Friday, May 12, 2006

remembering amsterdam

well i have put all my photos from my trip to amsterdam on a flickr site, you can view them here.

i went over there in march of this year to give a paper at the european social science and history conference. my paper was based on my phd and was about the theory that i am using (lacanian psychoanalysis with gramsci's theory of hegemony) to explain the occurrence of certain types of social disorder in australian history. the thesis focuses on a group from the late nineteenth century called 'larrikins' but i am looking to use the theory to explain social disorder more generally. anyway it was great trip, paper very well received and i heard some really great stuff and met some good people. i got to see most of amsterdam, mostly just by walking, its an amazing city. firstly the fact that it doesnt look like a city in that theres no high rises, its just all these beautiful old canal houses. and the way the shops are all down these cute little cobblestone streets. but then its really busy, with bikes and trams and people moving everywhere all the time. it feels really modern but also intensely historical at the same time. i felt really at home in europe, just the oldness of the place. it was early spring but was still cold and grey, and it really had a soul that we miss in shiny happy sundrenched places like sydney. everyone was sooo cool, they didnt even try, they were just cool. i hung out at cafe de jaren a lot, near the university, the coffee was good and the service was great.

my other favourite place was museumplein, my hotel was right behind the concert hall and i spent a few days inside the best art museums ive ever seen. the van gogh museum had a rembrandt/caravaggio exhibit that took my breath away.

it was hard tho being such a long way away and by myself, the conference was so huge, 1300 people and only a few other aussies there and they werent staying at the same hotel so it was a bit overwhelming. and such a long way from home, 28 hours travelling via vienna and kuala lumpur on austrian airlines (very nice, recommended). but it was great fun and i have the travelling bug now! there is another conference in america at the end of the year that i am giving two papers at but trent is coming this time so it will be much more fun. its always better to have someone to share this stuff with!

anyway today i have to finish fixing up the intro chapter to the book richard and i are editting (he is the official editor for technical reasons), its called Hegemony: Studies in Consensus and Coercion and will be published by Routledge NY, next year if we get busy. I am co-writing the intro plus have another chapter of my own in there.

Must stop procastinating!!


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