Friday, November 27, 2015

‘A Good Servant is a Precious Jewell’: Travels in Arkansas

As you all probably know, I was in Arkansas recently for the annual meeting of the North American Conference on British Studies, where I delivered a paper entitled “‘A Good Servant is a Precious Jewell’: Mistresses and Servants in the Early Modern English Elite Household” as part of a panel called “(Re)Evaluating the Social Space of Early Modern Households.”

As you may also know my paper caused me a lot of trouble. I chose to work on a topic that I’ve never really worked on before and so actually researching and writing the paper and trying to make some worthwhile points was pretty tricky. But I am very happy to report that it all went incredibly well. Some of the most impressive and influential social historians of gender, women, and the family turned up to hear me speak (these guys are my intellectual heroes (not to mention being very lovely people who I shared many a meal and drink in the bar with) and I have about 3 shelves worth of their collective works at home) and they all seemed really engaged and asked great questions and complimented the paper. It was great!

With that over I spent the remainder of the conference hearing a lot of other great papers and panel discussions (including a roundtable of women and equality in the historical profession which was both inspirational and made me really angry!). I also had a dizzying round of breakfasts, lunches, coffees, and dinners with colleagues, former professors, etc. It was great to catch up with everyone and especially enjoyed one booze-fuelled evening I had with three very established and senior historians who took me and a friend out and then proceeded to cut loose. I didn’t get back to the hotel until after 2 am!

On the last day, my friend and I rented a car and did a little sightseeing – below are some photos of the things we saw. The most impressive by far was the Little Rock Central High School, the site of forced desegregation in the Civil Rights movement.

Old State House

I'm an Independent Scholar (that means I'm a woman of means) and I'm ready to cut loose at the cocktail reception

Welcome to Arkansas!

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Little Rock Central High School

Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Wandering around the neighbourhood near the Governor's Mansion

Weekend Reading


Closet Fashionista said...

Yayy!! I'm glad everything went well! And it's good that you got to do some sightseeing. Arkansas was never really a place on my "must-go" list, but it would be pretty cool to visit if I had the chance

welldressedmaker said...

Huzzah! I'm so happy that your paper was received well, then again, I never doubted it! That's so awesome that you got to connect with lots of professors and old colleagues, and it looks like you had lots of fun sightseeing as well!


I've never been to Arkansas, very interesting. It also sounds like you had a great time at the conference, and even hanging out with former professors and colleagues on a night out. :)

Cee said...

I just knew your paper would be well-received :) Congratulations! As for Arkansas, I admit it's not high on my list of travel destinations, but it looks like it has some really interesting architecture.

LyddieGal said...

Ohhh Sounds like you had a really great trip. Glad your paper was so well received and you got to cut loose with your heroes.
Chic on the Cheap

Lyosha Varezhkina said...

looks like it was very pleasing moment! writing a paper is always hard even if subject is very close to you.

Houses look amazing, thanks for sharing them!

Inside and Outside Blog

Elle Sees said...

loved your trip through AK! a woman of means...who's ready to cut loose! love it! ;)