Another APSA into the history books. The last DC APSA, IIRC, was the year of Hurricane Katrina. I have memories of staying up and watching the disaster unfold through the odd medium of NOAA’s bulletins with their ALL CAPS and ellipses style.
As time has passed, APSA increasingly becomes a reunion. As a graduate student, one only has experiences with one university’s people, and so the social side of APSA is a bit odd: the same group of friends in a different city, wearing suits. Now, those friends are spread out literally around the world, and so it feels wonderful to see them.
Intellectually, APSA this year was a bit disappointing for me. I was dinged in the middle of the summer for having multiple solo-authored works accepted and told to drop one of them. I complied, although one has to wonder if there would have been any actual enforcement had I simply not done so. This left me only in the program in a single instance and when that one shot turned out to be a disjointed panel, I was simply left to enjoy the company. Even the successes were less than perfectly exciting because I didn’t have to fight for them. A meeting with an editor was not the “convince someone that my book is worthy of publishing” session that I was expecting but rather a “is it ready yet for me to send to reviewers” update turned into a 30 minute meeting without any discussion of the actual ideas. Not that I mind, victories in the bag are still victories; the joy simply feels unhinged in time.