Blog—Stories from the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies

Building a Professional Community

Kate Buis, Department of Theater and Art, University of Minnesota

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In February 2024, I attended the 2024 Multidisciplinary Graduate Conference to present a paper that examined the first moveable paper bodies in the West, the “fugitive sheets.” In this paper, I analyzed how these 16th century popular broadsides were not just pedagogical toys. Instead, I argued that through the mutual prompting of specific actions these objects create and evoke a body-to-body experience through performance.

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At the conference, I met and engaged with graduate students from all over the world who specialized in a variety of disciplines and who inspired and challenged me in my work. Throughout my time there, I attended a range of dynamic presentations which has expanded and nuanced my understanding of the premodern world. The conference provided other professionally rewarding opportunities as well, arranging for us to meet key staff members at the Newberry who shared their career journeys, advice, and expertise with us. While at the Newberry, I also took the opportunity to select relevant items from the library’s early modern holdings which advanced my larger research goals. At this conference, I made lasting and important contacts and I feel like I am a part of a larger scholarly community - it was such a generative and positive experience!

Kate Buis

Department of Theater and Art

University of Minnesota