APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-07 > 1248878988
From: Drew Smith <>
Subject: Re: [APG] APG PMC (Little Rock) Syllabus?
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 10:49:48 -0400
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On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 7:34 AM, LBoswell<> wrote:
> I think this arises from the fact that only some members are able to obtain
> syllabuses made available after the conference in limited numbers. Make
> them available more widely, or not at all. That would contain the issue.
Hmmm, I'm trying to imagine how this economic concept would work if
applied at my place of employment. If we hold an event at the library
where food is served, and there is leftover food, an announcement is
usually made to all employees that there are leftovers available on a
first-come, first-served basis. Using Larry's logic, we would have to
automatically discard all leftovers because the leftovers might be
gone before some people got some. Sorry, I don't see the point of the
waste, given that the food was already paid for. It's reasonable to
assume that those who act quickly cared more than those who acted
slowly. If I arrive too late for the leftovers, I don't complain that
the leftovers should have been discarded because I wanted some and I
was too late.
> The argument that a comprehensive summary (or even as some social science
> conferences require of speakers, a full article) would cause people to avoid
> a seminar is an interesting point. Most people pick and choose the seminars
> they attend because they obviously can't be in two places at once, yet they
> may still be interested in another one that timing forces them to miss. So
> even attendees would benefit from being able to acquire more comprehensive
> summaries from those missed seminars.
> I'm surprised at the protective attitude that seems to shadow genealogy.
> This sort of discussion would be unnecessary in most social science
> conferences. Rather than thinking of having syllabuses available as being a
> factor in potentially lowering attendance, the reverse is actually more the
> case. Being able to assess the quality of the presentations just might
> encourage more of us to consider attending the conferences. If the
> summaries were stimulating and well written they serve to draw people into
> the next conference.
It's invalid to compare genealogy conferences with academic
conferences (such as social science conferences). Having been
employed by research universities since 1978, I'm familiar with the
way that papers are produced by faculty and presented at conferences.
Faculty are already funded by their universities (salary and sometimes
full travel expenses) to do research, publish, and present. They are
fully expected to do so. They are not normally paid by the
conferences where they present or by the journals where they publish.
And when they give a typical presentation, it is a presentation of a
paper, which may be included in a proceedings, or published later in a
more refined form in a journal. At some conferences, faculty actually
just read their papers.
Genealogy speakers are almost all self-employed. They make their
livings by selling their presentations to conferences, and selling
their articles and books to publishers. They are not producing
academic papers on which they are presenting. They may be providing
the same presentation on the same topic for many years (updated only
As for assessing the quality of the presentations, genealogy speakers
acquire reputations because they travel around the country giving
their talks. Or people read their articles and books and can decide
if the author knows their stuff or not. If my local presentations,
articles, and books are stimulating (and today, I can add podcasts to
the mix), then I would assume that people would be drawn to hear me
present at a state or national conference.
|Re: [APG] APG PMC (Little Rock) Syllabus? by Drew Smith <>|