All entries for Tuesday 16 May 2023

May 16, 2023

A Conversation between the Conference Organisers: The Build–Up

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In this blog post, Charlotte and Maddie reflect on their experience organising the conference Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis, which took place in February 2023.

Charlotte:Do you remember when we came up with the idea for the HRC conference?

Maddie: Yes, I remember - we struggled to pin down the specific theme for a little while. There was a lot of back and forth, until we encountered an article about gender violence in extractive zones

Charlotte:yes, that provided us with a really interesting way of synthesizing our research interests. I think that’s when the idea really came together, and we could start writing the proposal. We then started the to-and-fro of writing and editing the application

Maddie: True, it was really useful to have the support of the HRC administrator Sue Rae during this process, who offered tips on producing a successful application, discussing things like the conference budget, the importance of plugging the interdisciplinarity of the proposed conference etc…

Charlotte: It was so exciting when our application got accepted and we could kickstart the process. We had an initial meeting with Sue where she laid out the timeline for us, and shortly after that we released the Call for Papers and started emailing keynotes

Maddie: I think we hada very clear vision in terms of keynotes from the outset, so we were really thrilled when they agreed to join us. Plus, announcing the keynotes generated some sense of momentum in terms of interest in the conference. I know you’re very proactive, Charlotte, so how did you find the process of waiting for submissions to come in?

Charlotte:Yes, I really wanted to get going – but it was great seeing the abstracts come in and discovering how people interpreted the conference theme.

Maddie: We were surprised by the thematic scope of responses to the CfP

Charlotte:Once we received these responses, we had to make difficult decisions, but I really appreciated your groundedness during this process

Maddie: yes - sadly we had to be very selective because of the limitations of it being a one-day conference. The process of developing panels was interesting because we tried to prioritise conversations between disciplines. We both research in the field of comparative literature, and it was beneficial to gain an insight into cross-discipline approaches and methodologies.

Charlotte:It was great to have that sense of excitement when we were trying to work through the more complicated part of the process, like ordering food, sorting catering and event logistics.

See part 2, “On the Day”, for a continuation of this conversation…

One of the organisers

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