Friday, December 02, 2011
AMERICAN STUDIES 2011
BEFORE THE FALL . . . I went to the meeting of the American Studies Association, where I saw many colleagues and friends: Priscilla Wald and Joseph Donahue, Larry Jackson, Gene Jarrett, Mark Anthony Neal, Brent Edwards, so many others. Among the many panels I got to, one on new work on Frederick Douglass, a great digital humanities conversation, the panel I chaired presenting novel approaches to cultural studies of music . . . But by far the best was the saddest, a memorial tribute for Clyde Woods. Clyde had organized a session on post-Katrina arts of New Orleans when the ASA met in D.C. a few years back, and several of those artists and presenters were on hand at this memorial along with Clyde's family, colleagues, friends and even just people who admired his work. I had known Clyde first at Penn State, and then he turned up at the other end of my commute in Santa Barbara. The last time I'd talked to Clyde had been at a summer party to honor Geoffrey Jacques's book of criticism, which Clyde, I note, purchased and got autographed. He was always a great supporter of other people's work, and so many of us benefited from his generosity and encouragement.