I’ve made it a habit to attend the Western Political Science Association’s annual meeting for the last couple of years. The Western has developed somewhat of a reputation for being a laid-back conference. In that sense, it’s a great conference to go to, without the hustle and bustle of a national conference. Theorists are popular at this conference, but in general, a wide variety of the discipline is well represented. Most everyone finds something up their alley at Western.
This year, the conference was held in Hollywood, right in the Hollywood and Highland Center. As a Angelino, this was perfect and convenient: I could drive to the conference each day and sleep in my own bed at night. However, I think that the added ease in this conference made me realize how much I appreciate academic conferences in general.
While most of us stress about presenting our papers (which perhaps are drawn together at the last minute), conferences give academics a time to catch up with old colleagues and friends. Yes, conferences are great for networking. However, conferences are fantastic for inspiration royal online casino.
By the end of every single conference, I tend to be exhausted. The hustle has a completely new meaning when you’re essentially “on” for three to four days, jumping from one panel to another, crashing one reception to the next. However, at the end of every single conference, I feel a sense of renewal. I walk away feeling passionate and inspired about my own research, ready to finish works in progress and itching to start new projects.
This year at Western, I was also lucky enough to be a part of the roundtable on Public Intellectualism. I served as a discussant for the roundtable but the panelists shared different ideas about how they should present their work online. The advent of social networking sites and new media makes it an especially exciting time to be in academia. The panel was engaging and enlightening, but it also occurred to me that events like these would only ever come around during conferences. So while we may be tired and grumpy on our long flights home, I think the payoff from these conferences are invaluable.