Sunday, February 17, 2008

Warwick Conference

Yesterday was the Tenth Warwick Graduate Conference in Political Theory, and the third I've attended (read about last year's here).

I gave my paper on defining the demos, which I gave at the Graduate Political Theory Workshop earlier this term. Maybe we're lucky to have so many fora for discussion and feedback in Oxford, but I'm not sure I really got much useful feedback - the Warwick format was 20 mins presentation and 20 for questions, as opposed to the GPTW's (roughly) 40 and 50. I did, however, get questions from Matthew Clayton and Mark Philp.

I suppose the main reason for conferences isn't paper feedback, which is more likely to come from friends reading your paper, but to meet other people and exchange ideas. With that in mind, the conference was a success. I saw a couple of old friends who I'd met before and met a couple of new faces I hadn't. (Total: three new facebook friends, if that's any measure). In particular, I was happy to find someone else working on democracy, since my old regular co-panellist Dean has gone MIA.

It was also interesting to meet at least four or five people who said they'd read this blog, despite the fact I hadn't met most of them before! To be honest, I've never done much to advertise it, as I write more for me rather than readers - which isn't to say they aren't very welcome. In fact, I'd always been somewhat surprised by reader figures. It seems a lot of people somehow find this IQ test solution, which is certainly my most commented on post. Apparently political theorists are also attracted by the Estlund reading group (on Public Reason) and Fabre review.

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