Conference Inference is, as its name suggests, about analytically engaging with the world of conferences. The blog builds on the personal, professional, and theoretical readings that conferences always produce, but which are often shared informally or internally. Our aim is to place conferences and conference experiences centre-stage as important sites where knowledge production, academic careers, and friendship occur.
Conference Inference was founded by two friends – Emily Henderson and Jamie Burford – who met at a conference and who have developed a mutual interest in what academic conferences mean and do. We are curious about the ways conferences may be changing, how they impact on our lives, and how they could be imagined otherwise.
We approach conferences with an open mind – never fully knowing what they are, or the reasons their participants do the things they do. We are interested in contributions that explore the ways conferences are influenced by (and also influence) socio-political dynamics. We are curious about the bodies of conference-goers, and the ways and means by which they move and are moved.
We are also interested in space, relationships, emotions, and contributions that illuminate academic conferences as complex ecosystems. We want to know how conferences can or should produce new knowledge, relate to activism and make connections beyond academia.
Conference Inference aims to post each fortnight, at times with posts from guest contributors. We also have included a page with our work on conferences, as well as some other conference writing, in order to showcase some of the conferences research that is out there.
We welcome comments on Conference Inference posts, but please note that we monitor these posts so there may be a short delay before comments show up.