July 29, 2008

How Not to Open a Conference

The ISSEI conference opened yesterday with a deadly dull keynote address that had nothing to do with the conference theme: Language and the Scientific Imagination. I started to record it thinking Rhetorica readers might like to listen to a podcast. But you won’t get to hear it because I stopped recording. There are many things I’ll inflict on you, but not that.

Things started looking up at the opening reception that followed the keynote address.

Today the conference actually begins. The sessions here are not the typical 90-minute affairs in which 3 or 4 people read their papers followed by a short Q&A. There are 3.5-hour “workshops” with four or more presenters followed by significant interaction between the presenters and audience. So I won’t be hopping from presentation to presentation.

I’ll have a report from my workshop, entitled Kings, Presidents, and Ministers: Language and its Effect on the Executive in Biography and Imaginative Literature. Click here for a description of my presentation. Our workshop takes place tomorrow.

I’ll be covering another workshop on Wednesday afternoon entitled Democracy and the Internet.

Right now I’m cooling it at the Uni Cafe in the main conference building. I’m going to the city docks for lunch—great food vendors there. I’m planning a major pig-out 🙂

Also, be on the lookout later today or tomorrow for photos and maybe a podcast.

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