On early Sunday morning, I’ll be heading via train from Berlin to the UACES conference “Exchanging Ideas on Europe 2011” in Cambridge/UK. UACES is the academic organisation that also runs this blog platform, and the conference is a space for the presentation of ongoing academic research on mainly EU-related matters.
Among other things, I am going to present a conference paper that more or less reflects the current intermediate state of my PhD research. I had to submit the paper abstract linked above already in January, so things have evolved since then and I’d formulate it a little more precise today than I did back then. But the main lines are oviously still there.
Writing this paper has in the end been more challenging than I thought it would be, due to practical difficulties in the research process, the obvious writer’s blocks from time to time and also due to other positive and negative issues life throws along your path every day. I think I have finally managed to produce a fairly readable and comprehensible text, but doubts remain – which is fine, I think.
Next, I have to translate this text and what I have left out on purpose into a fairly short yet fairly comprehensible presentation for next week. Yesterday, I have spent some time discussing with my supervisor to see what would be the best way to do so. This is the first time I’m going to present this to a fully unknown academic audience and I would lie if I said I wouldn’t be a little nervous. Nevertheless, I know it is important to go out there into the academic jungle (little reference to the primeval forest of the EU) and to see whether my equipment is already good enough to survive for some days.
Beyond my own work, I am looking forward listening to many others who also study the EU in all its facets, and when you look at the research program (PDF) you’ll see that through the several hundred papers most aspects of EU policy and politics are covered.
If I find the time, energy and the opportunity, I may be blogging about one or the other panel or paper I find interesting. I’m also looking forward meeting fellow academic eurobloggers Kosmopolit (again) and Vihar (for the 1st time). And it’s also the first time in a decade that I make it to the UK, so I’ll try to take a deep breath of British air to renew my research energy for the post-conference research and writing period in the autumn of this year. I know I’ll need it.