There are two kinds of academic conferences: those that require participants to submit their final papers, and those that don’t. Neither the Association for Asian Studies nor the American Anthropological Association require participants to submit a final paper. I consider this to be the main reason that I don’t much care for these conferences. The simple truth is that most people write their papers on the airplane. You might as well read blogs as pay big money to attend a conference where people put so little work into their papers. Of course, some people do work hard, but there is no way to be sure.

It is also very difficult to get papers after the conference. All conference papers should be posted online. This won’t hurt conference attendance, we all know that the main reason most people go is to engage in personal networking. Why not ensure that they spend a little time proofreading their papers as well?

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