Friday, June 15, 2018

shoptalk at ica



This May 2-18 some 3,500 ''scholars'' 
descended on Prague for the 
International Communications Association Conference. 
In between the thousands of
 wide-ranging media- and comm-savvy 
presentations and amid a surprising 
heat wave and limited AC, 
peripatetic ''academics'' found themselves musing 
over potential career changes and rapidly 
diminishing reception provisions. 
Read on for communicators’ comments 
on everything ranging from shoes 
to #altac to casual sexism at ICA.

1. Person 1: “I went to a really great talk like 15 minutes ago.”
Person 2: “Oh? What about?”
Person 1: “I honestly can’t remember.”

2. Person 1: “You really have to be out there now. You can’t just 
publish, you have to be a public intellectual. You need social media.”
Person 2: “I tried academic Twitter in 2014. It didn’t work.”

3. “They are stopping people at the door of the Annenberg party. 
I think we have to prove affiliation this year because 
they are running out of food.”

4. Person 1: “Sometimes I’m not sure about academia.”
Person 2: “Florida State University has an amazing circus program.”

5. “The best cure for too much Czech beer is Scotch.”

6. Person 1: “I haven’t seen anything yet at ICA that fulfills 
my hope of a real-time American Chopper meme.”
Person 2: “After this weekend my blood is like 50% Pilsner, 
so if you come to my talk tomorrow I think I can deliver.”

7. Person 1: “I’m fine. I took a three-hour nap last night.”
Person 2: “Isn’t that just called ‘going to bed’?”

8. “I mean, I read [journal name redacted] because I’m the 
editor and I have to, but I wouldn’t read it otherwise.”

9. Male senior scholar [to young female colleagues]: “You’d have 
done well with [famous scholar]. He really liked to have 
women in his class. 
He especially liked when they were young and feisty, 
like yourselves.”

10. “You go to these big discipline-wide conferences 
early in your career so that you can never have to do it again.”

11. “Look how nice and not-at-all-cut-throat colleagues 
can be when you get out of the US.”

12. Person 1: “I just feel like a 
larger-than-I’m-comfortable-with-portion of this 
conference wants to work for Google.”
Person 2: “How can you tell?
Person 1: “By their shoes.”

This article was commissioned by Mary Zaborskis. icon
Featured image: Henri Adolphe Laissement, Cardinals in the Antechamber of the Vatican (1895). Wikimedia Commons

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