Monday, 1 September 2003

Back(ish) from APSA

I’m back in Memphis after returning from APSA in Philly yesterday afternoon, and will be heading back to Oxford sometime today. A few odds and ends:

  • Dan Drezner (the only fellow blogger I knowingly ran into at the conference) has some choice quotes from attendees (none of which I can take credit for) and a modest proposal for a new organized section; Henry Farrell of Crooked Timber compares the APSA experience with science fiction conferences; and Laura McK notes that political scientists don’t talk much about politics:
    One truly amazing aspect of the political science conference is the lack of interest in real politics. You would expect political scientists would live and breathe current events. They should sit around arguing whether or not it's time to get out of Iraq, the merits of the Dean campaign, and the state of the deficit, but no, they don't. For academics, politics has to be discussed years after the events and with clinical coldness. They only touch politics with sterile rubber gloves.

    For what it’s worth, I did have a (not-very-sober) discussion about the prospects of the Dean campaign with my roommate and two Oklahoma grad students, reiterating my belief that due to the electoral rules in place and the lack of a consensus candidate backed by the party establishment it’s Dean’s campaign to lose.

  • Five hours is far too long to sit in a single bar. But it was worth it to see Ole Miss beat Vanderbilt, in their typical, lacksadaisical fashion.
  • Somehow I ended up with a pair of my hotel roommate’s pants. I’d keep them except they don’t fit (as a pair, we sort of resemble Laurel and Hardy).
  • Most of the Ole Miss political science department would have been wiped out had our Northwest flight (nonstop from Philly to Memphis) crashed on Sunday.
  • Now that I’ve told half the discipline that my dissertation will be done by the end of the month, I guess that means it’s time for me to start cracking!