The 33rd Annual South Asia Conference – the AHA/MLA of this field was over the past weekend. The big group hug. I had a paper to present which is kinda important to do for that ole’ CV. I was very happy with the way the panel went. We had a solid “history” panel – filled with old-fashioned archivalists and close textual readers. Ah. Good times. My big contribution to the field of mughal decline studies created the maelstrom that I knew it would. Everyone – Oprah, Leno, Letterman – wants to know how I could have subverted the Zamindar- Mansabdar-Faujdar trimuverate. Some nice questions. And even though we were up against the superstars we had some 40 people in the room and afterwords a number of people came up to me and told me that they admired and enjoyed my paper.
But, the other main objective of the weekend was to “network”. I had to press flesh and all that. I wasn’t really up for that. Plus, there were a lot of old friends that I had to hang with. Plus, I suck at walking up to strangers and going, HI! I JUST WANTED TO INTRODUCE MYSELF …. The job market was the topic du jour. Everyone was talking about the many openings. Some interviews were seen. It is good that the field has so much energy at the moment.
The panels were lame. The star panel for Islam in South Asia was at the same time as my panel so I did not attend it but those that did said it sucked. Maybe, they were trying to make me feel better for having a small audience? All in all, UofC kicked ass. Most of our stars, past and present, were there and causing people amazement. It was nice to have that on the id badge.