Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So I applied for this philosophy conference that I really want to attend. They told me that the decision on whose proposals will be accepted will be made in May. The problem is that this conference is scheduled for the same two days as another conference that I have been considering. The other conference doesn't carry a risk of me not being accepted. But the final date to apply for it is April 22. 

So do I risk it and wait for the decision on the philosophy conference? Or do I make the safe choice of withdrawing from the philosophy conference and going with the easy alternative? 

I can't apply for the safe conference and then let the organizers of the panel down. I have organized panels myself, so I know how annoying it is when people withdraw because something better came up. I can't do that to organizers.


Jonathan said...

Philosophers are well-known for hostile questions after talks. Also, the main purpose of conferences is to make professional contacts who will help you out later, with tenure reviews and the like. The philosophers might be more interesting (if hostile), but I would say you would better off in a conference where you will meet people in your own field. Also, of course, the philosophers could reject your paper and then you'd be left with neither conference. (The likelihood of being rejected is greater if you are not a philosopher and not attuned to that particular ethos. Your proposal could be very sound, but not judged to be good within that discipline for other resason.)

Clarissa said...

The people at the easy conference are the ones I've mostly met already. (My entire department is going, for example.) And the last one was horribly organized. (It's the M/MLA.) But I'd say it's very likely that the philosophy people reject my proposal.

Jonathan said...

The M/MLA is just not that great a conference, and if you don't think you'd be cementing significant professional relationships, then you should skip it. The last thing you want to do at a conference is to see your own dept. The other significant reason to go to conferences is to get away from your own colleagues, even if you like them.

So I changed my mind: go for the philosophy one.

Clarissa said...

:-) :-)

Maybe you could do a post on how to find out about good conferences in our field and how to determine which is a good one. Until I went, I had no idea that M/MLA was nothing special.