posted by Georgina Gluzman, post-doctoral fellow, Universidad de San Andrés (Argentina), and 2015 Participant in the CAA-Getty International Program — Mar 29, 2016
In 2014, while I was literally printing my dissertation, I received an email saying I had been awarded a travel grant to attend the upcoming CAA Annual Conference. I had applied to the grant without any real expectations. I was so happy, yet so busy, so I replied to the email without even looking at the dates. I was in the middle of a lot of excitement—years of work were becoming printed words.
The conference had a lot of meaning to me. My tutor, Laura Malosetti Costa, had spoken about it several times, and nothing says “important academic event” than something your beloved tutor recommends. There was something mystical about receiving the grant at that specific moment in time!
I could say many things about my participation in the conference and the preconference colloquium in 2015, but I want to write about the experience of returning to the conference in 2016. I attended, along with three other former CAA-Getty grantees, and had the opportunity to present a paper.
I spoke on the Emerging Scholars in Latin American Art panel. Sounds like a big deal, right? I was so incredibly nervous. The other speakers were also excited, happy, and shaking. I delivered the paper, without collapsing, during the longest twenty minutes I have ever experienced at an academic event. Fortunately, I liked my paper and thought it was well-constructed, so I knew I was speaking with true passion—and commitment—about my topic.
The waiting was the hardest part. After I had finished, I lifted my eyes from the printed sheets in front of me and stared at the audience. I thought no one would ask me any questions and was prepared for that outcome, so I was surprised by the many questions I was asked. I have never received so many questions after delivering a paper. These were not your everyday pro-forma questions. The people expressed sincere interest, and their questions were all remarkably interesting. I answered. Some people asked follow-up questions. I stopped shaking. I talked.
When everything was over, I sat down and took notes of the questions and comments. I still keep those notes as a memento of speaking at a CAA conference. If I had not been lucky enough to be invited to the conference in 2015, I would not have been ready to present my work there a year later. And for that, I feel thankful.