In the current humanities and social sciences, colloquium is a term used with great frequency.
Scholars seem to be either attending academic conferences or on their way to them.
The number of academic conferences is overwhelming.
Especially in the “conference season”, there are often many conferences, and even a set of conferences within a conference, and scholars often suffer from being overwhelmed and tired of running around.
So, why are there so many academic seminars? Who likes to hold academic conferences so much? Who likes to attend academic conferences so much? The following is a brief discussion based on my limited observations.
The academic symposium is an important and common form of academic communication, which is nothing more than an academic seminar for scholars.
But at one time, academic seminars began to take on more and more functions, far beyond the scope of academic seminars.
What are the reasons for this? Let us explore the motives of the participants of academic seminars.
Let us first examine the motives of the organizers.
First of all, for a college or university, holding an academic conference means a performance point.
In the existing evaluation system, whether or not a conference is held and how many times it is held will be converted into “work points” of the unit.
Therefore, holding academic conferences becomes the “internal requirement” for discipline construction or research performance calculation.
Moreover, academic conferences are specifically subdivided into international conferences or national conferences, and the higher the level of the conference, the more “points” it will earn.
Secondly, some conference organizers hold academic conferences for academic motives, such as trying to launch a research topic through a conference, attracting widespread attention, or trying to build the organizer’s “dominant” position in a certain field, leading research trends. or to “show off” their research results by promoting them to the public through the conference. The conference is a way to promote and publicize the research results.
Third, many seminars are basically a means of spending money.
Due to various regulations in financial management, it is difficult to spend a lot of funds in the accounts, and at the end of the year, the remaining funds must be paid, so it is necessary to meet unexpectedly in order to spend all the money in the accounts.
Anyway, there is no harm in holding an academic conference even if there is nothing to gain, at least it is considered a performance.
Based on these several motives, units will sooner or later become active in organizing conferences.
There are people who are willing to run conferences, and there are certainly people who are willing to participate in conferences, and the motives of the participants are also worthy of deeper investigation.
Many scholars participate in conferences certainly to publish their new academic results and views, which belongs to the academic expression needs.
However, some scholars are willing to attend professional academic conferences even if they do not have new ideas and results, and they feel that they must be present, which is a kind of “presence”.
Other scholars attend out of a sense of obligation or a sense of responsibility. sense of responsibility”.
These scholars usually have a certain status and reputation, or hold positions in their professional societies, or look at the “face” of their friends or brothers and sisters in the inviting party, and attend the conference for the sake of These scholars usually have a certain status and reputation, or they hold positions in their professional societies, or they attend the conference for the “face” of their friends or brothers and sisters in the inviting party.
Many other scholars are happy to attend because they can meet and catch up with their friends, and perhaps visit the local natural or cultural landscape.
Of these four types of participants, only the first type of scholars attend for academic reasons.
For young scholars and graduate students, attending a symposium has a different meaning. Many young scholars often attend the symposium with the intention of “eye-opening” or “pilgrimage”. “They want to get a glimpse of famous scholars and listen to their opinions; some other young scholars attend the conference with the intention of “They are willing to speak at the conference in order to draw attention to themselves and to establish some contacts in their circles; there are also many young scholars and graduate students who mainly want to experience the city and university where the conference is held and to have a better understanding of the content of the conference. Many of them just came to listen to the conference with their supervisors, which is actually more like a collective activity of the faculty.
If the above observations are basically reliable, we can conclude that academic seminars have now carried many other functions, and academic seminars are no longer the core matter of academic seminars – from the perspective of the organizers’ motives, academic seminars are only one of three motives.
In terms of the scholars attending the conference, among the four kinds of participants, only the first one comes mainly for academic exchange.
In terms of the young scholars and graduate students who attended the conference, only some of them came for academic exchange as well.
Both from the viewpoint of the organizers of academic conferences and the attendees, the academic communication function of academic conferences seems to account for only one-third.
In the name of academic seminars, academic seminars do not do what they are supposed to do, but they do a lot of things other than academic seminars.
In the current academic symposiums, the program is usually full of presentations, one after another, and there is usually no time for discussion and dialogue after the presentations.
So the seminars have simply become readings, presentations, performances, lecture listening, and huddle sessions.
Many scholars, especially heavy-weight scholars, often arrive at the venue stuck in time, speak hastily for 20 minutes, and then leave the meeting, neither listening to others’ reports nor answering their questions.
These phenomena also clearly show that academic seminars are not for discussion, but for reading, displaying and performing.
The term “performance” means performance, activity, and presentation.
As the academic seminar function decreases, the “performance” function of the seminar is increasing.
Therefore, the criteria for measuring an academic conference have gradually adopted the criteria for measuring a performance.
After the symposium, few people care about the details of the symposium, such as what consensus has been achieved, how many issues have been clarified, and what are the unresolved issues, but they are more concerned about the effects that can be shown, such as what heavyweights attended the meeting, and even what level of leadership addressed the meeting, whether the venue is classy enough, whether the display is big enough, how many media reporters came to the venue, and how many media reporters came to the meeting. The effect of the conference depends on which important figures attended the conference, and even on what level of leaders addressed the conference, whether the conference venue was classy enough, whether the display was big enough, how many reporters from the media came to the conference venue, how the “ratings” of the conference were, and how many reports were forwarded in the WeChat circle. …In short, academic symposiums are gradually moving away from academic seminars and have largely become a kind of academic performance activities.