Academica Dramatica x Negotiating Intellect at Conference Questioning (sort of…)

This is a completely useless but mildly entertaining tongue-in-cheek observation of academics attempting to negotiate displays of intellect during the Q&A segment of conferences/presentations/whatnot.

Also known as ‘Attempts at Filling Air Time’ and ‘Performances of Academic Bravado’.

Disclaimer: Not inspired by or in relation to the totally bad ass OII SDP 14 programme I am currently attending. (Cohort wiki here)

Anti-disclaimer: But we are *all* guilty of these in some setting or another – me included because I am after all a noob at the bottom of this food chain, trying to sound smarter than I really am.

1) The ‘can’t please every one’ question
“You looked at x; why didn’t you look at y? Or z? Or these five hundred other things?”

2) The ‘can’t please me’ question
“You looked at x; I would have looked at y. Why didn’t you look at y? Don’t you know that y is the best thing in the universe?” *cue indignant hyperventilation*

3) The ‘tell us more’ retrospective question
“So how did you come upon this?”

4) The ‘tell us more’ prospective question
“So where are you going from here?”

5) The ‘question in comment’ question
“So here are all my thoughts about x (that I will go on about for 5 minutes)… so that was more of a comment than a question…”

6) The ‘question in comment’ question + ‘attempted save’ question remix
“So here are all my thoughts about x (that I will go on about for 5 minutes)… so that was more of a comment than a question… but I guess what my question really is about is that, and this is also really interesting, is that…”

7) The ‘i love you and your work please marry me’ monologue-question
“Thank you very very much, that was a very excellent presentation and I enjoyed it very much, it was interesting and exciting and engaging and invigorating and I am totally in love with your brain in a non-creepy way… yeah so my question is…”

8) The ‘let me pitch my work’ monologue-question

“So in my really obscure work from eons ago in which I obviously hold some intellectual authority, I discovered these five hundred amazing things (that I will go on about for 5 minutes)… yeah so my question is…”

9) The ‘blow your mind with big words’ question

“What is your ontology?”
“What is your method of processual analysis?”
“What are your theoretical underpinnings?”
“What is your intellectual leaning?”
“What are your philosophical influences?”
(you get the idea…)

PS: #sorrynotsorry (cf my #oiisdp Americanada girls).

PPS: Please still be my friend.

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