Monday, July 13, 2009

academic dining

It's most disorienting being at a very British conference (despite its supposed transatlantic marriage of NAVSA and BAVS) in a Cambridge college - with one's own Rutgers colleagues, doing departmental business with one hand and catching up with old graduates - and undergraduates - with the other.   The sense of dislocation was intensified by going into the bathroom in the Faculty Dining Room area, and finding Gowns hanging there - yes, one used to have to wear these for formal dinners, kleenex and keys shoved up the sleeves if one didn't have a purse or pocket, and yes, I occasionally lost one (an expensive matter) since they tended to walk away from their hanger.   English gowns are more substantial than their American counterparts, which have a nasty tendency to be made from something black and shiny and have zippers up the front, like a rather tame bondage outfit.   I'm not sure whether the red thing is a hood, or what - I didn't like to approach it to find out.   Just because I'm giving a paper on "Dressing Up" tomorrow (both Victorian and modern - and above all, the subjects of certain contemporary photographers) doesn't mean that I have a compelling desire to explore stray costumes...

1 comment:

  1. The red thing is probably a hood, but I remember the first time we were invited to a feast at christmas and the invite read 'scarlet and decorations', I really thought that some old codger was going to turn up with tree trimmings on his gown! xxx b