How to Have Fun at Political Science Conferences


P.S. Ruckman, Jr. - and Patrick A. Stewart -

When Chairing a Panel
- introduce yourself via reference to your own upside down name tag
- tie topically disparate papers by focusing on choice of fonts and paper
- consider it your duty to fill glasses of water for everyone in the room

When Presenting a Paper
- bring applause machine and use it throughout your presentation
- bring extravagant sports trophies, set them on the table in front of yourself
- present statistical portion of paper in chemical containment suit and mask
- spend an exceptional amount of your presentation on font decision making
- speak in a diminishing, monotone voice and fall asleep
- bring a laptop and run your analyses on the spot
- after running your analyses, bow your head meekly and say, "uh, never mind."
- claim to have conversed, recently, with prominent, but deceased, political scientists
- bring dazzling showgirl to change overheads
- inform your discussant(s) of the nervous breakdown you experienced at your last panel
- answer discussant comments/criticisms via reference to magic 8-Ball
- respond to criticisms with phrases like "nuh-uh" and "your momma!"
- while noting the comments of your discussant, break your pen/pencil in half
- sit unreasonably close to your discussant, and crush ice between your teeth
- pass hat/bowl through audience and request funds for future research

When Discussing a Paper
- engage in furious note-taking and ask presenters to "please, go SLOW!"
- express anger at the rejection of your own proposal and proceed to present a paper
- pause, take a frightened look in your glass of water, glance repeatedly at your watch

When Attending a Panel
- arrive late and ask if you missed anything
- provide folded dollar bills to panelists who cite or agree with your work
- attempt to start a "wave" during heated panel discussion
- stand in indignation and profess to be one of the people on the panel