Monday, March 07, 2005

"Reading" vs. "Presenting"

Sean Carroll complains about humanities professors who read--literally read--their papers at conferences. Why, oh why, he asks, don't they speak from notes like scientists do? His query prompted some interesting conversation: go take a look.

Me, I tend to read, but with asides and inflections. I like having my whole text in front of me, but I like to make it into something that's worth hearing. But it is an odd thing, no? Why read?

What really chagrins me about my own slowness in changing long-established habits is that I really, really want to be able to project images for my upcoming presentation at CCCC but never even thought to request the necessary equipment. So looks like I'll be making handouts instead. Poor substitute. Oh well. I'm already competing with Ulmer's talk as it is; I'm sure he didn't forget to ask for the projection equipment.

2 comments:

Becky Howard said...

I got sick of the silly practice of reading papers, and began giving very carefully prepared "extemporaneous" speeches. And it was clear to me that my audience thought I was unprepared, indifferent. So for the sake of ethos, I went back to reading papers—but with, like you, lots of asides.

Donna said...

Hi Becky! Thanks for stopping by.