14.0033 down with conferences

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Fri May 26 2000 - 06:05:43 CUT

  • Next message: Humanist Discussion Group: "14.0035 online recitations?"

                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 33.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Fri, 26 May 2000 07:02:07 +0100
             From: "Jennifer de Beer" <jennifer@grove.uct.ac.za>
             Subject: Re: Down with Conferences

    [Forwarded from the Cyberculture list. --WM]

    ------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
    Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 05:05:10 -0400
    Reply-to: cyberculture@cmhcsys.com
    From: "Jennifer de Beer" <jennifer@grove.uct.ac.za>
    To: Multiple recipients of list <cyberculture@cmhcsys.com>


    I've been in a similar quandary. I self-funded my attendance of a
    conference last year and have thought that instead of planning an
    annual holiday, I should plan (and pay for) an annual-conference-
    attendance-with-a-holiday-on-the-side . Fortunately I've been able to
    obtain sponsorship thusfar, but generally am of the opinion that one
    is 'on your own' in this regard.Yes, generally those in academia are
    supported here in South Africa, but I am aware of institutions that do
    not sponsor attendance by certain (what are deemed to be
    administrative) departments, of conferences outside of SA There are
    funds available at a national level, but I am not sure what level of
    access those outside of academia e.g. freelancers would have.

    What's strking about all of this is how all-too-similar the situation
    is to scholarly publishing, and of how conference registration is akin
    to paying page fees. Well well well, it would seem we're being screwed
    twice over.

    The antiquated practice of scholarly publishing and conference
    attending is yet to be brought into the 21stC. Granted, there are (and
    have been) moves afoot w.r.t. the former, but I doubt many have
    thought of the latter.



    On 22 May 00 at 2:59, Sue Thomas wrote:

    > Alan
    > I'm afraid you're wrong about Incubation. You are being paid for
    > because you were one of our Writers-in-Residence and you are giving
    > a special guest presentation about your experience in that area.
    > The panel speakers who submitted abstracts and were accepted are not
    > receiving any financial help from us at all.
    > Whilst I see your point about payment etc, I think it's important to
    > look at this from the point of view of the organisers. At many
    > academic conferences, almost all of the delegates are speakers too.
    > Conferences cost money to put on - even in terms of room costs and
    > technical help etc - so if your delegates don't contribute to the
    > cost, who will? The traditional view of conferences was that a
    > certain group of specialists wanted to get together to talk and so
    > they arranged a large meeting which ended up being called a
    > conference. They contributed towards the cost because they knew that
    > quite frankly nobody else would consider their specialised subject
    > to be of interest. And I think it's the same even now for many
    > subject areas, probably including ours.
    > So let me put it the other way around - that it's a shame more
    > people won't invest in a meeting which will allow them to test their
    > own theories in front of their peers, enhance their existing
    > knowledge and also probably give them a very pleasant social
    > experience.
    > At Incubation we offer a special package which includes all meals,
    > two nights accommodation, and the conference dinner for =A3216.50. The
    > concessionary rate for that is only =A3145.80
    > I think that is excellent value for 2.5 days of almost non-stop
    > specialised discussion , both formal and informal, from 9am until 12
    > midnight.
    > And on a personal note, I have been there and know how it is to be
    > freelance. I brought up 2 kids on it, and sometimes had as many as 8
    > different jobs at the same time - writing, teaching, running
    > workshops, running events for other writers. The idea we all have is
    > that being freelance allows us time to write but what it actually
    > does is allow us only time to do paid work and worry that we aren't
    > doing any writing because we are working, although it's true that
    > you do gain in time because you worry so much about where the rent
    > is coming from that you can't sleep :(
    > But it's a choice I made for quite a few years, and then I stopped
    > doing it that way and got a full-time job - and now I still don't
    > have time to write. But it's true that I now have money to attend
    > conferences.
    > Sue
    > Sue Thomas
    > http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/incubation
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Alan Sondheim" <sondheim@panix.com>
    > To: "Multiple recipients of list" <cyberculture@cmhcsys.com>
    > Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 2:22 AM
    > Subject: Re: Down with Conferences
    > >
    > >
    > > Thank you for this; I agree of course. I also heard from people in
    > > Australia whose fees are paid, and I'm speaking at the Incubation
    > > Conference in England - again, the fees are paid. But in the States,
    > > I think the "conferencing" has become an industry, and a fairly
    > > destructive one at that, particularly since it's in the name of
    > > knowledge...
    > >
    > > Alan
    > >
    > > Internet Text at http://www.anu.edu.au/english/internet_txt
    > > Partial at http://lists.village.virginia.edu/~spoons/internet_txt.html
    > > Trace Projects at http://trace.ntu.ac.uk/writers/sondheim/index.htm
    > >
    > >


    Jennifer de Beer
    Cape Library Cooperative (CALICO) & INFOLIT
    c/o the Adamastor Trust
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Tel: +27 (0)21 686-5070 Fax: +27 (0)21 689-7465
    E-mail: jennifer@adamastor.ac.za
    Regional Research Update: http://www.adamastor.ac.za/Academic/rru/index.htm
    CALICO: http://www.adamastor.ac.za/Academic/Calico/portal.htm
    INFOLIT: http://www.adamastor.ac.za/Academic/Infolit/default.htm

    Complex machines are an emergent life form
                             The Post-Human Manifesto 8.13

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri May 26 2000 - 06:11:44 CUT