Kalamazoo 2011

08 May

I feel obligated to put up a post on the upcoming International Conference on Medieval Studies, to be held in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 12-15 at Western Michigan University. The problem is, I don’t have a lot to add to what I’ve previously written about it as follows:

My Invitation Post from Last Year

My First Timers Guide Make sure you check the weather info and the guide at There are a couple of errors – last year I only had one pillow in my room.

And there’s my entire collection of Kalamazoo stuff on this page if you’re really bored.

So I think it’s safe to say that I’ve gone on enough about this conference. Instead, I’d like to point out some posts by other bloggers.

Jonathan Jarrett provided several posts summarizing his first visit but I think you should read the first one. Make sure you read the comments. In some ways I think this is the ultimate first-timers guide though until reading this I’d never have thought to advise someone to bring along a handbook on carpentry! Oh, and in addition to the shower providing an exfoliating experience, the towels provided with your dorm room will also take your hide off. I’ve always referred to the campus housing as being “camping with walls” (there’s also a roof) and I think Jonathan’s post explains why I feel this way better than I ever could.

The bathroom accommodations are a bit unique – you share a bathroom between two rooms. Until reading this post by Larry Swain I had always assumed that my “Loo-mate” would be of the same gender as myself. Oh well – I’m on the verge of being old enough not to care.

Jeffrey J. Cohen posted a K’zoo summary on In the Middle. also provided a nice summary.

Hope these provide some info for the Kalamazoo newbies out there. Obviously, your experience will be unique. With 3,000 medievalists (and at least one geek) on hand, there will be plenty of folks to meet and interact with, trips to local watering holes, wine hours and receptions and all kinds of informal get-togethers.

One final note. Your first year, you will be deluded into thinking there are numerous opportunities for mid-day meals on campus. This is true for Thursday and Friday but many of those food service establishments are closed on Saturday. Of course there are plenty of vending machines which will provide you with a balanced diet from the four major food groups; carbonated, fat, salt, and sugar.

For myself, this year I have the misfortune of being in the middle of working on a project proposal as well as part of an interim report on a project I’m already involved with. I have this disconcerting feeling that when I’m not attending sessions or buying books I’ll be holed up in my dorm room working on these.

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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Conferences


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