4 Conferences Happening in March and April That Are Worth Attending

From Literature and Physical Culture to Banknote 2014, academic gatherings you should be aware of.
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(Photo: vinnstock/Shutterstock)

(Photo: vinnstock/Shutterstock)

MARCH 18-20
Letters and Letter Writing (Prague, Czech Republic)
Please, Mr. Postman, has my invitation arrived to this conference tracing the history, future, and cultural significance of the original social media: the written letter? Epistles both physical and digital will be considered as historical documents, as pieces of literature and autobiography, and even as works of art. P.S. If you go, don’t forget to write.

Literature and Physical Culture explores how sports are depicted in books, movies, plays, and television programs, and how the narratives reveal the cultural importance of athletic contests.

APRIL 07-10
Banknote 2014 (Washington, D.C.)
Show me the money, you say? You’ve come to the right place. Attendees of this conference for currency designers, producers, and policy makers will discuss paper vs. polymer money, the use of plastic cards as currency, and the ongoing attempt to keep a step ahead of counterfeiters. Presumably there will be a cash bar.

APRIL 10-11
Literature and Physical Culture (Leicester, England)
“The common perception,” complain this conference’s organizers, “is that sport and art are ultimately antagonistic, as aesthetes and athletes are pitted against each other in a battle of brains vs. brawn.” This gathering aims to correct that by exploring how sports are depicted in books, movies, plays, and television programs, and how the narratives reveal the cultural importance of athletic contests. If you hold it, they will come.

APRIL 25-26
Ghosts, Gremlins, and Jedi (Manchester, England)
Do you argue that Spielberg never topped Raiders of the Lost Ark? That Schwarzenegger’s greatest role was Conan the Barbarian? If so, consider attending this look at the fantasy cinema of the “Long 1980s” (1977 to 1992), which will examine how the era’s new technologies (the VCR!) and political shifts (the end of the Cold War!) influenced filmmakers.

This post originally appeared in the March/April 2014 issue of Pacific Standard as “Conference Call.” For more, subscribe to our print magazine.

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