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Monday, September 12, 2011

Comments on a Coffee Break Conference

A Coffee Break Conference is one meant to be nothing more than a coffee break conversation. No papers read, just discussion about topics, in an informal, yet passionate way, as it happens while sharing a meal during a boring conference.
I just came back from the Second Coffee Break Conference. As expected, it was great fun to feel free enough to share thoughts I would have normally kept for myself ("Do we really need a Gender approach?"), to ask questions I would not have normally been brave enough to ask ("What is the optimization theory in linguistics?"), to object, discuss, fight and disagree on really important points (such as the influence of one's implicit assumptions).
Hence, many thanks to the organizers and the participants!
Here are some of my favourites of the conference:

  1. M.F. asking: "How far would you go to support your thesis? (Would you consciously omit data or alter them?)".
  2. D.C. answering: "Until the third or forth very bad review of my work".
  3. S.L. destroying our naive dreams by explaining us that "microfinance is just finance".
  4. F.O. stressing the fact that the most honest thing to do is "to make our implicit assumptions explicit".
  5. P.D.S. about "critical areal studies".
  6. G.C.'s point that we should "be aware of the 'pizza effect', while working on South Asian texts with concept derived from the South Asian tradition, such as that of root".
  7. M.S. point that "Sacredness is about segregation" and the way it relates to Kātyāyana's vārttika on dharmaniyama.
In case you managed to attend the conference, what are your favourites?
I plan to discuss some of the panels in the next posts. I posted here the program of the conference and discussed its rationale here.


Jayarava said...

Hi Elisa

The conference sounds like fun. You mention the word dharmaniyama. Could you say a bit more about the context at some point - it's a hot topic in our Order at the moment.

elisa freschi said...

Hi Jayarava,
I am quite happy to help, but I am afraid I am going to disappoint you. I was referring to a vārttika (short gloss) by Kātyāyāna on Pāṇini. Hence, the main focus is on language. Since the topic is complex enough, I will dedicate a post to it (on september the 13th 2011).
(by the way: you are very much invited to join the next CFC.)

Jayarava said...

Thanks for the invite. Let me know the details closer to the time!

I'll still be interested in linguistic info on dharmaniyama.

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