Conference etiquette

Aphra Behn by John Riley (1646-1691) Wikimedia Commons

Aphra Behn
by John Riley (1646-1691)
Wikimedia Commons

Aphra shall here communicate to the World a Letter of Interest, which she believes will give the Reader as good Advice as any that she is able to furnish her with, and therefore shall make no Apology for it:

Dear Aphra,

I am one of the Directors of the Society for the Expectations of Best Practices, and therefore think myself a proper Person for your Correspondence. It has come to my Attention that the Etiquette of Conference Organization has, as of late, become rather less than Appropriate, and the Design of this Paper is to give you Information of certain regular Practices which I think fall very properly under your Observation. Should one wish to participate in one of our Learned Societies such as we are used to Host, one should clearly indicate, on every bit of Correspondence (as Footmen these Days can be quite lax), one’s full Name, Institution, and Penny Post address (or email). Likewise, one should be wary of the great Cost of Parchment, and be brief but thorough in her Proposal. In consideration of the Schedules and Commitments of others, all proposals should be sent before the due date has passed. Should your Proposal garner no Response, a short note (again, with full Titles and Addresses), sent a few Days after the Due Date, is entirely appropriate. Should you be a Session Chair, you should take a particular Care to follow your own Best Practices. Initially, one must acknowledge receipt of Proposals or other work within a Few Days through an appropriately and simply worded Note sent by Penny Post. Additionally, it is most unacceptable to  fill Panels before the Submission Deadline; not only are such Requests to do so quite ethically Awkward, but such Requirements prevent full Consideration of those Proposals which may be most Illustrious, but also most close to the submission Date. Continue correspondence when Appropriate; should your limited Panel require a Waiting List, do inform those who must wait, as their Plans may be quite dependent upon your own. And do remember to thank all those who took the Time to provide their Thoughts and Ideas to your Enterprise, no matter the outcome. I am wonderfully pleased to think that I am always engaged with such an illustrious Society in searching out the Manners of the Age, and joining in the same Consort of Praise and Adoration for those who behave appropriately.

I am Yours, &c.,


Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn is a pseudonym for ABOPublic. This is not the real Aphra Behn—she died in 1688, and the world hasn't been the same since!
Aphra Behn

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