As an opening remark, the breadth of all the presentations I have witnessed surpassed the vocal range of the legendary Axl Rose (Guns and Roses) with a whopping 6 octaves. Spanning both geography and time (or to put it in academic terms, Trans-spatial and temporal), I saw a breathtaking range of research, historiography and analytical perspective. I’m not one to usually pick favourites, but Naomi’s presentation on representations of Asian Masculinity struck a very personal chord with me. It’s likely because it’s a topic I have thought about extensively before, being someone that has lived the East Asian male experience. It was heartwarming to see the historical development of how Bruce Lee (in vernacular) “made it better” for us. There were also some fascinating links to the 1882 ban on Chinese Exclusion Act that I coincidentally read in the University of Edinburgh’s Law Library.
On a completely different turn, Rory’s Black Metal presentation beautifully combined Intellectual and Cultural History with a touch of Aesthetics was beautifully done. Again, I may be slightly partial to this due to my love of Batushka, one of the artists featured in his presentation I resonate very strongly with the benefits of combining Anthropology and history as a new methodology. Because of this, I am re-evaluating my decision on whether I wish to employ Actor-Network Theory.
In a moment of introspection, I will have to think a little bit more deeply about what the path I wish to take with my own project. It has been an eye opening experience looking at what others have been doing.