This is more a write up for me to remember what I saw that to tell anyone who wasn't there what happened, mostly because I didn't take notes properly and so I've probably forgotten much more than I would like to admit. For most of my friends who won't know anything about the IMC, the running theme of the Congress this year is "Rules". Will add links later when not on a tablet which hates cut and paste!
Session 1: 113 - Getting clean and being dirty: Rules to follow for hygiene.
Paper 1: To bathe or not to bathe, Elizabeth Archibald.
This paper was awesome for me and was the fundamental reason for me kicking myself to make sure I actually attended instead of just wishing. Dr Archibald is in the early stage of a project studying bathing and hygiene in the medieval period and seems to have noticed similar things to where I was before I kinda stopped working on hygiene. Her handout had a lot of sources I'd either been looking for (primary sources where I had secondary references) or matched things I had noticed too. I found it really inspiring and I am now determined to spend at least part of my summer break getting my head and notes in order on the subject as it remains totally chaotic and mostly in my head.
Paper 2: When to 'go' in Frankish monastic texts, Belle Tuten.
This paper was about explicit and implied evidence of when monks were able to visit the latrines. She mentioned areas I wasn't consciously aware of, such as fears held over monks using the latrines for lascivious purposes. I wasn't clear whether this referred to masturbation, homosexual relations, or both so is something I shall find out about another time... Lots of rules on what and when could happen and some interesting thoughts for me regarding cleanliness.
Paper 3: Why hold a drinking party in a latrine?: Women's impurity in two Anglo-Saxon texts, Martha Bayless
This paper was a fun one which began with an account of an actual party held by some women inside a latrine! Comments about private and public space were very interesting and thought provoking, and I enjoyed the section on riddles even if it's not one of 'my' areas.
Closing Thought: "Filth Studies"! I like.
Sessions 2-4, Tuesday and Wednesday tomorrow if I get time. I MUST go to sleep now since I have to get the 06:30 train back across the Pennines if I'm to get back to Leeds in time for the 09:00 session tomorrow morning (I'm commuting in as it's cheaper than staying).
 No I don't know quite why I paused/stopped researching, and I hope that listening to this will have been the kick up the proverbial for me to Get On With It! I would like to write to Dr Archibald although I'm really not sure how to phrase it - "Hi, your research is something I've been fiddling with for the last 7 years or so and I'd love to share." sounds incredibly arrogant, clumsy and ingratiating, and is totally the opposite of what I mean to say! To stop me from sitting worrying and then just doing jack again, I promise myself to contact Dr Archibald IF I can think of a way to do it that sounds neither creepy, arrogant nor generally 'off'. I'd love the opportunity to really talk about it with someone who understands! :D to get