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Posts Tagged ‘Arlene Saxonhouse’

By far the most frustrating aspect of our recent two-day conference Thucydides our Comtemporary? (I’ll come back to that question mark at some point…) was the fact that I was chairing every session. Often, of course, such duties entail desperately thinking up more-or-less intelligible questions and comments on topics one knows little about in the hope that the speaker won’t actually notice that no one has anything much to say and would far rather call it a day and head down to the pub. Not this time; I spent my whole time arbitrating on split-second finishes between three different people raising their hands at once, juggling the wish to keep the thread of debate going with the need to avoid neglecting people who had other things to say, and trying to keep vaguely to the scheduled programme. Despite the fact that every speaker stuck pretty well to time, and we’d scheduled lots of space for discussion, I had to cut things short time and again. Bringing people back at the end of refreshment breaks was even worse, as clearly these were taken as opportunities to engage in more depth, free from the interfering headmaster type threatening to withhold everyone’s dinner if they didn’t stop talking. And the problem was that actually I could happily have taken up the whole discussion time with my own questions and comments, if I hadn’t had to be all selfless and disciplined. Still, at least I have this blog to play with, and over the next few weeks (probably) I aim to give a sketch of the different papers, for everyone who couldn’t or didn’t make it to the conference, and to give me a chance to develop my own thoughts. Obviously the authors of the different papers bear no responsibility for what I’ve made of them… (more…)

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