I’ve organised a very casual lunch in the city next week. It’s the first AASRN thing I’ve set up since I started in the new CBD job, and I’ve chosen an on-campus cafe (Pearson & Murphy’s). I’m hoping it’ll bring out some of the newbies in the network as I’m way behind on meeting and greeting many of the postgrads who are now a part of AASRN. I was having rather serious discussions recently with a colleague about the future of the network, and realised that I’ve been ‘founding convenor’ for 5 years now. FIVE years. The strangest thing is that now, when I am on the verge of handing over the reins of the whole shebang to others, I talk about it with the most fondness and passion.
*cue Vaselined images of flying doves* If you love something, set it free. So they say.
I do feel like that sometimes, wanting to see if it has a momentum of its own that can (and should) move it beyond the founding committee’s influence. That said, I do find it hard to let go. While being an academic has never been a label that defined me, I think being convenor of the research network actually does. It’s a network that has its roots in my PhD years, when I started the Asian Australian academic e-list.
The momentum for the end-of-year events is building. I’ve had a couple of meetings recently that reinvigorated my enthusiasm for network events. Truly, the people I get to work with are fantastic. That’s a shout-out to you all: Indigo Willing, Amadeo Marquez-Perez (15/15 Film Festival), Audrey Yue (Uni of Melb), and Mikala Tai (MiFA Gallery)! Hanging in Stellini’s and riding the witty, exciting brainstorms that took place around those small tables was fab. The conference’s shift to a larger, multi-room premises means that AAI 4 can be a bigger conference than first planned. This is both good and bad. Good: More people can come, present on their work, and hang out with the cool peeps. Bad: Multiplying streams may mean more income, but it also means more diffusion of intellectual momentum and less of a sense of conference cohort-ness (I’m sure that can be a word).
I can’t wait for November!