In December 2017, the Memory Studies Association’s (MSA) Annual Convention was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, and featured over 500 participants and attendees. I was invited to speak on the “Processes of Memory Roundtable” by the panel’s organizer, Jessica Rapson (Kings College), in order to introduce my second major research project exploring the dynamics of memory and gentrification. This roundtable provided me with an essential opportunity to discuss my emerging research and get feedback from prominent scholars in the field. My participation also contributed significantly to my profile as an academic job candidate in a highly competitive market, where I have been able to discuss my concrete plans for a second book-length project during job interviews and on a campus visit because of this talk. Presenting this research also helped me solidify my plans to apply for a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship in the fall with European scholars who were in attendance at the conference. Additionally, I was invited to join the MSA’s “Memory and Activism” working group, which will help me collaborate with other scholars over the next year to expand my gentrification research to include anti-gentrification activism and art. The MSA was thus an invaluable opportunity for me to not only present and nuance this research project, but also position myself as an emerging memory studies scholar.
Even though I was invited to present my research at this conference, much of my travel was self-funded. As such, this travel award will go a long way in helping me further pursue this project as I plan on traveling to new urban sites to complete this research.