Thursday, March 27, 2008

Conference paper session drinking game

For those of you who have never experienced an academic conference, here's what happens at a typical session. Usually four papers are presented. They run about 12 minutes each and are accompanied by PowerPoint. A chair is responsible for keeping it on time and introducing everyone. The discussant then critiques each paper (he or she usually has read the whole paper in advance), and then there are audience questions.

So, with that in mind, here is the rules for the Paper Session Drinking Game. Take a drink each time:
  • A presenter refers to an earlier paper in the session
  • A presenter cites someone from your institution
  • The discussant clearly knows nothing at all about the topic or methods
  • An audience member asks a "question" that is a plug for his/her own work
  • A paper is clearly different from the proposal that was submitted
  • A presenter disregards the time limits
  • The chair doesn't show up
  • An audience member who arrived late asks a presenter to summarize their entire paper
  • The discussant uses his/her time to plug his/her own work
  • A presenter reads a paper (and is not a historian)
  • Three or more co-authors do a presentation together
  • A PowerPoint slide has text too small to read
  • The papers have nothing at all to do with each other
  • There are technical difficulties with the laptop/projector
  • A presenter runs low on time and has to cut slides in the limitations or conclusions


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the "drink" in this game is bad hotel/conference center coffee.

turducken said...

They serve you coffee? We only get water. So everyone carries around Starbucks cups ... what they are actually filled with may vary.

Rebecca said...

I would also like to propose
- Take a drink any time your adviser would smack you upside the head if your methodology was as bad as the current presenter.

(Of the 4 presentations in my session, that would have been 2 of them.....I felt bad for them.)

Of course we all would have been drunk due to the incompetent discussant with no clue about the papers who used the time to push her own work - several times....

Morgan said...

I'd like to add:

-Take a drink any time a commenter from some totally obscure country tells you something completely useless about how they do education there. (e.g., "In Swaziland, our teachers don't get induction. They get shot if all their students don't perform in the school's annual tap-dancing show.")


-Take a drink whenever a paper title contains the words "interrogating," "toward a theory of ..." or "hegemony"