A few items regarding philosophy lecture series at different schools… (more…)
“The main thing is to be aware of how many of the students have only a very narrow background, and the pre-talk is a good opportunity for you to bring them up to speed on the existing literature,” .
“I don’t know any of the existing literature for this talk,” said the visitor, without a hint of embarrassment. (more…)
“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it” (Maurice Switzer). Thoughts like that have inhibited many a young academic from asking questions in seminars or at talks. (more…)
A philosopher writes in with a query about paying philosophers for talks and the like…
I’d like to learn more about honorarium practices for philosophy talks. How common is it to offer an honorarium? Under what circumstances (e.g. departmental colloquium, conference, public lecture, etc.)? What is a typical amount? It would be especially helpful if respondents ..
The following is a guest post* by Josh Parsons, associate professor of philosophy at Oxford University. It’s “a slightly jokey collection of what I called ‘dirty tricks for seminars’ (including some to use liberally, and others to beware of) that I am apt to dispense to graduate students and colleagues after a couple of drinks.” He kindly agreed to share it with Da..
The art of the academic talk takes on a different meaning when looking at the drawings and paintings of Kaća Bradonjić. Dr. Bradonjić is wrapping up a visiting appointment in physics at Wellesley College and will soon be beginning one at Hampshire College. Her research is informed by philosophy and the history of science (she was a double major in physics and philos..
Some people are visually impaired in a way that interferes with their ability to read handouts or see presentation slides (e.g., PowerPoint). Adam Cureton, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Tennessee, is one such person, and he notes that “that lectures and talks are very difficult to follow when I cannot read the handout or see the PowerPoint s..
The following is an excerpt from an email a well-known senior philosopher sent to his/her colleagues regarding visiting speakers:
“The events are being organized so as to maximally benefit the department. This includes promoting the reputation of the department, providing intellectual stimulation, and just having plain fun. Normally, conferences and workshops sho..
Some philosophy talks are exciting, others are dull. It’s pretty easy to tune out of the dull ones. But once you tune out of a talk, it is difficult to follow the argument when you tune back in,and so you just end up sitting there wasting your time. As Ravi Vakil, a professor of math at Stanford puts it, “Talks are like horses: once you are thrown off, it is hard to..
Ole Koksvik (Bergen), along with the help of friends, has put together a very useful set of tips for giving a philosophy talk. I appreciated the “rationale” section, in which he notes, among other things, that “giving a bad presentation is impolite.” There is some good advice throughout, much of which is consistent with the general rule that guides how I put toget..
Many philosophers travel for work, delivering talks or participating in conferences and the like. In deciding whether to attend another conference, or accept another invitation, one factor is whether one has traveled enough, or too much. But how much is that? While there will be a lot of personal factors involved in that assessment, let’s see if we can get a sense o..
A philosopher who prefers to remain anonymous writes in with a good question:
How often can one present a paper in progress before one is simply presenting “old work”?
When I get invited to give a talk or present at a workshop, I often will use the same 1 or 2 papers 3-4 times within the space of a year or so. These are usually papers I’m working on and I wa..
The other day, Jonathan Webber, a philosopher at Cardiff University, sent out a series of tweets detailing how the University of Hertfordshire, at which he was supposed to give a pair of talks, required he provide a scan of his passport in advance. (more…)