2011 Patristics Conference, Oxford

The 16th International Patristics Conference (for summer 2011) is now putting out invitations for papers.  The infinitely smarter-looking web site is here.

The conference takes place in Oxford.  The days are filled with papers, each of 15 minutes.  There is a book display by publishers, often with very good deals.  Accomodation is available (at a fairly substantial charge) in an Oxford college.  I tend to stay in my old college instead.

I’ve been to the last couple, although only for a day or two.  If you are an academic, especially one starting out, you need to go for the networking and career opportunities.  For amateurs it is quite optional.  I suspect I will book, but go for only a day or two.

UPDATE: The registration fee for the conference this time is £180.  That’s a lot.  It doesn’t include any accomodation either, which this year is at £50 or 70 a night for a room with only a sink.  I don’t recall what the fee was in 2007, but nothing like that, surely?  Oh dear…  For that fee alone you could spend a week in Egypt, including air-flights. 

It also doesn’t include any car parking — in Soviet Oxford, only the commissars get free parking.

I suppose most attendees will get all these fees paid by their employers — i.e. by the taxpayer.  But it is a bit disturbing to see prices so high.  I know that these conferences have to pay their way, and indeed are a substantial source of profit to the colleges.  It’s still sad, tho.

2 Responses to “2011 Patristics Conference, Oxford”


  1. Markus Vinzent

    Dear Roger,
    thanks for this annoucement – and I have full sympathy with what you say regarding fees and parking. The problem with Oxford is that the city has only the colleges as conference venues, and the Directors of this conference are nothing but similarly humble clients as anyone who attends. Hence we suffer from the prices set by the colleges (and the last conference did not fully pay its way), and so it is with parking. Worse than during communist times when the Berlin Academy of science had over 250 drivers to pick up scholars from home and drive them to work and conferences … the directors of the conference will be there without cars, parking spaces as foot passengers as anybody else,
    yours Markus

  2. Roger Pearse

    Thanks for the note! I’ve heard quite a bit of grumbling — even I, who am hardly on the gossip circuit — and it’s really nice to hear the other side. If the last conference didn’t break even, no wonder the price has gone up.

    I suppose the main cost is the use of the schools, which is more or less unavoidable. The other aspect is the provision of accomodation in colleges. We have to recognise that using these makes an appeal to many people that gathering in a TravelInn on the M4 somewhere might not! These are fundamentally fixed costs, then, not really under the control of the organisers unless the conference is moved to another town; and that also is not what people really want.

    I don’t know what the answer is, I admit.



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