11 October 2014

Mermaids and the Academy

I headed to a conference this week, taking a day from the day job to present research with colleagues. Really it was a day away from the classroom to talk to fellow literature nerds about something Floridian... mermaids, pirates, and sea monsters. I never thought, while sitting in Compositional Theory or The History of the English Language, that one day I would have the chance to take a childhood fantasy, being a mermaid, and discuss it academically with like minded folks. I had the amazing chance to look at the "Disneyfication" of Andersen's Sea Maid, discuss the differing motives of mermaids over time, from the succubus of the sea to the guardian of man, mention the all too obvious sanitization of the Starbucks logo to take the sex out of mermaids... at least as they refer to publicly traded coffee companies. Then my friends rocked the group with their discussions of Floridianna "retro-tainment" a la the mermaid and mermaids as the social construct of other. OK, so maybe that is making maidens of the sea a bit to academic for some, but it made my day.

Sometimes you have to realize that your job kinda rocks!

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