Back from ASA, and it somehow feels incomplete without some kind of wrap-up. So:
- I am coming to appreciate my cohort and close-related cohorts at Northwestern more and more. Within a couple years or three, wow. This year, I ran into or got to catch up with Mike Sauder, Ryon Lancaster, Tim Hallett, Mike Lounsbury, Japonica Brown-Saracino, Ellen Berrey. Others are finishing up, some I didn’t see this year. In addition to scholars, that moment at NU produced smart, warm, fun, real people. Fantastic.
- Although I enjoyed the blogger bits, it remains not my strongest venue. Small-talk and drinking doesn’t often lead to friendships for me. Instead, they too often lead to odd interactions, aggressive over-statement, social strain. If we got along, lovely (and I hope we did!). If not, it is more likely me than you (well. as likely). I appreciate the virtual community, but I’m sometimes not sure I’m so good in RL. Apologies all around there.
- Princeton, Stanford. If you went to either of these places, and are of a certain age/cohort/area, chances are surprisingly high that we know each other. Chances are decent that we like each other. Chances are not bad that I find your work astoundingly good and am very glad to know you. I can identify my core intellectual values sometimes by pointing to the culture/econ people at Princeton, the orgs people at Stanford, and overall Soc department of Northwestern. These are my academic peoples.
- Intellectual development this year was a bit low, maybe my own fault, certainly not ideal. Although I enjoyed giving my talk, and I really thought others on the panel (Daniel Fridman, Erica Coslor, Lyn Spillman) have some great work going, I got more out of the presentation of my work than the feedback on it. Alas and alack.
- Finally, I saw Kieran Healy everywhere (sorry if that wore thin). I went to restaurants both highbrow and lowbrow with Jennifer Lena (the diaper-changing! on the table!), and I am more determined than ever to keep an open dialogue with Evan Schofer, whose work and worldview, in a just academic society, would simply pervade the discipline.
Sorry if I annoyed you, glad if I inspired you, hope you don’t judge me from one-off interactions but rather the totality of them over time. And I need a rest.