Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Inner Child

The MLA is sending out reminders to bring winter boots because it is likely to snow in winter in New York. I’d wonder at this weird infantilization of academics if I hadn’t seen how eagerly people self-infantilize at conferences. It’s like a conference is the time for the inner child to come out.


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13 thoughts on “Inner Child

  1. There is supposed to be a bad storm around the coast, but I don’t know when it’s supposed to hit (I think later this week) or how bad it’s supposed to hit in NYC. They’re talking about it being followed by a record-breaking cold snap, though. Maybe that’s what they meant to convey?


    • Yeah, my flight just got cancelled. I don’t know if I’ll get there at all.


    • I think this is what it is. I also did appreciate it one time when I went to a conference in Minneapolis in October and we were warned to bring winter, and not fall clothes because there you need what many would call winter clothes already in October. It was funny because the guy who sent the message was Brazilian, from the tropics, and he was also communicating his own shock at how cold it could get… (and a lot of people coming to the conference were coming from Brazil where October is late tropical summer)…


  2. Crystallizing chaos on said:

    I think this kind of infantilization is just part of US culture. This is a country where coffee cups are marked ‘Caution: Hot’, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People do infantilize themselves at conferences and I have not figured out why.


      • Partly I think it’s the idea of being away from home but still nice and safe (a combination which rarely brings out anything good in most people) and a chance to recast the discipline/science itself as the mommy figure that needs to meet their needs.


        • Interesting. Odd. But I never stay in the conference hotel. And I think people only act this way at conferences in US?


          • “I never stay in the conference hotel. And I think people only act this way at conferences in US”

            I dunno, one “US” conference I attended was in Mexico (I was with a group that stayed in the area close to the big market rather than at the ‘conference’ hotel so I have no idea how they acted there).

            In Europe of course conferences are likely to be in other countries, the last one I was at was in Slovakia, but there was no conference hotel as such. In my experience European academics also tend to go a little crazy away from home though without some of the infantilization…
            Western visitors tend to become infantilized in Eastern Europe, usually because they really are kind of helpless and dependent on those who know how things work to get even the simplest things done without causing incidents or massive drama.
            I probably was fairly infantile in my earlier days in Poland for that reason though thankfully my memories are a little blurry in that regard.



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