The 2016 VAKKI Symposium

All pictures by me. And yes, there were actually quite a few more people present than those pictures would indicate (I was sitting up front and tried to not get too many people in the pictures besides the presenters and chair of the session).

One year and one week ago I was extremely relieved, after having been extremely stressed out for days. I had just presented my first paper at an academic conference, and gotten good feedback on it. The occasion was the XXXV International VAKKI Symposium, and I also got my first publication when the conference papers were published late last year.

For this year’s symposium I had the luxury of feeling no pressure. Since I had decided to focus on my current writing process, I wouldn’t be presenting anything this time. I did, however, help out with the organizing process and chair one session, which was nice.

As seems to be the case, the symposium held many interesting presentations, and it’s always inspiring to listen to people who are passionate about their research. Also, one never knows just what gold nuggets one comes across in these things. After all, the very idea of starting this blog was conceived during last Fall’s FINSSE Conference. There is a also a tradition to choose “Humanist of the Year” in the symposium. Last year it was my then teaching colleague, author, and all-round culture person Marko Hautala, and this year the honor went to writer and cultural presence Kristiina Hazard.

This was just a quick update on current happenings in the research life. I don’t have much else to say at the moment but there are interesting developments afoot, of which I’ll hope to write soon. And, as soon as I have the time I’ll finish the research trifecta series by writing on gender.

P.S. The symposium seemed to act like a perfect funnel for the current flu epidemic that’s going on around here: When a bunch of people from all over the country congregate in one small place to shake hands and sit together in small rooms, the perfect storm is ready. Consequently, I have gotten very little actual work done the whole week. On the plus side, I did watch more TV in the last four days than I did in the previous four years.

Featured image (not visible in mobile theme) credit: uva.fi

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