I noticed this year that SBL annual meeting is completely different for me now that I am “on the other side” of the Phd. Before, during the thesis-research time, I was stressed out, moving from one session of relevance to the next, trying to absorb as much information as I could that would further refine my thoughts and enhance my expertise. Can’t say it did all that much, but that was my hope.
Now, I approach the conference completely differently. First, I am on the lookout for good textbooks – I scour the book stalls and talk to various reps. I thumb through new texts and check out key elements that make a textbook useful.
Sessions are much less important. If I am interested in someone’s research, I just set up a meet and we can actually talk for a while. Most people, even scholars, are happy to do so.
Of course, there is time set aside for catching up with friends, in meals and receptions.
Finally, I am moving towards building good relationships with publishers. I am looking towards writing a few books in the next 5-7 years and I want to make sure I form the right partnership.
It was a bit weird to have this new relationship with SBL, especially since the only sessions I went to were my own! I did not want to do it this way, but it did end up like that. Oh well. I have some emails to send, getting the papers from some interesting folks.
Has anyone else experienced this changed purposes for SBL now that you are “on the other side”?