The joy of a good conference

Posted in Research on October 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“One of the perks of academia is the thrill of presenting work at international conferences. Although the best conferences always seem to fall at the busiest moment in the teaching semester (a pet peeve) and the travel can be tiring, there is no doubt that interacting directly with one’s peers is a huge shot in the arm – not to mention the opportunity to travel to interesting locations and experience new cultures …” (more)

[Antimatter, 20 October]


For some, borders are now an insurmountable barrier to attending international academic conferences

Posted in Research on August 28th, 2018 by steve

International“Conference attendance is an important part of an academic’s work, offering opportunities to present and receive feedback on recent research, and also to make new connections and expand professional networks. When deciding whether or not to attend an event, the cost of travel or having an abstract accepted remain the determining factors to many. But for some, as Donald Nicolson writes, more restrictive border policies have meant securing a visa and obtaining clearance to attend international events can be difficult or even impossible …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 28 August]

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Why are so many academic conferences hostile to women?

Posted in Life on August 3rd, 2018 by steve

“I had looked forward to our association conference for months. I would be reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, visiting a new city, and hearing about exciting work in my field. In many respects, the event exceeded my expectations …” (more)

[Amber Pouliot, Guardian, 3 August]

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Without accessible conferences, we lose the voices of disabled academics

Posted in Governance and administration on September 1st, 2017 by steve

“Academic conference season is in full swing. For early-career researchers, conferences offer opportunities to share ideas and build networks. More established academics attend to meet with colleagues, old friends and learn about the latest work in their field. But they can also be a stressful, distressing and exhausting experience, particularly for disabled academics …” (more)

[Kate Sang, Guardian, 31 August]

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Trinity to Host Conference on Academic Free Speech and Israel-Palestine Conflict

Posted in Governance and administration on May 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A conference on free speech and the Israel-Palestine conflict will be held in Trinity this September. The once-peripheral issue has dominated recent discussion in College after the cancelled visit of the Israeli ambassador, which was branded an ‘unacceptable attack on free speech’ …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 4 May]

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Book Review: Academic Conferences as Neoliberal Commodities by Donald J Nicolson

Posted in Governance and administration on April 24th, 2017 by steve

“While rarely interrogated for the role that they play, academic conferences form a significant part in the construction of an academic career. Any aspiring, or indeed expiring, academic has at some point presented at, or attended, a conference …” (more)

[Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani, Impact of Social Sciences, 23 April]


Call for Papers – Freedom of speech and Higher Education: The case of the academic boycott of Israel

Posted in Research on April 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfil their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the state or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction …” (more)

[Academics for Palestine, 6 April]

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Controversial conference on Israel to go ahead in Cork

Posted in Governance and administration on March 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The organisers of an academic conference on Israel and international law have said they are delighted that the event will go ahead at two venues in Cork city at the end of this month. The staging of the conference was in doubt after University College Cork objected to it, citing a number of concerns, including ones based on security …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 7 March]

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International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility

Posted in Governance and administration on February 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Organising Committee of ‘The State of Israel and International Law: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility’ is delighted to confirm that the conference will take place in Cork March 31-April 2. We are aware that confusion has arisen about the timing and location of our event, due in part to inaccurate reporting in the press. We now warmly invite you to register …” (more)

[Conference website]

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Update on UCC Israeli Conference

Posted in Governance and administration on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The status of the conference has been the source of some confusion over conflicting reports and statements both in the press and on social media in recent weeks. In response to the confusion, the University has released a statement following a meeting of the University Management Team on the 16th of January …” (more)

[Chris McCahill, UCC Express, 7 February]

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Academic freedom demands academic balance

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Mike Jennings (January 26th), general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers, has come out strongly against University College Cork’s decision to indefinitely postpone – on safety and security grounds – the proposed March conference, ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’ …” (more)

[Kevin McCarthy, Irish Times, 27 January]

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Academic conference on Israel

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Irish Federation of University Teachers is deeply concerned at attempts to block the holding of an important conference entitled ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism, Responsibility’, which is scheduled to take place in University College Cork from March 31st to April 2nd …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 26 January]

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Security plan required for academic conference on Israel in UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on January 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has decided to prevent an academic conference debating the legitimacy of the state of Israel from taking place at the end of March and has advised the organisers that they have to come up with special security plans if they want the university to host it at another date …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 20 January]

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Statement: Proposed conference in UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on January 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University Management Team at its meeting on the 16th January 2017 considered the matter of the proposed conference entitled ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism’. Members of the management team expressed their disappointment and concern that this conference came to the University’s attention through public discourse and social media and not in a formal request for approval …” (more)

[UCC, 18 January]

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Warning: conmen and shameless scholars operate in this area

Posted in Governance and administration on January 12th, 2017 by steve

International“As I wrapped up a research sabbatical in Canada in March 2015, I started searching for conferences to present my research at. A quick Google search highlighted a shocking number of events and organisations that I had never even heard of – and an even more shocking list of conference fees …” (more)

[James McCrostie, Times Higher Education, 12 January]

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UCC conference on Israel sparks row with Israeli embassy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An academic conference due to be held at University College Cork which will debate the legal legitimacy of Israel has sparked a major row involving the Israeli embassy and Jewish lobby groups. Plans to hold a similar conference in a British university just over a year ago were cancelled on ‘safety grounds’ in the face of opposition from a range of lobby groups …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 January]

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Conventional thinking at TCD

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Punt hears that Trinity College has poached Jillian Wilson from the Convention Centre where she has worked since it opened seven years ago. The move into the groves of academe is not as peculiar as it might first appear. In straitened times Trinity has built up a thriving conference and events business to help replace lost State funding …” (more)

[Independent, 7 January]

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Women need to be seen and heard at conferences

Posted in Governance and administration on October 20th, 2016 by steve

International“Relatively few women make it to top academic positions in science — and there begins the vicious circle of invisibility. Women aren’t available as mentors for aspiring young scientists. They aren’t there when journalists call for someone to provide a quick scientific opinion …” (more)

[Nature, 19 October]

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Duly Keynoted

Posted in Research on September 15th, 2016 by steve

USA“Academic conferences advertise themselves in many ways. One near-universal is listing a prominent scholar’s name as the keynote (or plenary, invited, or featured) speaker. The promise of hearing a well-known ‘sage on the stage’ is meant to induce people to come to the conference …” (more)

[Devoney Looser, Chronicle of Higher Education, 12 September]

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Conference rage: ‘How did awful panel discussions become the default format?’

Posted in Research on June 11th, 2016 by steve

UK“A badly run conference is not only a lost opportunity, but is a waste of money and time. How can we improve them? With the occasional exception, my mood in conferences usually swings between boredom, despair and rage …” (more)

[Duncan Green, Guardian, 2 June]