Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ave, Charles!

Charles of Liminality fame is close to being ABD (All But Dissertation) in his Korean Lit studies at Seoul National University. I had the chance to watch him in action at a conference yesterday, in which he presented a paper on the trickster figure and his pet subject, liminality. I understood precisely five percent of what he and his interlocutor said, and admit I was there more out of friendly solidarity than because I thought I'd actually learn anything from the lecture (had it been in English or French, I wouldn't be saying this). But it was cool to watch the proceedings, and it made me realize that I do like attending such conferences.

Charles had to read his paper aloud (that's SOP for most academic conferences); it turns out that he reads in blindlingly fast Korean. It was all I could do to keep up with his presentation as my finger desperately traced the text along with his words. I lost my place several times as Charles began skipping around for the sake of not running overtime.

I can't judge the content of the presentation (though I did understand a few bits here and there), but I can note that my friend comported himself with grace and composure, and did a bang-up job-- especially as the only foreigner presenting. He's going to be a very good prof once he gets the PhD.

I've just about finished a new Liminality design for the sidebar. It'll be up soon. Promise.


1 comment:

Charles said...

Blindingly fast, eh? I got a chuckle out of that, mainly because I have a complex about how slow I read stuff aloud.

Thanks again for showing up.