Sunday, November 05, 2006

Conference Hangover

The day after an academic conference is akin to the day after a drinking binge. (Or so I imagine, mom.) You wake up with a hangover, literal and metaphorical, with no sense of what has happened for the last few days. Your belongings are scattered everywhere, the fridge is empty, and the cats are looking at you with a wounded look in their eyes. If the police showed up and accused me of murder, I could probably be pressured into a confession.

Man. This past few days was the annual meeting of my esteemed professional organization, held here in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this non-anonymous blog is probably not the proper location to discuss the ins and outs of the conference. Saw some good papers, saw some bad papers. Schmoozed with lots of famous scholars, caught up with old friends who I only ever see at these things. Wasn't giving a paper myself, this year, so no pressure there. I watched several friends go through the job interview process, and I can't say I'm looking forward to that next fall.

Speaking of next year--so, I'm working on my application to a fellowship for next year, due in ten days. I've got my dissertation chapter all done, which was the main segment of the application. I look at the fine print, and read this: "Include a polished, substantive chapter of your dissertation (that is neither the introduction nor the conclusion) of not more the 25 double-spaced pages."

25 pages?!

What kind of diss chapter is only 25 pages? Mine is 53, and I am told that anywhere in the range of 40-60 is typical for my discipline. And note that they do not want a 25 page section of a chapter; they specify a 25 page chapter. Am I supposed to cut down and make a special version of this chapter just for the fellowship? Mind you, nowhere in the materials for this fellowship did they mention a page limit for the chapter. It was only revealed when you log in to upload your proposal. Argh!


Caroline said...

This is totally normal for post-doc and even some job applications, by the way. I had to send in 3000 words (aka 10 pages) for one post-doc.

sushipjs said...

I'm feeling you on the hangover. I just want to sleep for days.

Anonymous said...

OK, they specify "25 pages double spaced". Do they specify font size--or even page size?

Caroline said...

Definitely not a good idea too play with the font and margins very much. They give these lengths because they don't want to read more! I've emailed a lot of these page-length-facists and this is almost always the story.

But definitely play a little.