What is a blog for, if not expressing one’s appreciation? I want to publicly thank everyone who participated in the Research in Religious Studies conference at the University of Lethbridge this weekend, not just for making me feel welcome but also simply for being part of this wonderful event. Special thanks are due to: Jim Linville, his wife Mary, and all Jim’s colleagues at the University of Lethbridge; to Anne Moore of the University of Calgary for providing transportation and interesting conversation as well as being herself a key contributor to the conference, forging bonds of collegiality between her institution and Lethbridge and getting her students to attend; and (overlapping with the previously mentioned people) I should thank all the science fiction fans who attended, without whom some of the inside jokes and references in my talk would have fallen flat.
I’ll be leaving Lethbridge today. Due to when I was able to book my flight (and the need to get back to Indianapolis to finish grading and get ready to take students to Israel in a little over a week), unfortunately I am missing the morning session today, and so I do want to apologize for that. The papers that I attended yesterday were really interesting. There is vibrant undergraduate and graduate study and research in religious studies going on in this part of Canada. The students who presented are doing high-quality work even at an early stage in their academic careers.While I was here I kept hearing about interesting recent local events related to Star Trek in particular, such as Leonard Nimoy’s visit to Vulcan, and one event that caused quite a bit of chaos as more people turned up than could be allowed into the building: the reunion of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation just over a week ago at the Calgary Expo. SF Signal just shared a video (the first of five) from one of the sessions, and so I’ll end this post by sharing that: