Guide to Academic Conferences

We’ve received a lot of questions from fans who are not academics about what to expect. This is your “Helping Friendly Guide” to academic conferences. Please remember that you will be attending a professional academic event, not a concert (even though concerts are happening at night). In order to preserve the scholarly legitimacy of Phish Studies, we must follow the rules and norms of academic conferences.

  1. Registration is required. You do not have to be a presenter or academic to attend, but you must register online.
  2. Professional decorum is expected. Please be considerate of the fact that you are in the scholars’ work environment.
    • Dress is professional but casual (Phishy touches are welcome, of course)
    • Be respectful of faculty and student presenters; many will have flown across the country to participate in this conference. Do not interrupt scholars during their presentations.
  3. Follow academic protocols for audience participation. Panel sessions will have assigned moderators who will introduce the presenters and moderate Q&A. Each presentation will be 30 minutes long, most consisting of 20-minute presentations followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion. Given disciplinary differences, some panelists may depart from this model.
    • Wait for the designated question and answer period to ask thoughtful, relevant, and concise questions.
    • Follow the panel moderator’s instructions regarding when it is appropriate to ask questions. You will be given a mic, which you must use to ensure others are able to hear your question.
    • This year we will have concurring sessions running. We kindly ask that you arrive on time for each panel session and stay for the duration. All presentations will be recorded, so any that you don’t attend will be viewable later. Avoid entering or leaving the room during a presentation. If doing so is necessary, please be as quiet as possible, and try to do so between presenters.
  4. Follow OSU’s code of conduct. Please note that OSU is a smoke-free campus. There is no smoking or vaping of any kind on campus property. Although there is legal recreational cannabis in Oregon, there can be no cannabis on campus because OSU receives federal funding. Anyone who violates these policies will be removed and registration fees will not be refunded.
  5. No recording or flash photography. While there is a recording culture in the Phish community, the norms are different in academia. Scholars use conferences to present works-in-progress and receive feedback from colleagues. OSU and the Mockingbird Foundation will record and archive presentations, but talks will only be published with the consent of individual presenters.
  6. This is a conference, not a class. Unfortunately, you cannot get academic credit for attending. However, you may be able to obtain professional development funding from your employer to attend. Given that we have panels devoted to law, medicine, business, literary analysis, musicology, cultural studies, publishing, and more, as well as workshops and panels around issues of equity, race, gender, queer studies, disability studies, and sexual orientation, there’s a chance you could receive some professional development funding to attend. Shoot your shot!