While everyone else has been writing terrific post-MLA posts, after getting back late on New Year's Eve I've been trying to get the writing done that (surprise, surprise) did not write itself while I was away* and also to get ready for the semester, which starts on Monday.
The reflections on blogging, the scholarly worth of blogging, even name tags--all that's been covered well on other blogs, so here is something resolutely trivial: cards.
One of the few perqs academics in full-time jobs get (besides free books and the ability to spend vacation time and money going to conferences) is a set of professional cards with name, department, etc. , and yet in years of going to conferences, I've noticed an odd reluctance to use them, except by publishers in the book exhibit. (An exception: Dr. Crazy mentioned taking a card so that she could pass along someone's name to a colleague.) I have even heard people apologizing for having cards ("My department got these for me--don't know why I carry them"). Writing something down on a scrap of paper that you've scrounged from your conference notes seems much more the norm.
Is it that people don't carry cards? Is it that they believe it's presumptuous or pompous to give someone a card? Does it make academics feel too much like salespeople? Or are the odd apologies I've seen atypical?
Do we even have an established etiquette for giving out our cards?
See, I told you it was trivial.
* I lied. I also took a day off and did nothing except watch old movies.