I Miss Conferences

I’m not going to apply for any conferences in 2022 because I don’t believe they will be conducted in person. I’d rather be wrong and miss a conference than have another experience of 3 days on Zoom.

The whole point of a conference is not to be at home or in the office alone. There’s absolutely no point to it all otherwise. I already spend all day sitting alone and staring at a screen. These virtual conferences are only making me more tired instead of more energetic.

I really like conferences, and their loss is upsetting to me.

Who else on here misses conferences a lot?

7 thoughts on “I Miss Conferences”

  1. I cannot tell you how much I miss conferences! This is where I meet old friends and come up with new research ideas. I hate hate hate the online conferences with a fiery passion. I really hope the real ones come back! Right now I am not optimistic that they ever will.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Me!!! Clearly the people doing this have no clue that the primary reasons for going to a conference are rarely “so I can sit and listen to someone talk.” There were very few people I enjoy listening to or care about what they have to say enough that I was willing to sign up for a webinar with them prior to this ridiculousness. That has not changed; if anything, I’m significantly less willing to spend an hour or two in front of a screen to learn about anything from anyone.

    My favorite yearly conference was converted to a virtual event last year when “15 days to slow the spread” was announced just three weeks before it had been scheduled. Everyone who had registered for the convention was given access to “the live event” which was run for 8 hours a day during same three days it had been slated, and to every single recording through the end of 2020. I never bothered to listen to or watch a single one – live or recorded. I don’t sign up to attend these things to be a passive observer. I do it to get out of my normal routine, to engage with speakers and other attendees, and to have a vacation from everyday responsibilities.

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  3. I did one online conference (technically I was kind of an organizer before the decision to go virtual so not a huge amount of choice).
    My own presentation was…. not good. Because of software issues I could see the prepared material but not myself and as a result was nervous and out of sorts.
    There was one okay discussion session that I took part in (off camera) but even that was a poor substitute for live interactions.
    Never again.

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  4. I keep seeing articles like this: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2021/03/04/the-post-covid-future-of-virtual-conferences/
    Accessibility… blah blah blah… inequalities… blah blah blah… climate change… blah blah blah… did I mention inequalities?

    I have had some of my best research ideas over the years at conferences. But not so much because of a specific paper I heard – it’s because I get to park my everyday routines and concerns and fully immerse myself in thinking.

    As years go by I am more and more convinced that Humanities academics do not normally need fancy grants or Digital humanities or whatnot – we need time away from everyday concerns to think, alone (e.g. in archival research) or with others (e.g. real conferences).

    Of course senior management isn’t normally very keen on these things because they cost money and they might not produce an immediate return. Fine. But why some actual academics support management in this respect and are intent in doing away with conferencing and archival research under the guise of “inclusivity” is beyond me. Said academics also tend to be the ones who fancy themselves as radicals, “speaking truth to power” with senior management and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Yes! YES!!!

      I’m a mother of a small child. I need those 4 days when I can think without interruption, know I’m not needed, and feel intellectually renewed by exploring new ideas and places.

      Inclusivity = austerity.

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