APA Eastern Open Thread 2018


The Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association (APA) is currently taking place in Savannah, Georgia. 

The program looks great, but there have been many reports of philosophers facing travel difficulties, with effects on whether sessions or talks or happening and when. It might be useful to have a public space to share information and thoughts about the meeting.

What’s happening? How’s it going? Feel free to discuss anything APA-Eastern related in the comments here.

guest
33 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Margaret Atherton
Margaret Atherton
3 years ago

Is anyone there? Have all modes of transportation into Savannah been cancelled? Finally, will those who did make it ever get home again?Report

Krista Thomason
Krista Thomason
3 years ago

If you’re at the Hyatt, there’s no way to get to the Westin. The ferry isn’t running. There were supposed to be shuttles, but they closed the bridge due to icy conditions. So those of us who made it in yesterday and are staying on the downtown side can’t get to the conference venue. Report

Matt
Reply to  Krista Thomason
3 years ago

Not that people would have predicted this sort of weather in Savannah, but in general, this is one reason why it’s better, when at all possible, to use cities that have hotels that are big enough for the whole conference, rather than to have to use more than one location. This isn’t the first time when there have been difficulties caused by having the conference split between more than one location. It seems like a strong reason to favor locations with large enough hotels to fit the whole conference whenever possible. Report

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Matt
3 years ago

And not use places that require a ferry to access, and not organize conferences at the worst time of year weather-wise.Report

Maria Constanza
Maria Constanza
3 years ago

What if we meet at the Hyatt and continue having a sort of conference parallel to the one at the conference center. That way those who are here can still present their papersReport

Jeff Dunn
Jeff Dunn
3 years ago

I’m the Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Division.

Weather conditions are very bad right now in Savannah. The airport is closed, all public transportation is shut down (including the water ferries), and as Krista noted above, the main bridge across the Savannah River is closed due to ice. This is unprecedented weather for Savannah.

Perhaps obviously, many sessions will not be able to go forward as normal. However, there are a fair number of participants at the Westin (the hotel that is adjacent to the Convention Center). We have set up an open thread at the APA Blog where participants can comment about their ability to attend their sessions today. This will help those who are here determine whether a session will be held, in full or partially. The link to this thread is here: https://blog.apaonline.org/2018/01/03/open-thread-2018-eastern-division-meeting-sessions/

Thanks everyone for your cooperation and understanding with this difficult weather situation. We’re in contact with local officials and will keep people updated as we learn more.

Report

Michael Cholbi
Michael Cholbi
Reply to  Jeff Dunn
3 years ago

Jeff,

Thanks for staying on top of what I’m sure is a complex and trying situation.

If we are scheduled for a session, and we anticipate not making it to the meeting, whom should we contact? Is there an ‘official’ process for cancellation, etc.?Report

Jeff Dunn
Jeff Dunn
Reply to  Michael Cholbi
3 years ago

Michael,
The best way to get this information out is to post on the blog. You can also contact your fellow participants. Report

Preston
Preston
Reply to  Jeff Dunn
3 years ago

Hi Jeff,
I also first want to thank you for all of your hard work in what is surely a difficult situation that’s creating a lot of work for you.
Second, can I request that you send out another e-mail with these updates that you have posted here? I would have happily gone to the Hyatt to see a few talks as advertised on the APA blog, but I wasn’t aware that they were happening until just now. I suspect there are many other non-blog frequenters that are in a similar situation. Report

Jeff Dunn
Jeff Dunn
Reply to  Preston
3 years ago

Hi Preston,
We plan to send out some notifications this evening about what the schedule will look like tomorrow, including if there is the possibility of impromptu sessions at the Hyatt. Thanks for bearing with us as we try to get things organized with all this unpredictable weather.Report

Jeff Sebo
3 years ago

The Symposium on Animal Rights, Terrorism, and Pacifism will be held today at 11am at Natural Selections Cafe. Which is to say, the speakers will all have lunch there, and others are welcome to join too if they like 🙂Report

Maria Constanza
Maria Constanza
Reply to  Jeff Sebo
3 years ago

Three of us will join you there! Report

Jeff Sebo
Reply to  Maria Constanza
3 years ago

Great, see you there! (I have no idea what the space is like but we can figure something out :))Report

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Some of today’s sessions are being reschuled in the Hyatt conference rooms. Come to Perceval room (second floor of the Hyatt) at 1pm to hear the schedule.

Report

Alex Richardson
3 years ago

There is now an ad hoc schedule for some sessions which will proceed at the Hyatt. Thanks to Andrew Cullison for developing this on the fly.

