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WAIS 2013:  What (is) Now?

10-13 October, 2013

Plan to attend the WAIS 2013 Conference, to be held on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan, beginning Thursday evening, 10 October and ending Sunday morning, 13 October. Save the date, tell your friends, and come to see John Eipper's professional home!

Michigan is lovely in October (ask Siegfried Ramler, who visited last fall and brought Hawaiian weather with him)--the autumnal colors are in their fullest splendor, the air is brisk but not cold, there's a 50-50 chance it won't rain, and everything is perfumed with the bouquet of dry leaves and apple cider.

For now, I invite WAISers (and interested non-WAISers) to submit proposals for 20-minute papers or talks. Individual topics are open, but I invite every presenter to address some aspect of the question, "What (is) Now"?

Let me explain. Our 1996 conference had the theme "War Crimes and War Criminals"; this was during the nastiest moments of the Balkan civil wars. Our 2001 conference, held just six weeks before the world changed forever on 9-11, dealt with Globalization. In 2006 we focused on Critical World Problems, and in '09 the topic was Globalities and Localities, largely a thematic reprise of 2001. Our most recent gathering, in Torquay, England (2011), was primarily social in nature, a celebration of Ronald Hilton's centennial at the place of his birth. Looking forward, in 2015 we'll return to Stanford to observe the WAIS Golden Jubilee (1965-2015). Which, for 2013, leaves us with the question...

What (is) Now?

How will historians remember the 2010s? What are the specific challenges of our era, and how do they differ from post-9/11 and the Crash of 2008? Are we still in the post-'08 era of worldwide austerity and malaise? Has the Clash of Civilizations played itself out? What are the crucial issues in Religion, Economy, History/Historiography, Energy/Transportation, Education, Politics, International Relations?

The parenthesis in the conference title allows for two readings: What is now?--to invite reflections on our present era, and What now?--as in, Where do we go from here? The idea is for individual presenters to spark a WAISly exchange of ideas and opinions.

So what say you? What (is) Now?

Given the eclectic interests of WAISers, we expect to hear presentations from a myriad of perspectives and disciplines.

Some conference details: We will begin Thursday evening (10 October) with a reception on the Adrian College campus. Friday we'll hold sessions all day, as well as Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon will give WAISers the chance to attend an all-American ritual--a small-town college football game! The Adrian Bulldogs will host the Alma Scots--a beast vs man, Wesley vs Calvin showdown. We will conclude WAIS '13 Saturday night, with a banquet at Adrian's premier Mexican restaurant, the world-famous Cancun.

Sunday morning (October 13th) will be an optional trip to the Henry Ford in Dearborn, the nation's foremost museum of technology and material culture. (Among other artifacts, the Henry Ford houses the Kennedy assassination limousine and the legendary Rosa Parks bus. I also love the only surviving example of Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House--the Brave New future of living in the 1940s!) A bus to Dearborn will depart from Adrian Sunday morning at 8:30 AM, and will drop off WAISers at the Detroit airport by 3 PM.

The conference registration fee of $125 will cover lunches for Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th, as well as tickets to the football game, the Thursday reception and dinner on Saturday the 12th. The fee does not include admission to the Henry Ford, which runs $17 ($15 for seniors 62+), payable at the museum entrance.

Travel: If you are flying in, plan to arrive to Detroit (DTW) by 3 PM on Thursday the 10th. Travel time from Detroit Metro to Adrian is about 70 minutes. I plan to run at least two complimentary "WAIS Express" shuttles from the airport to Adrian, the first departing at noon and the second at around 4 PM. For late arrivals, taxi fare from Detroit to Adrian runs a steep $109 each way; it will probably be more economical to rent a car (try Hotwire.com for the best rates).

Lodging: I have reserved a block of rooms at the 3-star Carlton Lodge in Adrian for the nights of October 10th, 11th, and 12th. The rate is a reasonable $74.99 per night plus tax (king or double occupancy), which includes free Internet, parking, and continental breakfast. Please telephone the Carlton at 517-263-7000, and ask for the WAIS/John Eipper/Adrian College rate.  The e-mail address is frontdesk@cladrian.com

I look forward to seeing old WAIS friends, and to making new ones. More information will be forthcoming (including a surprise keynote speaker for Friday evening), but for now, send your proposals to me (John Eipper, jeipper@waisworld.org). Also, let me know if you plan to attend but will not give a presentation.

Pax et lux to all, and...onward to Adrian!


WAIS 2013 Program

Watch select presentations:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wais-conference-2011