Thursday, 29 May 2014

Last day of AFEA

So I headed back to La Nouvelle Sorbonne and of course saw many fun things on the way. It seems there was a free lunch that I had missed, and my mind must have been on food, because I saw lots of it on the way to the conference.  For example, there was this little tiny pig being roasted along with other meats.

I almost sat down and ordered some of this seafood. Those crabs are gigantic and look succulent.

I passed by this mosque.

And of course I also saw more Superheroes. I sort of wish I had bought myself one as a souvenir of the trip. That red and black Bat girl is adorable! Mostly however I didn't shop - there was too much else to look at and to do.

I suppose I should have purchased this book so I could become natural, but since I already speak English I seriously doubted that it would work.

These are not the kinds of pastries that I tend to like (i like something dense rather than fluffy) but they were certainly beautiful in the window.

It would be so easy to gain about 30 pounds here.

At the conference I decided to go to a section that was devoted to "Creative Disruption, quand la gauche contest l'exceptionalisme américain," The first paper was by an American marine  named Carl Mirra who was writing about dissent in the military forces.  It was a very interesting account of personal interviews he had made of vets from multiple wars and to some extent he blamed the press and academia for ignoring this dissent which he also admits is not  necessarily easy to access.

There were three other speakers one on Latin America and another on union minorities and their effects in the US. The latter paper could have been very good, but ended up reporting on things rather than drawing useful conclusions about how minorities specifically can or do effect the majorities in unions. I would like to have seen a more clear cut conclusion of some kind. 

Our graduate student also had the more interesting go the remaining talks. An estonian woman, who had been unwell when her talk was scheduled, gave a make up presentation on the way that the breaking of the Communications trust  held by ATT modeled  even better corporate control for the newcomers and was repeated in France with the construction of mega-telecom corporation "Orange".

Of course having her framed in this shot by all this corporate produced garbage is somehow sad, but telling.

Sadly the conference was now over.  On the door was an advertisement for a conference I would have given my eye teeth to attend. Just a few weeks later, Thomas Elsaesser and Laura Mulvey would present at conference on "The Hollywood Turn".  Alas I would have to return to the US before then.

After the panel, I headed to a bistro with Donna Kesselmann and we had a wonderful chat. She is an inspiring woman, who is so sharp and on top of things. It is always a pleasure to set strong, intelligent women like her. I didn't take but one picture - this one of the little place that we ended up meeting.

I was honored by yet another rainbow on the way home. This one stretched from one side of the sky to the other (and I couldn't get it all in my shot.

And so I went back once more through the Jardin des Plantes and saw still other new things I had not noticed before. This image on the archaeological building is so typical of a militaristic view that I dislike. (This idea of the law of the jungle being violent and a "way of life" always distresses me.

This is a funny juxtaposition of some famous naturalist and the exhibit inside the museum.

And here is a costume store on the way home that deals with vampires and the macabre.

Soon I was back at my little hotel lobby and then upstairs trying to figure out how to spend my last day in Paris.

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