Well what happened? Oddly I've only been to AAR papers. The first was on historiography, historians and the 'linguistic turn'/poststructuralism. I wanted to go to the review off Roland Boer's book on Marxism and the Bible but hadn't read his book (apparently I'd have liked it anyway as the discussion got quite broad). The historiography paper was interesting because I think some of that debate has reached an end. Many people now appreciate the benefits of postmodernism and those who are strongly postmodernist are recognising that most conventional historians aren't hardcore Elton-style empiricists. Gabrielle Speigel responded to Elizabeth Clark on this and was excellent. She is a trained philosopher of history and it showed. Thankfully I did get to meet Roland Boer (who had some very interesting things to say) in the evening which included a drinks session in one Yasmin Finch's room via some connection with Paul Nikkel. The blogging community spreads far and wide.
I went to an afternoon paper on the Iraq war. The first paper was more a summary of the just war arguments in recent years but after that the discussion got more directly relevant with some very good papers. But I saw what had to be the finest academic paper I have ever seen by Simon Harak and some of the most enjoyable and relevant discussion I have ever been involved with. Harak gave masses of detail (brilliantly presented too) on the role of business and the war and the money spent on PR. I've got loads of notes and will blog more on this when I get home.
I met a couple of bloggers too: Jim West (alas, minus a Zwingli hat), Michael Pahl (much taller than I thought), the very Aussie Michael Bird, and my old nemesis (see earlier discussions on Iraq and Islam) Ken Ristau (much, much taller than I thought). Have I missed anyone out?
There also seems to be popular support for the bed picture in both the comments section and from Mark Goodacre. I always knew that was a great idea.
First SBL paper today for me: social sciences I think.