Last Monday, I gave a talk at Cornell based on the research I did there as the Dean’s Fellow in the History of Home Economics. (May I just take a moment to say: this is a wonderful fellowship opportunity, and anyone who is doing research that relates to home ec broadly construed and that will rely on Cornell’s fantastic collections in this area should definitely apply. Previous recipients include prominent folks like Mary Summers, Helen Zoe Veit, and Gabriella Petrick.) My six weeks in Ithaca this summer constituted my third research visit to the Cornell archives, and returning last week as a guest was a real treat. Ithaca now feels like a home-away-from-home (not least of all due to the amazing hospitality of several people who know who they are), and so, despite the fact that I had the pressure of giving my first invited public talk, I was pretty zen about the whole thing, and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
This was easy to do because the generous folks in Human Ecology put me up right on campus in the lovely Statler Hotel, where my room overlooked West Campus, Ithaca, and the lake. I had free wireless, a great desk to work at, was a short jaunt from good food, and was able to get my work done in ample time to go check out the great exhibit on the history of photography that is currently on display at Rare and Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library before heading over to Mann Library to get set up for my talk.
(Also worth noting: in Mann Library right now there is a little mini-exhibit on the history of the 4-H uniform, which can be found on the first floor behind the block of elevators. It’s out of the way, but worth checking out. It’s been there since the summer, and I finally had the presence of mind this trip to go and snap some pictures of it before it disappears.)
The talk went well, and was well attended, due in part I am sure to the great poster they designed (a large-format glossy copy of which was presented to me as a souvenir), and afterwards I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Taverna Banfi with several members of the fellowship committee. Many thanks to everyone who came to my talk, who took care of the setup and arrangements, and who made my visit so thoroughly enjoyable and easy!
Tuesday I had free rein, so I ran a bunch of Ithaca errands. I had my breakfast at the Manndible, got dressed and packed up my things, checked out, ran some errands (Gimme! Coffee, some stuff from Finger Lakes Distilling), got my hair cut, had a Gyro on the Commons, and got back on the road to Albany. All in all, a great trip.