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12/31/2021

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Michel

I think the upper limit is determined by your stamina.

But if you're presenting at events where the same people are in the audience, over and over, they might get bored.

history person who is sick of Zoom conferences

For what it's worth, my own rule as a person working in the history of philosophy is generally to max out at two presentations per paper. I also rename my papers for each presentation to diversify the CV. But my friends working in contemporary fields will sometimes present a paper as many as five times.

Here are two things I've thought about recently on this subject. I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here it is in any case:

(1) I've noticed that presentation norms vary among subfields. For instance, analytic philosophers tend to present a paper far more times than continentals, who tend only to present a paper once (or twice at max). Likewise, papers on applied, contemporary subjects tend to be repeated more often than history papers.

(Maybe this is because analytic and applied papers tend to be more conversational, while continental and history presentations tend to stick closer to the written draft?)

(2) In the Zoom era, I'm noticing that re-presentation norms are quickly changing. Whereas, in the past, presenting a paper to multiple different audiences would be totally fine, I'm now finding myself and others in my historical subfield getting sick of sitting through the same paper repeatedly at "different" Zoom conferences filled with the same people and papers. My sense is that it's too soon to say how exactly this will work going forward, but my guess is that repeat presentations will be significantly less viable for remote events than in-person, especially in smaller and more specific subfields.

history person again

Oh, and to be clear, the rules I specify above don’t apply to department colloquia since, presumably, those department people will never have been in the position to hear the paper before.

Assistant Professor

My experience is it depends on your goals in presenting. I have presented the same paper multiple times for two reasons. One is that I present it at a small conference and then it ended up accepted at a larger conference with a longer lag-time (like an APA) so I present there too. The other reason is I want to work something out with different audiences at different stages of the project so I submit a new iteration of the same basic paper. Both reasons have resulted in getting diverse feedback and also allowed me to refine my arguments.

Part of the upper limit might come down to when you stop getting new or helpful feedback, similar to what qualitative researchers would describe as the saturation point in conducting qualitative interviews. I think the same thing happens when presenting work: you have seen all the comments/questions/objections (that are pertinent, at least, and not out of left field) and you know how to respond to them. At that point it doesn't make sense to keep presenting it rather than writing it up for publication. (I am also wary of grad students or early career people who have a CV with lots of presentations but never a publication.)

Tim O'Keefe

I've mentioned this before, but it might be pertinent here too: I list all of my talks, but to keep it a little less cluttered and easier to read, I list talks per paper, not per presentation. For instance, if I gave the same paper three times at different venues, it would be as follows:

“Lucretius Rocks My World”
• APA Central Division Meeting, April 2002
• Minnesota Philosophical Society meeting, September 2001
• New Mexico State University, July 2001

rather than

“Lucretius Rocks My World," APA Central Division Meeting, April 2002

“Lucretius Rocks My World," Minnesota Philosophical Society meeting, September 2001

“Lucretius Rocks My World," New Mexico State University, July 2001

And if you're giving the same paper at lots of different places, this might also reduce the possible appearance of trying to "pad" your CV.

eye roller

I don't think there's any hard and fast rule, but there are instances when I roll my eyes at the number of times a paper has been presented.

Though not quite the same thing, there's also the issue of people--very often senior--who spend *years* presenting basically the same idea. With philosophy's scientific aspirations, it's only natural that we end up with a fair amount of salami science in the process.

A little scared

Above someone made the following remark: "I also rename my papers for each presentation to diversify the CV."
This sounds a bit dangerous. It looks a bit deceptive. If I were interviewing such a person and I asked them to explain what they argued in these various interesting papers on the same theme and I discovered they were really the same paper with different titles I would think I am dealing with someone who is not going to be a straight shooter. I would begin to think I may not want them as a colleague.

not actually repeating myself

I do not have an official upper limit for presenting the same paper, but anything more than five just sounds too intense---though my max is 6 (the paper itself has like 25 versions)! On the other hand, I like to name very different drafts similarly to show the thematic connection, so it might look like I am presenting the same paper based on the titles :D

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