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.
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.
What is magical about #ISA2015 in New Orleans the day after Fat Tuesday is everyone will have a massive hangover BEFORE the first panel.
— Stephanie Carvin (@StephanieCarvin) February 18, 2015
Café au lait & beignets on the banks of the Mississippi. #ISA2015 is a contender for most delicious conference. pic.twitter.com/IaR5khWUAa
— Neil (@mongkoknights) February 20, 2015
FYI you probably want to go to every panel possible in the Hilton Compass room; you’re basically in a boat on the Mississippi #ISA2015
— Kelsey P. Norman (@kelseypnorman) February 20, 2015
2. Scholars like 8 a.m. no more than anyone else.
#ISA2015 this is why you shouldn’t schedule a Cuba panel @ 8 am after mardi gras pic.twitter.com/iqIcsdhqvu
— renata segura (@renaticas) February 18, 2015
I can FaceTime you bro. +1 😉 “@wyoumans: Surprisingly huge turnout for my 8 AM panel in New Orleans. #ISA2015 pic.twitter.com/hh1FNxJHSy”
— Abu Adib (@sarabiany) February 20, 2015
3. The convention provides the perfect platform for constructive criticism. And a few straight-up insults.
A 135 page paper is not fit for #ISA2015 #justsaying
— David J. Galbreath (@DJGalbreath) February 20, 2015
Hey #ISA2015 challenge for #isa2016: 1. Try prezi 2. If u use twitter put handle 1st slide 3. If studying twitter use it yourself @isaicomm
— Phil Howard (@pnhoward) February 19, 2015
I’d rather go to the dentist than listen to you read directly from your paper. You’re killing me smalls. #ISA2015
— Xtal (@aka_ms_rico) February 19, 2015
“Your paper reminds me of the time I was in a Turkish prison.” #DiscussantFromHell #ISA2015
— Worse Reviewer (@Worse_Reviewer) February 19, 2015
4. A large part of the conversation is how to improve the field itself.
‘IR is the only discipline that believes modernity started in 1648, we have a modernity problem!’ Barry Buzan at #ISA2015
— Sabrina Stein (@urusabo) February 19, 2015
Seriously considering not reviewing any more journal submissions unless the journals are open access. Other colleagues in IR? #ISA2015
— profdeibert (@RonDeibert) February 18, 2015
@DrLauraEsq gave an incredible and enlightening talk about the silence in IR knowledge production #ISA2015 great to see!
— HannahPartisJennings (@partisjh) February 20, 2015
“More needs to be said about empire and racism in IR” – Buzan at #TC11 #ISA2015
— Jeppe Mulich (@jmulich) February 19, 2015
5. Academic conferences are not entirely what you would expect. There are costumes, dancing, and, yes, even unicorns.
Hell yeah this is a Game of Thrones panel at #isa2015. Major props to @dandrezner and Charli Carpenter pic.twitter.com/WDdAfTG5GE
— Austin Choi-Fitz (@achoifitz) February 18, 2015
There was actual dancing and singing at yesterday’s panel org by @Tom_Gregory and @Linda_Ahall. Magic at #ISA2015
— Synne.D (@Synno) February 20, 2015
@_CaitHamilton at #FB79 on politics, pictures and practices. Wins #ISA2015 best slide evahhhhhh. pic.twitter.com/esMjwMfPpI
— Laura J. Shepherd (@drljshepherd) February 20, 2015
6. It’s 2015. The lack of gender balance on panels is really starting to get annoying.
I’ve seen a couple of all-male panels at #isa2015 & I’ll have to admit, it made me feel uncomfortable. I DO think gender matters in academia
— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) February 18, 2015
Comment from the floor – we need to say more often “This is not normal!” (in reference to all male panels) #ISA2015 #TA29
— Annick T.R. Wibben (@ATRWibben) February 19, 2015
7. And while we are at it, more diversity overall, please.
‘It’s difficult for me to say that IR is anything but a white man’s world. I mean, look at this room” says South African scholar. #ISA2015
— Oumar Ba (@OumarKBa) February 18, 2015
I think 12 of the 13 other people on my three #ISA2015 panels are white men. I make that 13 of 14. Dang.
— Jay Ulfelder (@dtchimp) February 20, 2015
LHM Ling drops mic on Mearsheimer: “Non-Western IR is right in your face! You should read my book.” #ISA2015 WA10 & that’s a wrap.
— Robert W. Wishart 深河 (@rwwishart) February 18, 2015
8. The future will be a strange and possibly frightening place.
Destruction of #water infrastructure can have devastating effects on #watersecurity beyond the end of #conflict. #ISA2015 #FA59 #waterwars
— Paula Hanasz (@paulahanasz) February 20, 2015
Fascinating innovative panel simulation on the world in 2020. Arctic melting, US & Russia battling over Arctic oil & gas #ISA2015
— RW (@rwarner23) February 20, 2015
I speculated aloud that social scientists might do intl fieldwork by drone…lost an audience member. Pls come back! @isaicomm #isa2015
— Phil Howard (@pnhoward) February 20, 2015
9. But it’s safe to say the future includes more academic blogging. Which means… more Duckies!
The Duckies winners off #isa2015: @monkeycageblog @dhnexon @dtchimp @amaddenhodgkins pic.twitter.com/eiDnJ7TNSf
— Steve Saideman (@smsaideman) February 20, 2015
10. New Orleans, still a better setting. We get it.
@isanet #ISA2015 great weather, great discussions! pic.twitter.com/gZ34hcDOmw
— Ulrich Kühn (@UliTKuehn) February 20, 2015