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10 things the 2015 ISA convention taught us

The annual convention of the International Studies Association was held this year in New Orleans. The critiques were sharp as ever, the views even better and yes, there was even one internet-loving unicorn.

By: /
20 February, 2015
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Each year, the International Studies Association brings together thousands of academics from around the world to discuss and present new research, publications and debates within the field of international studies. Its 56th edition was held this year in New Orleans, following a Toronto stop in 2014.

As the many panels and events wrap up — an overview of the schedule can be found here — we compiled a list of social media commentary that sum up some of the more interesting observations from those in attendance, including tips for presenters and what is in store for the future of global politics and the study of IR.

Here are the 10 things we learned from this year’s convention.

1. New Orleans in February is better than Toronto in February. Especially the week of Mardi Gras.



2. Scholars like 8 a.m. no more than anyone else.


3. The convention provides the perfect platform for constructive criticism. And a few straight-up insults.



4. A large part of the conversation is how to improve the field itself.



5. Academic conferences are not entirely what you would expect. There are costumes, dancing, and, yes, even unicorns.


6. It’s 2015. The lack of gender balance on panels is really starting to get annoying.


7. And while we are at it, more diversity overall, please.



8. The future will be a strange and possibly frightening place.


9. But it’s safe to say the future includes more academic blogging. Which means… more Duckies! 


10. New Orleans, still a better setting. We get it.

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