Monday, January 10, 2011

Nomad to the conferences

Well, this is a new one for me: I don't know how to plan for this year's academic conferences, because I have no idea where on earth I will be when they are held.  In previous years, I've had to contend with financial obstacles and the occasional concern of "what paper am I going to give to justify my schmoozing?"  I didn't quite realize until faced with the calls for papers and the emails about conference dates that, since I don't know where I will physically be, I cannot yet buy a plane ticket.  And if I can't buy a ticket, I can't guarantee that I will be able to attend.

And to think that I was worried before about figuring which of my disciplinary conferences to attend!  (There are three big-time conferences that are obvious contenders in any given year.)  Never mind negotiating the overlapping dates; what about determining what continent I will be living on?

Yet another reason to wish that I had something lined up for this coming year.  Perhaps this is my cue to go back to work on my job apps.


  1. I have skipped [regional] conference for two years in a row; once year, my paper got rejected, and the next, I forgot to apply until a week after deadline. (Because, of course, not having attended the year before, I wasn't a member...) I now miss it, because [disciplinary] conference blows, and, frankly, [regional] is kinda awesome; but [disciplinary] conference is where the interviews are. Oh, and I haven't been to [other interdisciplinary field] in a million years, because the best work on [topic] just isn't presented there--it's at smaller conferences or at the disciplinaries.

    There needs to be more conversation about how you sort among these sorts of conferences. I SMELL A FUTURE BLOG POST.

    I mean, I say "apply for everything, drop out as necessary," because, meh, why not? I have no idea if I'm going to be able to make it to anything next year, as it'll entirely depend on money--but that doesn't mean I'm not writing those abstracts...

  2. I'm with Ajnabieh--why would you not just submit abstracts to all of them and decide later? I usually apply to everything (2-4 per year, regional, disciplinary, and random) and go to the ones where I get accepted/can afford it/the timing isn't awful. Bonus if it's in a location where I have friends or lots of friends are attending!

  3. I guess you two have a solid point. I just hadn't gotten into that mindset yet, since in the last few years, I knew I'd be able to hit one conference or another, that I really had to start showing my face around the proverbial town of academe, and that I had enough cash to manage the trip. Also, I've had the good fortune to bat 1.000 so far for abstracts accepted; I forgot that this yield might not last forever.

    If anything, I think what annoys me about submitting to everything is the amount of work it entails with potentially little payoff. I kinda feel like I'm doing plenty of that by applying for jobs! But I guess that this is a less than mature attitude to take.

    Oh, and Ajnabieh, duly noted about the future blog post. Look for it soon. Meanwhile, feel free to start the ball rolling, so we can make this a full-on scholarly bloggy conversation!

  4. I submit abstracts, see what happens and put off whether I go until later. I used to try to go to regional and interdisciplinary conferences but that was back in the days of when I was a graduate student. I knew that I had to go, the membership rates for the organizations were cheaper and I could apply for funding from the department/uni to attend them.

  5. Hi and welcome, Anthea! Yours seems to be the majority opinion, so I guess I'm leaning that way myself. Will blog more about conferences; stay tuned!