I’m back from the PCA/ACA Conference in New Orleans. Academic papers from all four corners of popular culture studies are presented at this conference. I presented a paper on Daisy Bacon on the fourth day, and the audience was very receptive. It was also a treat to meet such great people like Jeff Shanks and Mark Finn and others. Friday night we had a huge dinner gathering with everyone from the Pulp Studies section. This section has grown by leaps and bounds; apparently it was only a few years ago that at the first year of the Pulp Studies appearance at the conference, there were only three papers submitted. Now there were at least a couple of dozen, and the section had sessions both Friday and Saturday. It’s great that there is still a robust interest in pulp fiction history in academia. Colleges and universities are well equipped to pass on the history of pulp fiction through conventions like this, journals, classes, and donated collections across the country.
On a recreational level, it was a great trip, and I found myself enjoying the French Quarter more than I expected. I was a little taken aback by the prices of things and the crowds – both out of control. But the food was amazing, of course. On Thursday, my first day, the gang went next door to the Marriott to the Palace Cafe and had lunch. Unfortunately I have to be careful with what I eat – due to recent stomach problems that I’ve found out are from gallstones – but I had a shrimp pasta dish that wasn’t out of this world and not too spicy. Except for the sausage.
A new friend of mine who presented a paper on Robert E. Howard and I spent a lot of time exploring and visited the Voodoo Museum.
I learned very quickly that crowds are a big issue in the French Quarter, and if you want to go to the Cafe DuMonde, you’re going to deal with very long lines most of the day. So not being one to be very tolerant of standing in lines, I got up very early Friday morning before sunrise and trekked down to the Cafe DuMonde. It was a spectacular moment to stand outside in the fog and look at the lights of the cafe in the dark. Definitely a romantic French moment. And the coffee and the biegnets – oh man. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious.
I then walked through the French Quarter – it was still very early and the streets were quiet, and Bourbon Street still reeking from the smell of booze from the night before.
That’s all for tonight. More later….