I really love academic conferences. I think I might be somewhat of an outlier in this respect, as many of my colleagues and advisors seem to think of conferences as some combination of a waste of time or too draining to enjoy, perhaps redeemed by the informal social or intellectual exchanges that sometimes make it worthwhile. I was raised on a very similar set of experiences – bridge tournaments from age 8 on up, then gaming conventions from about 14 to college – and I’ve always loved the atmosphere of the tournament/convention/conference. This year I may hit my limit though. Academically, there are about half a dozen major conferences I could plausibly attend in a given year, and there not funds or time to do all of them. In the past, I’ve gone to ASA and most recently SSHA. This year my line-up looks like this:
June – SASE in Madrid!* Presenting a paper on financial regulations and the sociology of law in the Finance & Society network.
August – ASA in Vegas! So far, I’m presenting on a social theory panel, and waiting to hear back on some other things.
I think I’m going to skip SSHA this year, as much as I’d be interested in going back to Boston. Two conferences in November would stretch both my budget and my tolerance for travel. At heart, I’m quite Hobbit-like, and I take Bilbo’s words of warning quite seriously.*** Similarly, at some point I’d like to go to the Academy of Management conference, but this year it’s in San Antonio in August – not a high priority destination!
Anyway, all this to say, I’m looking forward to another year of conferences, and to another year of meeting up with old friends and making new ones!
* Is anyone else going to SASE? I’ve heard good things about the meetings, and I’ve never been to Spain, so it seemed like a good time to check them out!
**Cleveland merits an exclamation mark for being within driving distance, and for an amazing tourism campaign.
*** “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door.”