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This will be the last session I blog for this year—and just in time because the recorded sessions will be going off the web in a day or two. In the past half dozen years I’ve been delighted at how many papers there are on the history of magic, across a wide variety of cultures and practices. One of the pitfalls in writing historical fantasy is being insufficiently imaginative regarding magical elements. We get so much of our exposure to historic magic filtered through popular culture, which has all the hazards of anything picked up from popular culture.

It's a bit frustrating that some of the more interesting papers are the ones the authors don't want shared. But there are a lot of reasons why speakers request no social media sharing. In some cases, the images are shared that require licences for general "publication" as opposed to research purposes. In some cases, the paper is part of a research project intended for publication and general sharing would undermine the "value" as a publication.

One definite advantage of watching these sessions in recorded form in the comfort of my own home is that I can take the laptop out into the garden and relax in a lawn chair while watching. These papers were all jam-packed full of details and descriptions, which don’t always make for good textual summaries. So this is just a taste of what was offered.

Lucky Charms: Instances of Protective Amulets and Trends in Byzantine Dress - Ms. Angela L. Costello, MA, Independent Scholar

I had meant to start watching the recorded sessions from Kalamazoo last week, and then my day-job landed on my head, not to let up until 10pm Saturday night when my emergency investigation closed. So I'll be blogging the remaining recorded sessions I have earmarked this week, since the recordings are going away after that.

Dressed to Fail: Textile Signifiers in Medieval Icelandic and Welsh Texts - Dr. Sarah M. Anderson, PhD, Princeton University

The conference is over, save for the sessions I've marked for viewing when they come out in video in a couple of days. (So there may be a few more blogs on those over the next week.) As a wrap-up for this, the first virtual 'Zoo, I present to you the collated, edited, and organized...

Unofficial ICMS Bingo Squares

(also applicable to other conferences)

Nothing really strongly caught my interest in this time-slot. A couple of the session had intriguing session titles but the specific papers didn’t hit my interest-targets. I picked this one more or less at random because it had a textile-related paper. This is the last serious session of the conference. (The next time-slot is devoted to the humorous Pseudo-Society presentation.)

"Ego volo et ordino": Devotion and Women's Charitable Bequests of Textiles in Fourteenth-Century Dalmatia - Giulia Giamboni, University Of California, Santa Barbara

The session title suggests a focus on material culture, although it’s organized by the International Marie de France Society, so we can expect the papers to be filtered through a literary lens. (This is the second session in a row that ended up containing only a single paper.)

Telltale Textiles: Fabric and Voice in the Lais of Marie de France - Simonetta Cochis, Transylvania University

A very intriguing session title…which ended up with only one paper. There were two papers listed in the catalog, and the norm is to start with three papers, so I’m guessing that one was pulled at some point earlier. Fortunately, the paper that was given was great enough to make up for being the only one!

Brides and Bridles: Gower's "Tale of Rosiphelee," Asexuality, and Queer Failure - Lacey M. Wolfer, Western Michigan University

I picked this session because of the Amazon paper, which—alas—the presenter does not want shared on social media. It’s the last day of the conference and my initial picks cover five sequential sessions with no break. We’ll see if I decide that walking away from the screen for a while is more interesting than one of the sessions.

"Do you know who my father is?!": Gendered Imperialism and the Exceptional Parent Excuse in Sir Degaré - Arielle C. McKee, Gardner-Webb University

This session definitely looks interesting, but I don’t plan to take detailed notes. Sorry. Just kind of worn thin, since I spent the last two hours finishing my podcast script for tomorrow and still need to record and edit it! That included skipping a session that superficially looked interesting (Queering Women of Medieval Scandinavia and Iceland) but the actual paper titles in that one looked far less interesting. And I really really needed to finish the podcast script.

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