Last week, I went to San Antonio for a conference and to do some research. It was a great trip, but please remind me not to ever think about driving through Texas again. It’s too big. Luckily, Erin’s car is a hybrid and I was constantly amazed at how little gas we were putting in it and how long we could drive on a single tank.
The conference was the College English Association. There were four panels on Latino/a literature and then there was my panel on Anatomy of Violence, in which I joined a paper on Mary Shelley, Shakespeare, and Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret. Now, I am well versed in canonical literature, so I had read most of the other stuff they were talking about, but sadly I can assure you that only two other people in that room had read any Maria Cristina Mena, and well, there’s no other way to put it. They were my friends and colleagues, who I had dragged in there to see me present. However, I did get a good question that opened up a section of the text I hadn’t thought about before, so it was worth it. (Incidentally, the person who asked the question had appeared to be asleep during my presentation, so I’m grateful she wasn’t.)
Erin and I stayed with wonderful hosts in San Antonio. Not only did M show us good places to eat and great attractions such as the Riverwalk, Malinche’s bench, the Alamo, and the Mercado; she also took us to the Cove (great food), to play disc golf, and on a great wildlife run.
The research part of the trip was maybe the most fun. We all loaded up and went to Texas State San Marcos to do some research on our favorite subject, Jovita Gonzalez Mireles. The library at TSU-SM had letters, birth certificates, books, and other sundries related to her. We found a couple of interesting letters and marveled over how cool it was for all of us to be in a position to do that kind of research. I got so excited by the research that I emailed the archives at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and asked for more. So more documents are in the mail to me as I write! Chapter 2 is going to be awesome! I also found a couple of interesting things for Chapter 3–including some writing by Katherine Anne Porter and J. Frank Dobie.
Meanwhile, my students in both classes were taking midterms. I’m impressed with what they’ve learned! I’m almost finished grading the take home ones that were emailed to me, but the ones my Chicano/a lit students took in class were very well done. (Although it was funny yesterday when they asked me if I had decided whether or not to put an essay on the final. They said that 10 IDs had them working until the last minute. There was palpable relief when I said that I would not ask them to do 10 IDs and an essay.)
So there you have it. I’m back. But not for long, because I scheduled another conference in Seattle for a week from now. It’s a big one. I’m going to all these right now, because I probably won’t be able to go to any conferences next year when the next J/C gene combination makes his/her appearance.