Tuesday 05/14/2019 by phishnet


© 2019 Ryan Kerrigan

Your time is near, the mission’s clear, but it’s later than you think. The inaugural Phish Studies conference will take place at Oregon State University this weekend. The three-day event is unprecedented. There have been classes about other bands. There have been conferences focused on other bands. There has never been a stand-alone conference devoted to a single band with this level of community integration and collaboration. You’ve never seen this side of Phish. The conference has been a dream of ours for a long time. Don’t miss out on your only chance to be at the first-ever Phish Studies conference held on a college campus. Help shape the future of the growing field, redefine what is possible in the Academy, and take part in history as it unfolds. You will always remember where you were.

Dreams will become reality this week. We will merge our professions with our passions. Scholars from around the country will be able to receive professional credit for their Phish-related research instead of assuming it’s just a hobby. Undergraduate students will receive rare professional mentoring opportunities. Graduate students will participate in research and be able to point to our conference if their advisors tell them it’s not possible to study Phish and be successful on the job market. Select and edited conference presentations will be published with an academic press as the first Phish Studies edited volume. The only rule is it begins!

If you are unable to attend but would like to support a student or underemployed scholar, register for the conference via our online registration portal. Use your billing information, but enter Icculus in the “discount code” field at check out. Instead of a discount, the code will let OSU Conference Services know that you want us to transfer your registration to someone in need of assistance. Visit the conference website for other sponsorship opportunities.

We’ve received a lot of questions from fans who are not academics about what to expect. This is your “Helping Friendly Guide” to your first academic conference. Please remember that you will be attending a professional academic event, not a concert. 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. The early bird registration deadline has passed, but regular registration is now open. Registration for the entire weekend is $175. Day passes are $75.
  2. Professional decorum is expected. Please be considerate of the fact that you are in the scholars’ work environment.
    • Dress is business casual.
    • 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 presenter will be allocated a total of 20 minutes. Given disciplinary differences, the Program Committee elected to let presenters decide how to use that time themselves. We recommended 15-minute talks with 5 minutes for questions, but some panelists may depart from this model.
    • Wait for the designated question and answer period to ask thoughtful 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.
    • Arrive on time for each panel session and stay for all scheduled papers during that session. Avoid entering or leaving the room during a presentation. If doing so is necessary, please be as quiet as possible.
  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. If you are travelling from out-of-state, you might be excited about legal recreational cannabis in Oregon. However, because OSU receives federal funding, there can be no cannabis on campus. 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 will record and archive presentations, but talks will only be published with the consent of individual presenters.
© Jamie Lee Meyer, 2019

You’re probably inquiring if we can still have fun. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Phish Conference if there wasn’t an adequate balance of work and play. In addition to a jam-packed academic program, the conference will feature:

On May 17-19, Stephen Olker’s Baker's Dozen mural, Magnaball "Drive In," and Gorge Amphitheater prints will be sold at the Phish Studies conference via silent auction. Our conference poster is by Jamie Lee Meyer and will be sold for $30. T-shirts featuring the conference logo, designed by Ryan Kerrigan, will be sold for $20. Proceeds will be donated to support registration scholarships for students and underemployed scholars attending the event. We are grateful for the artists’ generosity and honored to feature their artwork at Oregon State University.

In planning this event, we’ve received a lot of messages thanking us for making dreams come true, but we don’t know what yours are. Let us know in the comments. What is your Phish Studies dream? (Think: What is the best possible outcome for the first conference? Where would you like the field to be in 5 years? In 10 years?)

If you keep your eyes open, you may find yourself there.

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, comment by dreamed_a_dream
dreamed_a_dream who’s got my heady link?
, comment by SporkFan
SporkFan I think you mean there's never been a stand alone conference about a band except for the Grateful Dead conference that's been happening annually for the past six years.
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