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Monday, May 04, 2015

The Conference Manifesto

At the New York Times "The Stone" page is Christy Wampole's "The Conference Manifesto."   The "manifesto" opens with this:

We are weary of academic conferences.

We are humanists who recognize very little humanity in the conference format and content.

We have sat patiently and politely through talks read line by line in a monotone voice by a speaker who doesn’t look up once, wondering why we couldn’t have read the paper ourselves in advance with a much greater level of absorption.

We have tried to ignore the lack of a thesis or even one interesting sentence in a 20-minute talk.

Our jaws have hung in disbelief as a speaker tries to squeeze a 30-minute talk into a 20-minute slot by reading too fast to be understood. . . .

Ouch.  Read the whole thing.

Posted by Rick Garnett on May 4, 2015 at 12:45 PM in Rick Garnett | Permalink

Comments

I love this. It should be combined with the various 'the only [X] questions which are ever asked' list.

Posted by: Barry | May 5, 2015 7:39:31 PM

I've been to conferences in other fields and noticed many of these dynamics. Thankfully, in my experience, most of these observations do not apply to conferences in legal academia.

Posted by: anon | May 4, 2015 5:56:11 PM

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