On the Possible Shamness of Academic Conferences


Two hours earlier, I presented a paper called “On the Possible Shamness of Academic Conferences” in the beautiful, exoticized islands of the Philippines. I arrived at the conference just hours before the start of the program and after watching all the carbon emissions from the airplane I rode in going here (the experience reminded me of this. I am from the unknown island of Untied Dingcome.

Just after my presentation, I thought of the possible shamness of academic conferences, precisely the title of my paper. Before finally deciding to attend this conference, I had to think not twice but tries—that is, for grammatical purposes, I had to try to swallow my heart and think about the event as an opportunity to meet and listen to people, see a new place, secure a prestigious certificate, taste exotic food and pray that really meaningful conversations will transpire.

I guess I was rattled inside. This is when I resorted to reviewing encouraging messages from my senior classmates. These encouraging messages, ironically, talk about academic conferences in not-so-encouraging terms. That is what made these reminders lovely and spiriting for me!

(One described “a lot of [conferences as] sham” while another is more particularly indicting, using words like “self-serving academics” to refer to the london pips)

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Empty Chairs

 

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