A Volunteer “Airbnb” for Short Term Academic Travel

Do you need to attend a conference but are short on travel funds? Do you have a guest room or extra place to sleep in your home that you’d be willing to offer to an early-career academic for a short while? 

People who’ve answered yes to either of these questions will soon be able to be connected via Project Visiting Scholar, a listing of academics willing and able to host students and early career scholars in their homes on a short-term basis.

The site is being developed by Pinar Durgun, a visiting assistant professor of archaeology at Brown University. She writes:

Academics no longer come from rich elite families as they did in 19th-20th centuries. They are, however, still expected to go to conferences, attend workshops, and participate in scholarly gatherings in other cities, states, and countries. Realistically, this is only possible for those of us who have the financial means to travel. As students, as graduate students, or as early career academics, we have to face the economic challenges of paying registration fees, buying flight tickets, and finding reasonable accommodation close to the conference hotels. No student grant covers all of these expenses.

Here is my solution:

I am building a database and gathering names of academics and scholars who are willing to host students and early career scholars in their guest rooms for short-term scholarly activities. When a student is planning to attend a conference, let’s say in Boston, they will be able to search this database by city or state and find all the volunteer hosts in the area. They will then email their hosts and arrange their stay.

​That way more students and scholars will be able to participate in these conferences and workshops, build networks, and create more diverse academic communities.

Learn more here.

(via Nick Treanor)

Luca Iaconi-Stewart, detail of a model Boeing 777 made entirely of manila folders

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