Wednesday, May 31, 2006

More Conference Etiquette: A Question

I've just returned from a conference (not the Slayage conference, which judging from Rob Helpy-Chalk's description sounds really interesting) and am wondering what the rest of academe does with conference no-shows.

I don't mean those who say in a general way, "Sure, I'll be there; let's get some lunch." I mean those who have papers listed in the program and thus have prevented someone else from giving a paper on the panel--those no-shows. At least two of the panels had no-show panelists this time, panelists who apparently didn't call ahead or make any effort to contact the panel chairs.

There could be a genuine emergency, of course, but in conversations with colleagues I've heard that some people just want the notch on the belt--the name in the program--and pocket the money from their department. Not only did I not want to believe this (just call me Pollyanna), but I can't see how it's possible logistically; doesn't anyone else have to submit receipts?

So does this really happen, or is it just an urban myth?

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