I assume that many philosophy departments will be having their department talks in the fall take place via Zoom. If so, that raises some questions and opportunities. For example, perhaps others not associated with the home department may be permitted to sit in on the talk. I can understand not being willing to open talks up to the general public given the incidence of video-bombing taking place, but perhaps there might be a way to allow at least those associated with another philosophy dept to join, and perhaps others as well. Asking questions at talks raises other issues as that might crowd out the members of the home dept from doing so—partly undermining the point of paying for a talk in the first place. I’m interested in people’s views about allowing visitors to ask questions. Further, since recording Zoom talks is so easy, it may well be possible (with the speakers permission) to post the recording of the talk for all to see. Doing things this way, rather than inviting outsiders to attend the talk live, could avoid some potential downsides. This might be the simplest and least controversial way to start making our dept talks more widely available.

I hope eventually we can have a list of places that are willing to advertise their dept talks and let others remotely sit in on them or view the recording of them. Are there other problems with doing so? Please share any concerns you have about this here, please. Or if you have ideas for making this process run more smoothly, please tell us. Or if your dept is having Zoom talks in the fall and you are willing to let others know what talks are coming and have them sign up to watch (or to post a recording of the talk on the dept page), please says so below. I assume dept should check with their speakers before offering this option to folks outside their own dept.

3 Replies to “A New Model for Dept Talks During a Pandemic?

  1. PhilEvents allows you to advertise your online talk here. This feature is wildly underutilized but they are now trying to let people know about it and are hopeful many many more talks will be listed there.

  2. I gave a talk over Zoom yesterday, and have attended a few. I really like them. As a justice issue, it gives access to people in departments that have less funding for travel and guest speakers. There’s the environmental bonus of reducing travel. There’s a time bonus from not having to travel. I also find that there is kind of an equalizing effect where no one really gets to dominate the conversation — maybe because we’re all in our little rectangles on screen.

Comments are closed.