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x2_EpoUJGN8uueuEOTm5MnL8K_qB7nDF7GOf5SWSwDMReport

Random Philosopher
Random Philosopher
3 years ago

Does anyone on the ground have a sense of whether or not it will be safe to drive into Savannah tomorrow?Report

Philosopher on the Ground
Philosopher on the Ground
Reply to  Random Philosopher
3 years ago

Road conditions are improving for the moment, and it is definitely possible to drive around on the residential streets. However, it is not clear if the bridges to the island of the conference center will be open by the morning, and I think the biggest safety risk is other Savannah drivers, who are unused to driving in the snow. Report

Jr Faculty
Jr Faculty
Reply to  Random Philosopher
3 years ago

As of right now on Google Maps, it looks like I-95 Southbound is closed from Hardeeville, SC to the Georgia border. It also shows US-17 (which it looks like you’d need to take to avoid the I-95 closure) closed just north of the SC/GA border. I wouldn’t risk it if I were you.Report

Alex Richardson
3 years ago

Here, also, is a sheet of confirmations and cancellations so far. Thanks to Cat Saint-Croix for sharing. (Repost from APA Blog)

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YfShHzm-_hSZiGiXp2vPe6EKsiehPO4MUkjh9D9tH3o/htmlviewReport

Cat Saint-Croix
Cat Saint-Croix
Reply to  Alex Richardson
3 years ago

No problem! Thanks for posting it here.

This version should let people edit it, too: http://bit.ly/2EQ4h2wReport

John Companiotte
John Companiotte
3 years ago

Can anyone update the weather forecast so that those who have yet to arrive can determine if it is worthwhile/possible to make the trip to Savannah? It is difficult to get an assessment via the Internet.Report

Andrew
Andrew
Reply to  John Companiotte
3 years ago

It’s difficult to get a weather forecast on the internet?Report

Kay
Kay
Reply to  Andrew
3 years ago

The weather forecast is often quite different, or generally not as informative, as an up-to-date assessment of the situation on hand from those present. Report

Eric Walker
Eric Walker
3 years ago

I’d like to give a shout out to the staff of the Hyatt hotel. The sales and banquet staff made quick arrangements for the impromptu sessions, including refreshments, and the kitchen and bar staff are making the best of a situation in which most of the nearby restaurants are closed. Of course, some of the staff are visibly stressed, but that’s to be expected given the circumstances, and they’re nonetheless, on the whole, remaining graceful, polite, and helpful. Were the service workers not as adept as they are, things could have been a lot worse.Report

Grad at Eastern
Grad at Eastern
3 years ago

The staff at the Hyatt really are doing a great job. Spoke briefly to a waitress at 8PM at the hotel restaurant (after searching in vain for food elsewhere) and she said she had been working since 5:30AM. Definitely tip the staff well given the high stress they are in and the wonderful job they are doing. Report

Michael
Michael
3 years ago

So dark… so cold… Running out of food. I’m not sure if we’ll make it out. Tell my children I love them. Report

Nicole
Nicole
3 years ago

Almost impossible to find dinner last night- make sure to eat early enough. We probably went to 10 places before we found food after 9.Report

Nick
Nick
Reply to  Nicole
3 years ago

how many philosophers does it take to make a meal?Report

Michelle
Michelle
3 years ago

Shuttles still not running but intrepid Lyft drivers are. I second the praise for Hyatt staff — they have people doing double and triple duty. Tip well!Report

Samuel Duncan
Samuel Duncan
3 years ago

I’m curious: Do any departments still do Eastern APA interviews? And if so how have those been impacted? It seems to me that this whole mess is yet one more bit of evidence as to why no one *should* do APA interviews any more. Being unable to get across a bridge to get to your job interview would take that whole experience into Kafkaesque places. (Sorry if this is a really dumb question. I’m mercifully out of the loop when it comes to the job search.)Report

Jeff Dunn
Jeff Dunn
Reply to  Samuel Duncan
3 years ago

I know of only one school that was interviewing at the Eastern this year. Just for comparison, six schools interviewed at the Eastern in Baltimore in January 2017.Report

JSwift
JSwift
3 years ago

Here’s a modest proposal: have the Eastern and Pacific meetings switch their meeting seasons. After Boston in 2008 and Savanna in 2017, I think we should give up on having a big meeting in the east in the middle of winter. Not counting Vancouver, the Pacific coast has very mild winters while the east coast has a relatively mild Spring. Why not switch?Report

Philosopher
Philosopher
3 years ago

I have asked about this and apparently switching means doubling the venue prices. Report