Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Proposal for a coffee-break conference
Numerous conferences are organized on Indian philosophy, philology, religions, or –more generally– on "South Asian studies". Hence, a further proposal should identify the continuity- and discontinuity-traits it aims at. The present project is the result of a larger reflection on the common sensical statement that "the most interesting parts of a conference are the coffee breaks". One yawns or falls asleep while most papers are read –apart from a couple of them and one's own one. On the other hand, one often takes part of challenging and fascinating debates while sipping at one's cup of coffee. Often, the same paper sounds thought-provoking and insightful during the break, and extremely boring while it is actually read.
This leaves space enough for the proposal of a coffee break-conference, that is, a conference which leaves behind the more stiff formulations of established and untouchables conclusions, and favours an open-minded exchange of ideas, suggestions, criticisms.