This time last week I was eating pheasant in a dining hall that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in Harry Potter – that’s what you get when Oxford University play host to the AHGBI conference!The AHGBI (Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland) annual conference brings together those working on any Spanish or Portuguese speaking country from all levels, with graduate students right up to top professors. It’s therefore the best chance both to learn about new developments in the field and to do some serious networking.This was my first AHGBI conference and I’m glad to say I made the most of it, spending 37 hours over two and a half days attending presentations, making mountains of notes, asking questions, meeting new people, catching up with friends from previous conferences, and eating lots of very posh food. The great thing about the conference is how it brings together scholars from so many different aspects of our very large field: I attended papers on everything from dubbing in Spanish films to feminist translation practices. While I obviously love the topic of my own research, a PhD can feel very limited at times, so it’s great to connect to so many other fascinating topics. I also enjoyed the many unexpected topics that popped up in presentations, from Edward the sparkly vampire in Twilight to time travel, Broadway musicals to Fifty Shades of Grey!On the final day of the conference, it was time for my own panel on ‘Canonicity and Marginalised Literature in Latin America’ (looking at literature from countries often ignored by academia), which had been almost a year in the making.
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