AoIR has been my primary intellectual home since its first conference in Lawrence, Kansas and I am so delighted to have been given the opportunity to help shape one of the conferences. These have been difficult shoes to fill given the many smart people who have taken on this task before me and the many excellent conferences AoIR has presented.
There are several people I particularly want to thank. First, the other members of the Conference Committee: Mia Consalvo, Alex Halavais, Michael Zimmer, and Karine Nahon. Thanks also to Lassana Magassa and Beth Patin, graduate assistants in Seattle. This has been a great team to work with and I have received great advice and assistance from everyone. I would also like to thank Caroline Haythornthwaite who provided good counsel when I was deciding whether to take on this role. Finally, my thanks to Ellen Rubenstein, who served as my Graduate Assistant this summer and helped me organize the panels, and thanks to GSLIS for providing the funds for that Assistantship.
My hope with this conference theme was to push AoIR’s interdisciplinarity even a bit further by encouraging greater inclusion of digital humanities and digital arts. While we did not get as many submissions along those lines as I had hoped, I invite you to seek out sessions and papers that contribute to the theme of Performance, and to think about how (and whether) we might continue opening up that area of inquiry within AoIR.
I’m biased of course, but I believe we have a great program this year. Our keynotes provide a range of perspectives from inside and out of academia. I hope you’ll find them provocative and inspiring. It has also been a treat to go through the abstracts and review what people are presenting. Choosing sessions to attend will be difficult. Let me encourage you in that regard to get up early! I know that 8:30 a.m. time slot will be painful, especially for those of you who have traveled some distance, but I promise that it will be worth it. There are some great presentations in our earliest sessions. And if you need a little help that early, remember that Seattle has some of the best coffee in the world.
I look forward to seeing you all and hope you have a great conference!