cccc: April 2004 Archives

Since I've seen at least one reference to my as-of-yet unfulfilled promise to report on the sessions I saw, and I did promise again last night to do this, and I need to do more with this space than whine about being depressed, and confronting the mess in my apartment is even more depressing to contemplate, I present to you my personal CCCC. For better or worse, my own account will be necessarily briefer than Mike's and others', and necessarily more oblique.

In part, this is because I only went to sessions where I knew at least one of the panelists, and in three of five cases, the entire panel. After a certain point, that's inescapable, I'm sure, but for most of us, it's intentional. It takes quite the panel and paper titles to get me to a panel where I don't know a name. And this runs up against one of my personal rules of thumb re blogging: never type anything that you wouldn't be willing to say to a body's face. I violate that rule from time to time (who doesn't?), but personally, I hate stumbling upon criticisms of myself, and I try to honor that with respect to others as a result.

My panel habits raise another issue. With one exception, I refused to attend a session whose title made reference to the conference theme. CCCC proposals are actually read by qualified reviewers, folks, and everything I've ever heard about this process supports two related conclusions: a theme-referenced title will not help a subpar proposal get accepted; the absence of such a title will not sink an otherwise-acceptable proposal. It may be that my patience is simply thinner than it was when I was a starry-eyed graduate student, but listen to me closely: none of us (myself included) is as clever as we think we are--if you can think of a way to reference the conference theme, chances are that there will be 100 other panels that do the same thing. The result is a swarm of really poorly titled panels. If you don't believe me, check out past years' programs, and see how embarrassingly bad so many of the titles seem. Takin' it to the street, anyone? Ugh.



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This page is a archive of entries in the cccc category from April 2004.

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