2015 (Inter)National Postmodern Village Conference and Innovation Symposium

By Mary Chino Cherry

With the advent of the STEM era in higher education, Purewater University has embraced new leadership, and with new leadership these days, the inevitable: "innovation."

Innovation, gurus of such things tell us, is necessarily disruptive, and disruptive, they tell us, is necessarily good.

Boring AeronauticsDisruption, in the case of the 22nd Annual Postmodern Village Conference and Maker-tasm, means this: moving the conference location from the official PU conference center in Spivey, Kansas, to the University's new Field Office, formerly the sprawlingly industrial Boring Aerospace manufacturing facility just south of town.

Innovation, apparently, also involves dealmaking, as Boring Aerospace now houses its research and engineering departments on PU's main campus, on the site of the former PU Olympic Competition Bass Fishing Facility, now drained and dried, and heavily underpinned for the sake of testing large-scale aerospace-quality composites using the latest in high-energy impact devices.

As I understand it, what this really means is that they drop planes from cranes.

This move has, in turn, innovatively disrupted the Boring Aerospace manufacturing division to Indonesia, and Boring Aerospace executive offices to St. Moritz, in order for their top-brass to "continually experience altitude, which is what we're all about."

Faced with the raw square-footage of a pre-innovation industrial operation, the conference committee was faced with both a challenge and an opportunity, but mostly we were faced with 700 barn swallow nests guanofying key parts of the the intended conference site.

Innovation, of course, is good, and disruption, naturally, is good, but if you're the English Department at a mid-level, Midwestern university, the future quickly starts to look like a literal pile of crap.

Fortunately, our expert in 17th Century British literature also knows how to run a front-loader, and she managed to have things cleaned up in time for us to run a heck of a show.


Pitches, Part 1