Patristics Conference – a grumble

I’m off to Durham tomorrow to attend the patristics conference on Wednesday.  So I’ve been going through the emails, printing off copies, printing out a map of what and where.

One thing that strikes me strongly is that the conference is not being organised very well.   My experience has been quite negative. 

For instance, when I booked I found that the online payments did not work.  I booked anyway, but received no acknowledgement.  I sent off a cheque, but was not informed when it was received, nor cashed.  A provisional programme was sent out — but not to me.  When I asked about it, I was told it was on the website — but I still never got to see the email.  Emails were replied to late if at all.  Questions about check-in time have not been replied to.  If there is any question about my booking, when I arrive, with car in a restricted area, I have almost nothing in writing.

Staying away from home is a stressful experience.  Leaving these sorts of things in doubt makes it worse.   This is a great pity.

What I am going to do tomorrow — today is bank holiday so no-one will be around — is to telephone the college directly, and check what they have by way of a conference booking, car parking, etc.  I wish I’d thought of this last week, and I offer the suggestion to others.  Because I suspect the college will be better organized, and they, after all, do the hard work.

Still, the programme suggests it will be a good conference.  And if it isn’t, I have my car and will just go home.

Letters of Isidore of Pelusium

A translation of the first 14 letters of Isidore of Pelusium came in this morning.  It’s generally looking good, although the people I use to verify this are on holiday!  But I’ve paid the sum agreed anyway — the chap has certainly worked on it seriously — and commissioned letters 15-25 for the same treatment.

The letters of Isidore do need some kind of running commentary on them, to tie the book into a readable whole.  How this might be done I don’t yet know.

I need to find some more translators and commission some more books for publication.  I wonder how IVP found their translators?  I’ll wander around at the patristics conference next week and see if I can make contact that way.

British patristic conference, 1st-3rd September 2010

Just a quick note to say that bookings for the conference, to be held in Durham at St. Johns College, are still possible.  Accomodation and meals have to be booked by Monday, but of course there is plenty of hotel accomodation in the city, within walking distance of the college.  It might even be more comfortable!

If you’re not sure whether you can make it or not, do not despair: registrations are still open.  The organisers tell me:

Yes,people may still register, though Monday is, of course, the deadline for lodging and meals.  But we’ll gladly accept registrations at the door.  Come one, come all!

Glad you like the program, we’re excited about it, too.

Registration for the conference begins at St John’s College, Durham at 1330 hrs on Wednesday 1st Sept 2010, and the conference will conclude at 1300 hrs on Friday 3rd September. 

The schedule and papers to be given are listed here.   And the city of Durham itself is well worth a look, so you won’t be at a loss for alternatives for things to do.

You can register online here, although payments have to be sent in by cheque.  The conference fee is £70 (70 GBP); 35 GBP for impoverished post-grads!

British Patristic Conference – conference schedule

The list of papers and what happens when has been posted on the web site here.  The papers look good.  A quick glance shows several that I want to to hear, straight out of the box.  I do want to hear that paper about Eusebius in the 17th century.  The myths started then still enjoy a good life among the headbangers.  Likewise T.D.Barnes on the Constantinian period is always interesting and of a very high scholarly standard.  And that’s just two that caught my eye!

 

British Patristics Conference

The British Patristic Conference at Durham is due in a very short time indeed.  It kicks off on 1st September, which is now merely a week and a half away.  So I’m slightly nervous that no programme or acknowledgement of my registration has appeared!  Still, if they haven’t got me on the list, I just won’t attend.

An email asking who wants a car pass has arrived — the first communication I have received.  Well, I certainly will need somewhere to park!  The distance to Durham from me is considerable, and I shall be going up the day before and staying in a hotel.  I don’t much fancy the idea of driving for 5-6 hours and then trying to find the place, park, register, and listen to sessions!

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.