Responses to Conferences

I really enjoyed everyone’s presentations. I thought this was definitely a great way to show our classmates more definitively how we were getting on with our work in a way our papers couldn’t. Because the paper is aimed at combining quantitative data with analysis, I think a presentation is a great way to communicate research efforts and conclusions. 

Brie’s work translated very well into a presentation, and it was nice to see how she has already improved on her paper. It made a strong effort to introduce Woolf to the audience and then transition into her work on Three Guineas. We got to see her history and how her transformation into a feminist writer was somewhat unexpected. I also thought that it was interesting to see how her association with the suffragette movement was somewhat distant, as they were guilty of violence that conflicted with Woolf’s feminist views. 

I was also interested by Abby’s presentation. It really showed how incredible some databases are and what we can infer about society and the past because of them. I think it was a relevant topic with important findings. Equality in the workplace is something that is still being questioned today, as men make far more on average than women. It’s reassuring that we have made some big strides compared to our past. 

Ira’s was an interesting examination of the correlation between page length and popularity. I was actually surprised to learn that there was no correlation between the length and popularity, because I think people are very reluctant to pick up a large book because you have to commit so much to a book of that length. Books are so engaging and if you aren’t in love with what you are reading, it’s basically impossible to continue on with it. Looking at your data, I think it would be fair to assume that there is some optimal page length within 300-400 pages. This makes sense to me, I really think that a strong majority of books fall in that length.

I had already read Jeff’s paper but I think he has made some nice strides on his work. I like the decision to expand on expansion as a whole, rather than just focus on Seeley. It’s very difficult to find useful information on authors, even famous ones. I think that focusing on Seeley’s popularity and how it may or may not relate to the decline of the English empire would be an interesting direction.

Finally, Tim’s presentation was very unique. I was honestly blown away by how many books his sister has read, but to actually input them into a database and review them showed some pretty serious dedication. I think it had a strong conclusion to. Your sister definitely didn’t fall under the typical teen girl audience, but I think that regardless of her not liking the Twilights and Sisterhood books, she doesn’t fall under any typical readership with such a giant library. 

I really liked these presentations and hope that everyone’s papers turn out great.

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