POSTCARD FROM THE EDGE: Thoughts on the ‘Feminist Theory: An International Debate’ Conference held at Glasgow University, Scotland, 12–15 July 1991
At the ‘Feminist Theory’ conference I met a woman who had arrived in Britain with an Australian touring circus, and she told me a little of her story. She said that she’d abandoned the world of the academy some years ago for a life of physical adventure, but now, considering a return to more intellectual pursuits, here she was at Glasgow, taking a look around. Locked into conference mode, I faltered-what to talk about, if not our institutions and the ups and downs of academic life? ‘So, do you walk the tightrope, or ride the trapeze?’ I hazarded, eventually. ‘No, never, because it hurts!’, was her emphatic and down-to-earth response. Memories are notoriously slippery; partial, fractured, idiosyncratic and screening, perhaps, as much as they reveal, but as I think back over Glasgow, it’s this fragment of a conversation-this glimpse of the circus with its pains and its pleasures, that I recall.