I really shouldn't have been anxious. As an organization, ATTW is growing but still small enough to foster a familial intimacy. And I think it sets itself apart by being a welcoming group. Senior scholars were incredibly generous with their time and insight. I got to sit and chat for nearly an hour with Dr. Huatong Sun who figured prominently in the development of my own research. I was grateful for her willingness to make the time. It confirmed that ATTW will be a scholarly "home" for me in the future.
My colleague Dr. Rachel Wolford presented with several of her graduate students, Darin Williams, Terry Smith, and Michelle Cowan. Rachel's work using "story maps" to raise awareness of water sustainability on the Llano Escatado (the enormous plateau in west Texas) was especially engaging. Terry is doing very interesting work with students trying to utilize synchronous chat tools in face-to-face classes. This enables students to engage in ways in ways more comfortable for them. Michelle talked about UX and design issues in industry--the importance of bringing in designers early and testing interfaces frequently to provide solid customer service. Darin talked about the difficulty of serving as a professional risk assessment consultant in differing fields and the role of varying field's standards in trying to help professionals think about risk and danger in their work.
At another session I was also fascinated by work Dr. Sara Read is doing thinking through an issue I am wrestling with--the ethical considerations surrounding using Actor-Network Theory (of a Latourian bent, especially) to study socio-technical networks. Her work studying super computers and the way in which those responsible for it communicate its value, given an increasingly fiscally austere political environment was very thought-provoking.
Drake Gossi talked about his very interesting work helping youth in a detention center "assemble" an author in a very fraught physical and social environment as they try to learn and use literature to engage the world.
Dr. Lily Campbell's work using ANT and genre to study cultural issues in medical training environments was fascinating and I look forward to seeing where her research takes her.
I missed a couple of presentations that I regret not being at (Dr. Godwin Agboka's and Dr. Kari Campeau's presentations especially). But so it goes...
I tried to live tweet a number of sessions. This practice is very interesting to me. It's a good way, I think, to help people who couldn't be at some sessions still get a sense of what's going on at other panels. It is an exhausting, exceptionally challenging composition practice, one I need to hone a bit. But also a fun exercise that kept me engaged with presenters.