Lecture tours in the USA may not be quite like the proverbial Simon and Garfunkel "tour of one-night stands" -- singing with your band out of a suitcase -- but it's not quite as different as you might think. This week, I've been in Texas and California lecturing and seminaring: to be precise, two graduate seminar papers and a public lecture at the University of Texas (at Austin -- rather nice place, even if currently more than 100 degrees fahrenheit), then a public lecture at Stanford, followed this afternoon by responding to a paper at a conference on travel and travel literature.
This is of course what the job's about and it is huge fun. I have met loads of new people, talked to heaps of clever graduate students, reconnected with old mates and picked up all kinds of bibliography and ideas. Last night, for example, I had a really useful 'frank exchange of views' on Roman portraits with Chris Hallett who had come across to my lecture in Stanford from Berkeley with some of his students -- which would never have happened through email.
So it's all very worthwhile -- but also dead knackering.