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Blog: Fantasy/Animation

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Last friday morning was a terrifying reminder of what it's like having an Actual Job in That London. I had to get up at the UNGODLY hour of 7:00am, do my ablutions at high speed, and then get on the TOOB at 8:20am. I have never forgotten how HELLISH it is going on the tube during rush hour in the morning, but many of the HIDEOUS details had escaped me. They all returned during the forty sweaty, bumpy, standing up minutes of GHASTLINESS.

SIDEBAR: in an entirely unrelated matter I am currently job hunting. Does anyone have loads of money to pay someone to sit in a room from aprox 10am to 3pm, looking out of a window? Good pension scheme preferable!

ANYWAY, the reason I was doing all this was that I was booked onto a CONFERENCE for the day - Fantasy/Animation 2015 taking place at Kings College. I'd been ALERTED to it while applying for my PhD as there were several talks directly relevant to my subject matter and as it a) was cheap b) was handy c) looked interesting I thought I'd give it a go.

I was glad I did for LO! it was VERY interesting! It ran from 9am to 7pm and the day mostly FLEW by. I've been to a LOT of conferences in my working life and pretty much ALL of them have been to do with Medical Statistics i.e. one of the very very very LEAST interesting topics you can possibly imagine. Spending a day in the familiar environs of a University Lecture Hall surrounded by academics listening to talks that were often FASCINATING was a really weird experience. I had to keep reminding myself that this WASN'T yet another discussion of applying Baysean methods to analysing compression of morbidity amongst the over 75s (NB I fell into a coma three times typing that sentence) and LISTEN!

When I got home I told The Papers In My Programme about it and it took TWO HOURS to do so as there was so much that was THORT PROVOKING. There were talks about audience perceptions of CGI and animation as different things, world building in the extended Star Wars Universe, the history of computer landscapes, TRANES as a non-space, the politics of CGI zombies, the use of positioning in 3D animation as part of storytelling, feminism and evolutionary theory in "Tangled", and using quantum ideas of the multiverse to define "fantasy". It was GRATE!

There were also some talks that were a little LESS fascinating - some people seemed to think "Oh right, I shall just READ OUT an essay wot I wrote, that will DO" - and I was reminded that academics seem to think that the more multi-syllabular words they can get in a row the BETTER. MOREOVER they all say MOREOVER at the start of every sentence.

Despite that (and partly because of the fun of realising that ALL academics do these things) it was a BRILLIANT day that more than made up for the AGONY of having to get the tube there. It even made me a bit excited about getting back into academia at some point - quick! to jobs.ac.uk!

posted 8/9/2015 by MJ Hibbett

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