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Though by no means everyone, a significant of number people I have spoken with about whether the dates for the Eastern APA should be moved have suggested that a plausible alternative may be to move it to sometime in the first two weeks of January.

As noted in a previous post, the Modern Language Association has recently moved its annual conventions to January. I have also learned that the American Historical Association (AHA) also holds its annual conference in January. What is of particular interest for us is that this year, the AHA also held its conference in Boston at the Marriott and Westin Copley Place. One argument I have come across against moving the Eastern APA to a different date is that the hotel rates would be much higher. However, looking at the hotel rates for AHA members this January, it appears that they were lower than the APA rates. Specifically, the AHA rate for the Marriott was $110 single, $130 double, and for the Westin was $115 single, $140 double. In comparison, the APA rate for the Marriott was $159 single, $169 double, and for the Westin was $145 single, $155 double. To be sure, the AHA rate may be lower because the AHA conference may be larger than the APA. However, this seems to suggest that the rates for hotels in January may not be much higher than the rates in December, even if they were higher. Moreover, if one were to add the fact that the cost of air travel after January 3-4 is typically lower than the cost of air travel during late December, the “Cost Argument” for not moving the dates of the APA would seem to be much weaker.

In light of all this, it seems worthwhile to run a poll to see if you would favor moving the Eastern APA to sometime in the first two weeks of January. Please vote only once. Do feel free to offer your comments below.

Would you favor moving the Eastern APA to sometime in the first two weeks of January?

  • Yes (84%)
  • No (16%)

Total Votes: 600

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Comments

  1. 1. Posted by Berit Brogaard | February 12, 2011 3:03 pm

    I would much prefer if it were moved to late fall. There are already two APA meetings during the spring semester (one of which is in February). Moving it to January would make it hard for most people to attend more than one of the APA meetings.

    Since many of us are required to go to the Eastern meeting because of placement or hiring, many of us would have to miss out on both the Pacific and Central meetings, which is a shame.

    A second reason not to move it to early January is that that is the only time we have to prepare for spring classes.

  2. 2. Posted by Michael Kremer | February 14, 2011 1:54 pm

    Hmm… When I try to vote yes on the poll, I keep getting the message “please choose a valid poll result.” Any idea what’s up with that?

  3. 3. Posted by Christopher Gauker | February 14, 2011 2:06 pm

    At some colleges and universities, Winter Quarter begins in the first week of January. You cannot ask us to miss the first week of classes. The meeting cannot be scheduled at a time when a significant portion of the membership cannot attend. (At my own university, next year will be our last year on quarters; but I know of no nationwide trend to eliminate the quarter system.)

  4. 4. Posted by Michael Kremer | February 14, 2011 2:10 pm

    Aha, I was able to vote using the poll at the bottom of the post, but not using the poll in the sidebar.

    As to the possible move: late fall would be equally acceptable to me — even though for me that is the time to prepare classes, as I am actually teaching immediately after New Year’s, on the quarter system. But I would vastly prefer a move to January to the status quo, even though I would have to make arrangements to reschedule classes to attend the whole meeting.

  5. 5. Posted by Kenny Easwaran | February 15, 2011 2:17 am

    It generally seems much simpler to me to make alternate teaching arrangements in the middle or end of a term rather than the first week – you want the students to know that it’s you that’s teaching, if they haven’t had a class with you yet. So I never feel comfortable going to a conference at the very beginning of a semester. Given that various schools start in the first, second, or maybe occasionally third week of January, that seems to tell against having a conference as important as the Eastern then.

    Having it in the last full week before Christmas might cause difficulties for people who are grading papers during that week, but that does seem easier to me to schedule around than actual teaching.

  6. 6. Posted by Bill Wringe | February 15, 2011 11:39 am

    At some colleges and universities, Winter Quarter begins in the first week of January.

    Just as a matter of interest, how do members of the AHA and MLA deal with this problem?

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