Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


The Rhetoric has left the building!

I just attended the 3rd Nordic Conference on Rhetoric - and it was fun. I must admit that it is the first time I've been at a conference where I got the chance of getting so much into "the mood". Academic life is a strange microcosm: on one hand it is just like any other professional congregation - being torn out of the routine of everyday work and into a group of likeminded is quite the ecstasy at first. And perhaps especially in a subject that has so many cult-like qualities as Rhetoric - we're all just family in our love of beauty, truth and love. On the other hand, you live off your mind and your thoughts, so after the excitement has left you (usually after getting drunk with colleagues), you regress and starts guarding your words, realising that your research is directly commensurable with your slur at the bar. The family is quite dysfunctional and academic feuds risk spilling over into fist-fights in the convention-halls. The entire exercise ends with a tired satisfaction - combining pleasure and business with only a hair-thin separation.

For my part it was a pleasurable revisitation of the best of student days, as many of my former student colleagues came along and had a good time.


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