Organising Our Own Conference

There is no need to make a fuss about academic conferences. I have participated in several, as presenter or audience, since I started my PhD at King’s. But how about organising one?

Our European Study Group has been preparing a postgraduate conference since April, and everything goes on quite well so far. It was fun when we first discussed the theme of the conference, then chores came. We sent out the call for papers and arranged room, registration, and catering. Finally, after the review of paper proposals, panels were organised and the conference programme was ready.

There were many anecdotes. Once we cancelled a meeting but failed to notice everyone. And when I sent out the call for papers to IR and Geography departments in U.K. universities and targeted at “real people” instead of departmental emails, to my embarrassment, I received a reply from a department manager, who was forwarded the email by the “real person”, asking why I didn’t send the circular to the correct address. Also, during my correspondence with King’s career centre concerning a short career development workshop to be held as part of our conference, I suggested a title for our career advisor’s talk, which she found too broad to fulfil…

Though conference organising takes some time and unexpected situations occur, I’m happy to be part of it and really look forward to a successful conference.

What is local? King’s Postgraduate Conference 2013

Fundraising for Earthquake Relief

On April 20, 2013, Sichuan province of China was struck by a severe earthquake, taking away hundreds of lives and billions of properties. The Chinese society and the international community were sympathetic and keen to help as usual, but situations have changed subtly since the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. It seemed that the Red Cross Society of China had been worn out by criticism and doubts since the appalling corruption scandal. Debates got increasing heated concerning how to do charity more efficiently.

It was against this background that the CSSA-Kings organised an earthquake relief taskforce to spread news about the earthquake and raise fund to help. Though most people were busy preparing for exams, many came to the fundraising event. A song specially composed for the earthquake relief was played, and all attendants stood in silent tribute for those who died in the earthquake before the jumble sale started. Items on sale include a sleeping bag, an umbrella, a memory stick, wifi routers, bookmarks, Chinese knots, books, etc. £558 was raised and donated to China Education Development Foundation later.

Posters I designed for the event.

Flyer for the event and the bank receipt for the donation.

Hope the best for those who suffer. Regarding charity, one should not give up eating for fear of choking, and the progress of reform needs patience as well as efforts.