Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lost Conference

This past week was the one-year anniversary of the end of Lost, and I commemorated it with a post on my thoughts on year later. In response, many of the most avid commentators back in the day returned to leave their thoughts on the post, and it was like a little family reunion.

While some people would say an anniversary lasts one day, I like to extend these things, so I’m thinking of this as Lost week. Today I wanted to talk to you about something I’ve been yammering about for over a year now: the Lost academic conference.

Many of you have heard me talking endlessly about Slayage – a biannual conference on the Whedonverse, where scholars and fans from around the world converge on a particular spot every two years and present or listen to papers on Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, the Buffy comics, Serenity, Fray, and Dr. Horrible. (When it began, it was just covering the first three.) Many of the scholars who present at that conference every couple of years have graciously joined the Great Buffy Rewatch, and have been entertaining you week after week with their thoughts on various episodes of Joss Whedon’s best show. Fans following along have been enjoying much deeper insights into the show.

Well, if you’re a Lost fan, that’s what this conference will bring. David Lavery, the same man who started the Slayage conference, is organizing a Lost one. Scholars from around the world will converge at one place to discuss every facet of Lost. Just the other day I was thinking how amazing it would be if so many of the Nik at Nite Lost fans could actually meet in one place, and I think this could be it. You don’t have to present a paper to attend, but you’ll get a chance to listen to so many different points of view – and you can weigh in, logging your comments in person, verbally. And hey, if Batcabbage comes, I’m sure he could stand up and offer an impromptu haiku.

The conference is to be held in New Orleans from October 6-8, 2011, and will be part of the larger PCA conference, meaning if you tire of papers on Lost (WHAT?!) you could zip next door and instead listen to papers on Mad Men, the Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Big Bang Theory, Twilight, Bob Dylan, the Saw movies... whatever you’d like. And you’re in New Orleans!!

However, right now the conference may be on the bubble. If you are interested in presenting a paper, the deadline for proposals has been extended to June 30, 2011, and I urge anyone reading this who is interested in presenting to send in a proposal as soon as you can, to ensure this conference actually happens. I’ve been dying to go and listen to these papers, and I will be presenting one of my own. I really hope to see many of you there, too.

So get those papers in now, and even if you’re not looking to present, set aside a few days in October to come down and join the fray. It’ll be our own little Lost convention.

Go here for more information and all the submission guidelines.


yourblindspot said...

Boy, would I love to be there. Alas, this will fall only a month after Dragon*Con, to which I am already irrevocably committed (to the tune of 'Dance The Non-Refundable Deposit'), and I just don't think I can pull off doing both.

That is not to say that YOU can't pull off doing both. Because you most certainly can. AND WILL. Dammit. (No one wants to see me cry. Right?)

Rebecca T. said...

Oh man, this would be pretty much the most amazing thing ever, but I don't think I can pull it off with the other trips I've taken this year and the whole school thing. BUT I want to go SO badly! Maybe next time I can get my act together and even submit a paper. That would be fun. Also I am very upset that I missed the year anniversary thing. Going to have to pop over there now :)

Fred said...

Ditto, on "would have loved to come to the conference", but for me it's just too far away. Having interacted with so many on this site, it would have been really nice to have the time to get to meet one and all. I would alsop like to have given a paper, say opn Lost's legacy for TV, but with eerything I have to do, there'd be no way I'd get that out by end June 30th. I'm sure some of us could do a group paper, like on why we are disappointed in Lost's ending (Blam are you listening). There are so many potential topics I'm surprised Bavid Lavery doesn't have his inbox jammed with proposals. Here are a few if anyone wants to run with them:

The role of alcohol in Lost as metaphor for narrative equilibrium/disequilibrium (bring on the McCutcheons).

How to do science fiction without technology (and technobabble).

James' undelivered letter: seeing the letter for the envelope, a strategy for reading Lost.(I've always been interested in this as it relates to Poe's "Purloined Letter."

Well, here's hoping Dr. Lavery gets plenty of submissions.

humanebean said...

I am madly interested in attending and plan to be there if at all possible. I wish that I felt better qualified to author a paper for presentation. I love to do the actual PRESENTING, mind you, but quail before the notion of presenting an academic paper before such an august assembly. Still, I will enjoy ruminating on the possibility before chickening out as the deadline approaches.

I, too, am looking at this as LOST week. Seeing the familiar names and avatars in the commentary the other day was absolutely delightful. (Marebabe! Batcabbage! Blam! Rebecca! Teebore! Sagacious Penguin! JS! Fred! The list goes on and on.) I have enjoyed trolling the 'nets in the last few days to read the reminiscences and ruminations of other LOST bloggers of yore.

I have to offer a special note of gratitude to Nikki for not only giving us a place to gather and discuss, but for authoring such a masterful review of "The End" in the sterling Finding LOST: Season Six. She told us all some time ago that she hoped to be able to help those who had struggled with the Finale to find a path to a fuller appreciation of it. I am happy to note that, after rewatching Season 6 with the book as my faithful companion, I savored the monster chapter (with addenda) on "The End". For me, it was a beautiful overview of the entire series and conveyed clearly the joy that Nikki found in the conclusion to the series ... and allowed me to enjoy it more as a result.

Batcabbage said...

Maybe I will come.
Anyone got any cash?
What's 'impromptu' mean?


Blam said...

@Fred: Blam are you listening

Am I listening? Yes. Will I make it down to New Orleans the week before my 41st birthday to meet a bunch of online friends for a Lost conference? I doubt it, and it has nothing to do with how I feel about the show now (because I'd love to chat with everyone in person about whatever). My finances will almost certainly not allow it, and neither will my health; it's just impossible to know if I will actually be able to travel when the time comes, which makes sinking any money into such a proposition in advance a bad idea. I stopped making plans like this years ago because not getting to follow through with them is even more frustrating than having to say no up front.

VW: redne — The last thing anyone says to the fellas in Deliverance.

Batcabbage said...

@Blam: Best. VW. EVER.

Fred said...

Blam, like yourself, the prospect of meeting with online contributors to Nikki's blog would be a real treat. I believe there are some of us, like yourself and myself, who have some shortcomings with the ending to the show. Great show that it has been, the necessity of calling it on its shortcomings is one that hasn't yet reached the publication stage, according to what I've seen on Amazon. Most books on Lost have been a festschrift of the show, and while I quite enjoy reading them there has to be voices of dissent out there who have not yet put in their $0.02. I know you are one of these brave souls (and thanks to Nikki for allowing our voices of rebellion to have a place among the Lost contributors on her blog).

Like yourself, New Orleans is too far away to just hope on a plane and pop over for a conference. There has to be some really good jumbalaya to entice me so far south and east. So here's hoping your health improves and the conference in the future moves to some more centralized location, so we can all meet face to face and have a really good time--anyone up for Seattle or Vancouver?

Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for the LOST conference to finally happen! After the Texas PCA though, my finances can't handle another out-of-state trip this year. :/ Hope it still happens for the rest of you though!! Fingers crossed!!

Sagacious Penguin said...

Nikki, you inspired me to finally update my blog as well for what might be one final time :)

This conference is actually closer to my neck of the woods than previous get-togethers (I'm in Florida). I'm going to have to seriously consider attending!

Anonymous said...

While I never contributed much here, I have really enjoyed the conversations. As usual I'm late! But, the conference sounds fabulous and I will see if I can swing it.