Zipping up on the west coast line after an informal meeting with few people at Bill Fulford's house in London to mull over broadening the intellectual resources for philosophy and psychiatry, I am thinking a bit about what might happen to academic conferences in a recessional period. This year, there might have been a single INPP conference in Italy but for understandable reasons (“It’s the conomy, Stupid!”) it didn't happen. In the UK at least, we have benefitted from a travelling symposium (Durham, Kings College London, Oxford) and I like to think that, although I didn't lift a finger to help with the organisation, I had something to do with its conception (over a coffee or two with Werdie van Staden, Grant Gillett, Derek Bolton and Angela Woods at the INPP meeting at Otago, Dunedin last year).
I really enjoyed the Durham day on the future of phenomenology. (My own paper attempted to address phenomenology and how bridges might best be built between analytic philosophy and phenomenological accounts: how 'we' might borrow 'their' results and the familiar worries that any such accounts of psychopathology raise.) I got a chance to talk to Angela Woods about the use of twitter but also Nev Jones (who put the first version of the fifth, I think, part of her talk under erasure; if I had done that my irony would have been ironic whilst hers, more powerfully, wasn't), author of the consistently interesting Ruminations on Madness blog (note to self: I will list the blogs I read which are, unlike my own, somehow serious and grown up. Three spring to mind as quite brilliant.)