As we get closer to the MLA 2016 Convention in Austin, TX, some of you must be excited but also nervous about interviews you have been invited to, papers that you will deliver or figuring out which panels you would like to attend, as because of time constraints, cannot attend them all. Among all the concerns that you might have, here are only a few suggestions to enjoy your time in Austin to the fullest and see what Austin has to offer.
With its rich options in cuisine, there is an abundance of local restaurants and food trucks for Tex-Mex restaurants and street tacos, Austin’s foodie culture offers a wide variety of cuisines from around the world, many of which that are conveniently located in the downtown metropolitan area. For a list of nearby restaurants and coffee shops, as well as B-Cycle Stations, you can use this map.
There are a lot of things to see if you have the time in between sessions. The Harry Ransom Center (HRC) at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) is mostly for the archive lovers. With its unique exhibitions and extraordinary collections of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Gabriel García Márquez, among many others, HRC invites those that would like to enjoy rare manuscripts, books, and visual materials. Here is the information on how to view the collections. Also located on the UT campus, the Blanton Museum of Art holds exhibitions that the art lover would not want to miss. Admission to Blanton is free on Thursdays.
For those who like to remain active during your travels, The Boardwalk at Lady Bird Lake is highly convenient, particularly for the conference attendees who will stay in downtown hotels. The trails along the Colorado River span through miles and miles of breath-taking scenery and offer a scenic view of downtown Austin during your morning jog or evening walk.
If you are coming to Austin with your little kids, Thinkery Kid’s Museum has science exhibits, play spaces, and free admissions on Wednesday nights. You will need to take a cab, Uber or Lyft to Thinkery from downtown.
For the music lovers, Austin lives up to the claim that it is “the live music capital of the world.” You can find live music almost every night of the week in just about any genre you could think of. Luckily for MLA attendees, the first week of January is “Free Week,” which includes a number of free concerts in Austin. After a long day of intellectual conversations, unwind a little by stopping by a local pub (or many) to listen to various bands and their eclectic tunes with fellow academics.
Finally, do not forget to stop by the Graduate Student Lounge located in 10C, Level 3, Austin Convention Center to chill and participate to our event on Friday, January 8, 5:15-6:30 pm to talk to our distinguished speakers. The Lounge will be open for you to take a break, relax, and practice your interview skills through the questions in our Fish Bowl throughout the conference!