I recently presented my first conference paper at the 'Re-defining Animation' conference run by the Society of Animation Studies (SAS) at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, which I attended with two other animators from COFA. There is a great review of the conference by Tunde Vollenbroek online here.
Topics covered ranged from historic animation devices and optical toys, to re-inventing character and landscape, and gender and race in animation and media, to animated documentary, gaming, data-visualisation, projection mapping, neuro-science and robots.
Some highlights, for me, were:
David Hanson's very cool but also quite scary robot of Philip K. Dick.