Conference come down.
Every year that I go to POWES (Psychology of Women and Equalities Conference), I come away feeling so revived, completely motivated, and ready to do all of the things. And then every year I get back and crash land into the real world.
Academic conferences are such good spaces to talk to like-minded people about research, mutual interests, and learn about all manner of interesting work that really spurs you on for either teaching or your own research. But POWES is particularly special.
The first year I went I was in the first year of my PhD. It was the first conference I had ever been to, and I was presenting a poster of my early PhD thoughts. I didn’t really know want to expect of conferences (when I heard people talk about them generally it made me think of stuffy spaces, with white old men sitting around nodding at each other in mutual agreement over boring topics sitting wearing boring suits and drinking black coffee). I got to POWES and immediately felt at home. Everyone was so welcoming, and it was full of people doing all different kinds of work, but importantly, the emphasis on feminism was strong. There was no talking over presenters with their own ideas, no negativity, only support. To top it off, it has an annual disco in the basement of the venue! Not that I’m one for late nights, but where else can you do that?
In the last year or so, it’s become affectionately known as 'feminist summer camp'. It really does offer a break from the institutions that otherwise suppress the kinds of work we do and the voices heard in this space.
This isn’t an affiliate post, but more about the moral of the story - find your tribe, your community who will support you. POWES is that for me.
Come say hi! @CharlotteJD