Date: September 15, 2020, 7.30-9.30
Registration deadline: September 14, 2020
2020 has seen the unprecedented cancellation and postponement of academic conferences. Conferences were some of the first activities to be cancelled as COVID-19 spread across international borders. Identified as risky events because they involve large numbers of people and often facilitate long-distance connections, some conferences have already been identified as nodes of transmission.
This 2 hour online symposium is being convened by the AARE Professional and Higher Education SIG. The symposium brings the words ‘conferences’ and ‘missing’ together with an invitation to think about what is happening when conferences as we know them are missing from the higher education scene. The first question to consider is whether conferences have gone missing at all? Is it possible that the routine work of face-to-face conferences has been distributed across new platforms for gathering academics and disseminating knowledge? What affordances do these new forms of gathering promise? What are their limits?
The second question to consider is this: Conferences may be missing, but are we missing conferences? How do we feel as we erase plans from the calendar, cancel tickets and ask for refunds? When conferences go missing do we miss our geographically distant friends and colleagues? And when face-to-face conferences are missing what else are scholars missing out on?
The absence of conferences is an important opportunity to ask what they do for advancing ideas, fields of knowledge and scholars.
This event is intended for researcers who are interested in higher education, the academic profession, doctoral education and critical events studies.