Tuesday, September 5
Pa ha ha ha! I just got a Call For Papers in my mailbox, and I actually read it because I suddenly have twice as much travel money as I've ever had in my whole career. (Tragic stories omitted.) But these European CFPs crack me up. They are like: We're having a conference. There's no topic. Your fee covers sherry, tea and cookies. There will be a starlight cruise. Send your paper to Fred.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a shipboard panel under the stars (though I may have overstated their plans) and I often find long meals and big breaks more rewarding than endless panels, but I don't understand how to interpret the CFP or how to compare one European conference to another. If I knew "Fred" or if I had the guest list, I might see this differently, but no. Instead, they read as though all I need to know is what kind of amenities will be provided. Is it possible that the amenities really do offer the necessary clues and I just don't have the secret decoder ring--like Hegelians drink port and real men don't eat cookies?

6 comments:

twilight blue said...

One of the most charming aspects of the conferences I've attended "across the pond" is the propensity of speakers to conclude their talks with the observation that "These critical matters would certainly be best discussed further at the university pub, where I hope you'll now join me."

Moreover, there actually were really interesting conversations going on at the pub, often late into the night...

kodachrome said...

Perfect, I'm there! Of course, you'd have to figure that, given my issues with door #3 and my willingness to go out drinking with hair boy, (which I guess you'd have to really know me to understand what a sacrifice that is). All I'm sayin' though, is that somebody needs to send me the codekey so I can figure out which U pub is the one I head for.

Navy Blue Blob said...

I think you're being a bit unfair. BS conference announcements come out of every continent. Maybe this was one of those. (Pay us $500 and we'll include your piece in some publication no one will care about.. that latter part is not in the announcement.)

Of course, perhaps this was one of the legit ones, in which case perhaps it really wasn't detailed enough, but while I've noticed all sorts of continental divides when it comes to academic affairs, this isn't one of them.

kodachrome said...
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kodachrome said...
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kodachrome said...

Hmmm. Blogger seems to be sick. Maybe without the link...

Oh, good point Navy Blue! Thanks so much for the secret decoder ring! (www.radioarchives.org/annie/)

And Wisteria, There's your secret society pin. Just buy one on ebay. Then go to lots of conferences in lots of disciplines and hope for the best!