Along with other Floating Academy bloggers, including Daniel Martin, I’ve just returned from NAVSA 2014 in London, Ontario. It was a wonderful conference as always, and we all owe a huge thanks to Chris Keep and the conference organizers at Western. I realized that I have now been attending NAVSA for ten years. Where did that time go? I attended my first NAVSA as a graduate student and observer back in 2004, when it was at the University of Toronto. As a Canadian, I have to say that it’s great that NAVSA, the North American Victorian Studies Association, is in Canada every three years or so. Little did I know in 2004 that NAVSA was a young organization at the time, founded in 2002. This year, the presidency was handed over from the inimitable Dino Felluga to Marlene Tromp. As I remarked to a grad school friend, we pretty much came of age in the profession as NAVSA did. Now that I’m a few years out of grad school I value NAVSA not only for the intellectual exchange but also as an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and scholars I’ve met throughout the years. Though, as I noted back in 2012, it’s a big conference, and if you want to make sure you see people it pays to make plans for coffee or dinner in advance!
A few trends that I noticed at this year’s NAVSA were many papers touching on animal studies (including Gillian Beer’s keynote), the great popularity of Dickens (even more so than George Eliot) and the increased presence of social media. But, rather than trying to summarize the whole conference myself, I thought I’d do something different and make a Storify of all the tweets. Enjoy!