Though I attended some wonderful sessions, the highlight of the day had to be the second paper delivered by the Societas Fontibus Historiae Medii Aevi Inveniendis, vulgo dicta, “The Pseudo Society.”
In a paper entitled "Medieval Mortality: A Radical Reconsideration," Prof. A. Mark Smith of the University of Missouri-Columbia, argued against the obviously fallacious statement that "death, in the middle ages, took a heavy toll." Making use of only the finest of statistical analyses, Smith displayed an incredibly logical and articulate argument, such that by the end of the paper there was not a person in attendance who was unaware of the undeniable fact that death did not, in fact, take a heavy toll in the middle ages. Then he surprised us all and linked higher modern death rates to wage-earning potential, summing up with the well-known phrase: "stipendia enim ... mors".
The dance, on the other hand, was a little weak. The drinks were too pricey ($6 for a bottle of anything better than a Michelob?) and the best song to dance to was either Time Warp or Love Shack, which I think is pretty telling. Where were the academics behaving badly? Where were the tenured professors getting on down with their bad selves? I had heard rumours, but I saw nothing more than mediocre dancing to mediocre songs, and I was gravely disappointed.
Next year I'm bringing a flask of absinthe and hijacking the DJ's playlist.
I'm also thinking of volunteering a paper for the Pseudo Society. I'll let you know if that goes anywhere.
Day four was filled with buying books for wonderfully low prices. I got a set of OUP Anglo-Saxon Lit. books that normally retail for over $50 for $12, and Vaulting spent just over $50 on over $150 worth of beautiful books on gothic and romanesque art. Thank you Powell Bookstores!
I've also ordered some books online, so by the time I finally arrive home, there should be a nice Vulgate Bible waiting for me, along with a good condition ASPR Junius 11 and a philosophical treatise titled F*ck It. ^___^
Only 14 hours of driving left until we get home.
All in all, K'zoo was a wonderful experience. I hope to do it again next year. And the next. And probably after that too. I made new friends, saw old ones, and learned a great deal along the way. First Kalamazoo for the win.