Five months from now, I look forward to seeing you, listening to you and learning from you at the Hofstra Cultural Center’s conference honoring The 50th Anniversary of the New York Mets. The event that’s been a half-century in the making is coming to the Hempstead, Long Island, campus, Thursday April 26 through Saturday April 28.
As many of you no doubt know, Hofstra professor Dana Brand — the author of two indispensable volumes on Mets fandom, a blogger of great warmth and passion, and a friend to so many of us — had envisioned this conference for several years and had put a ton of preliminary work into it before his passing last May. I’m happy to report the conference is proceeding in Dana’s memory and is in some very good Hofstra hands. I’m also proud to be working with the organizers on editorial and historical matters and whatever else comes along. I told Dana I’d pitch in in any way I could, and I’m glad I can keep that pledge.
Details continue to coalesce. Key takeaways for the moment are that it is indeed happening (wrapping up on the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ first home win, FYI); that you should spread the word by any means at your disposal; and that if you are so inclined, you should submit your ideas for papers and/or presentations to the folks at Hofstra by January 10. If that interests you, please get in touch with me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see the working list of topics here (click on image to enlarge).
The aim of this conference is to treat the New York Mets as the cultural institution they have become across 50 endlessly Amazin’ years. Implicit in this framing is recognizing the importance of those who have made the Mets a surpassing presence in so many lives: the fans. Us, in other words. That’s what inspired Dana as much as anything, and that’s the force that will guide this conference into becoming a singular milestone commemoration. Professionals, academics and other interested parties will play a significant role in all of this, but it’s the Mets fan who is at the heart of everything Metsian. That includes the conference. Dana wouldn’t have had it any other way. So please, if you have ideas or questions, do get in touch.
And there will definitely be more to come.