An upcoming philosophy conference is organized around those interesting and fruitful conversations that take place between the official talks.
The Coffee Break Conference of Aesthetics will be organized such that “the proportions of a traditional academic conference are inverted; while in conferences we normally have long lecture sessions of passive listening and short coffee breaks for some talk, this time the focus is on the coffee break discussions—regarding each other’s academic research and beyond.”
Do you remember that highly inspiring discussion you were having with a fellow speaker in one of the last conferences you participated in about his/her paper, when the organisers suddenly reminded you of the end of the coffee break, and you had to rush back to listen to the next speaker? Do you remember the exhausting days of the conference that are fully packed with presentations, with barely any time to have more leisurely chats with other participants (except if you skip an otherwise surely interesting talk, hence causing dilemmas and bad conscience…)? Do you remember how refreshing it is when in a conference you have excursions, city visits, common dinners, or even hiking? And finally, do you remember how much we all missed, during Corona-times and zoom-conferences, that we can finally meet in person again and have thorough conversations, not only about papers, but on anything else, like a good coffee break?
To facilitate productive informal conversations, the conference will be a “read ahead” event in which the participants will be required not only to read the papers in advance, but also to provide comments on them. The organizers say:
In this way we “gain” a significant amount of time; in other words, we do not spend most of the conference simply listening to and getting introduced to a presentation and its main points and ask basic questions or express our first-impression-reactions. Instead, we can use the time we will spend together to go deeper into ideas, concepts and insights developed in the participants’ texts that, by then, we all already know. We understand the papers better, as we read them, and we do not have to work on straightening misunderstandings, which often is the case after 20-minute talks. During the actual meeting, through moderated sessions and guided discussions all papers will be thoroughly debated, hence we can focus on scrutinising the presented issues.
The topic of the conference is “Trying Out New Paths in Aesthetics,” and its schedule will include a number of interesting aesthetic events. You can learn more about it here.