremacy is challenged by the Cajuns. But when it comes down to it, conference locations always put the lie to blood-and-soil ideologies of affiliation: wherever we find ourselves, that’s where our community can be.
I’ll be keeping my eye open for interesting news or scholarly arguments at the conference (hope springs eternal), and I invite all other conference attendees to do the same. If you have any reports from the conference floor, or even brief summaries of particularly interesting intellectual arguments, I’d love to have the chance to publish them here.
Otherwise, though, I look forward to seeing many of you in New Orleans, IRL (that’s “In real life,” for those of us born before 1980).