Congressos: de les sessions en paral.lel i dels no-congressos


M’ha semblat força il.lustrativa l’entrada #ASA2010, Multi-tasking the Academic Conference que relata l’experiència de l’autora del post en un congrès. Xerrades en paral.lel, interès pel que s’hi diu, noves coneixences… M’hi he vist una mica reflectit, perquè això m’acaba de passar a Santander (sense xerrades en paral.lel) o a Pamplona, la primavera (xerrades en paral.lel difícils de combinar). L’autora en treu la següent conclusió:

When confronted with a 326-page program offering over 600 sessions, moderation becomes a necessity. In the past, I have tried to cram in as many sessions and workshops as possible, leaving little time for meaningful conversations. This time, I did it differently. With the help of social media and some strategic planning, I was able to multi-task my way through #ASA2010. The conference became a collage – equal parts professional development, networking, and vacation. #ASA2010 had been a success! I left with new friends and ideas, and a lengthy to-do list.

Hi estic totalment d’acord, i a més m’ha interessat força el concepte d’unconference i underconference. De fet, navegant per les cites del seu post, he arribat a l’entrada recent Forget Unconferences, Let’s Think about Underconferences que descriu quatre tipus no convencionals de conferències (i per tant de congressos, de workshops, de jornades, etc.):

The Virtual Conference: This is the conference held entirely online, in which the time and space limitations of the real world can be broken at will. The recent Critical Code Studies Working Group, held over six weeks this spring, was a good example, though the conference was, unfortunately, only open to actual participants. The proceedings will be published on Electronic Book Review, however, and at least one research idea seeded at the virtual conference may see the light of the day in a more traditional publishing venue. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) has had success with its virtual conference as well.

The Simulated Conference: Like Baudrillard’s simulacrum, this is the simulation of a conference for which there is no original, the conference for which there is no conference. This sounds impossible, but in fact I hosted an entirely simulated conference one weekend in February 2010. It was a particularly conference-heavy weekend for the digital humanities, and since I couldn’t attend any of them, I created one of my own: MarksDH2010. Spurred on at first by Ian Bogost and Matt Gold, the simulated conference turned into a weekend affair, hosted entirely on Twitter, and catered by Halliburton. Dozens of participants spontaneously joined in the fun, and in the very act of lampooning traditional conferences (e.g. see my notes on the fictional Henri Jenquin’s keynote), I humbly suggest we advanced forward the humanities by at least a few virtual inches. As I later explained, MarksDH2010 “was a folie à deux and then some.” You can read the complete archives, in chronological order, and decide for yourself about that characterization.

The Unconference: Do I need to say more about the unconference? Read about the idea in theory, or see it in practice by following the upcoming THATCamp Prime on Twitter.

The Underconference: The virtual conference and the simulated conference are both made possible by technology. They take place at a distance, mediated by screens. The final model I wish to consider is the opposite, rooted in physical space, requiring actual—not virtual—bodies. This is not the unconference, but the underconference. The prerequisite of the underconference is the conference. There is the official conference—say, the MLA—and at the very same time there is an entirely parallel conference, running alongside—no, under—the official conference. Think of it as the Trystero of academia. Inspired by the Situationists, Happenings, flash mobs, Bakhtin, ARGs, and the absurdist political theater of the Yippies, the underconference is the carnival in the churchyard. Transgressive play at the very doorstep of institutional order. And like most manifestations of the carnivalesque, the underconference is at its heart very serious business.

Són formes innovadores de plantejar jornades constructives i d’on en surtin idees innovadores.