Monday, November 10, 2008
Halloween with the North Central Council of Latin Americanists
On Halloween afternoon, we presented our initial research findings at the North Central Council of Latin Americanists conference, held at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Pictured with us are Fiorella Ormeño Incio and Brendan Duke, who also presented papers at the conference. We had some good drama leading up to our talk, because two days beforehand I lost my voice! Erik Larson called it a public service. Up until about an hour before our talk, we didn't know if Nicole was going to have to do the whole talk by herself, but my voice returned and we put on a good show, complete with a Halloween-themed handout of our causal argument. Our paper was titled "Presence, Status, Respect, Voice: Gender Dynamics and Anti-Privatization Movements in Bolivia and Ecuador." NCCLA was a small conference, so it was easy to get to know a number of people as you saw the same faces at most of the panels over the course of two days. By contrast, when we present the final version of our work in Rio de Janeiro in June, there will be over 5,000 people at the Latin American Studies Association conference. It was a lot of fun for me to present at this conference with Nicole, and also have a current student (Fiorella) and former student (Brendan) presenting as well. And Brendan won the Student Research Award for best conference paper!
Probably the most disappointing part of the conference was not wearing costumes. Nicole had high hopes that we would buy bunny ears and/or a knife-through-the-head headband on the way to the conference, but this plan never materialized.
The most memorable line from our talk was when Nicole philosophically asked the audience: "Do retrograde patriarchal thugs pay a price for their misogyny?"
We spent Halloween eating leftover candy and discussing Obama and different birthing practices. Not quite Trick or Treating, but still a good time. After listening to Brendan's excellent presentation on Saturday morning, we ate Afghan food in Madison (they were setting up for the huge Halloween party) and headed back to St Paul. On the way back, we stopped for some authentic Wisconsin ice-cream (it's a tradition to stuff our faces with high-calorie deliciousness after working).
The adventure continues!
--Paul and Nicole