16 thoughts on “Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

  1. One of Notre Dame’s recent Ph.D.s is on the job market this year. He’s spending on the order of a thousand dollars just for his room.

  2. I don’t know if it will help, but people still looking for rooms might try priceline. I’ve only used it a few times, but always got rooms for much lower than the advertised rates. I was put on to it by a former co-worker who told me that she always used it and always got good deals. At the least, it’s worth looking in to.

  3. I’ve suggested several times that the Eastern APA be held in Toronto. It’s much cheaper than NY and still a great city. There is some precedent. The Pacific APA was in Vancouver last year. The last time I asked I was told that our weather was too awful, snow storms, flight delays and all that. I emailed back weather charts comparing NY and Toronto (about the same) but got no reply. Toronto is a few hours from the US board, not exactly the frozen north. Maybe if a few Americans suggested it? Hint.

  4. I recently booked at the Hilton for the Central meetings, and saved nearly $25 a night over the APA’s conference rate by using my AAA membership. The savings more than twice cover the cost of membership in AAA (this is triple A the auto co., not the anthropology association). But the student rates might save more.

  5. Did they run out of rooms in the block of discount rooms? I made my reservation kind of late and they still had them.

  6. I agree entirely with the sentiment of this post, and I think if this is how expensive it is to get hotels in NYC, then the APA shouldn’t be in NYC. And I agree with the Priceline recommendation. The downside of Priceline is that sometimes you end up a long way from where you want to be – in New York there are so many hotels that that’s less likely.

    But I strongly disagree with redeyedtreefrog’s suggestion that the APA be in Toronto. There are many people who simply could not make an APA outside the U.S. for immigration reasons. I’ve gone through various times when I’ve been unable to travel for weeks and months at a time – many other people I know have been unable to travel for years. So having the APA outside the U.S. would disenfranchise a lot of people, some of them job seekers. I know this is also a problem for others getting in to the U.S., but I suspect it affects many more people who are in the U.S. but can’t leave, than who couldn’t get in to the U.S. in the first place.

    In general, I think it would be very bad if someone in the U.S. can’t get a job in the U.S. without leaving the U.S. for the interview. The job market is stressful enough without having to add immigration-related headaches on top of it.

    Having said that, I think it’s bad that Canadian universities interview in the U.S., for just the same reason. Surely there are several people from around the world who would like to apply for Canadian jobs, but who would have difficulty getting immigration approval to come to the U.S. for job interviews. I don’t know whether Canadian universities have procedures for dealing with people who can’t/won’t get into the U.S. for interviews, but I would hope that they do.

  7. Brian Weatherson, you reasonable cat, let’s form a Tropical APA chapter, and change the tradition of the profession so that only warm and more affordable cities host the big interviewing conference. I fancy somewhere sunny!

    Brian’s comments lend themselves to suggesting the goodness of minimizing any interviewing at the Eastern APA in late December, including for American institutions. I realize that this trend is already afoot, and applaud those who have come up with alternatives to the Ballroom of Unhappiness.

    Thanks to those who suggested Priceline. To help others out who may be casting around at the last minute, I turned to EasyClickTravel, and as a result I’m staying just one block away for less than the APA group rate. Hooray! Now let us hope for uneventful weather.

  8. Canadian departments will often do phone interviews for people who can’t, for various reasons, attend the APA. That said, almost everyone interviewed does come to the APA. We find the APA interview very useful mostly as an opportunity to market ourselves to the candidates. I’m not so sure about the not-in-Canada point. We don’t actually pay international memberships rates for the APA. We’re APA full members. And the requirements for entering Canada as an American are pretty easy, a passport. That said, you’re right, I do know Americans without passports and with issues around that and it would make it much harder for them. Right now though Canadian PhD students face this every year as they mostly interview for US jobs and these interviews take place at the APA. I had a student with an old criminal record who would be denied entry if they asked about. You can imagine that he was nervous entering the US.

  9. profbigk,

    Tropical sounds like fun for the conference. It might be good to return to having APA conferences in New Orleans! (Putting some $$$ into the New Orleans economy also isn’t the worst thing in the world.)


    I wasn’t mostly thinking about U.S. citizens trying to get into Canada. You’re right of course, that isn’t very hard. The real problem arises for immigrants to the U.S. who have authorisation to stay in the U.S., but no authorisation to re-enter the U.S. once they leave. I’ve been in that status a few times, and I know many people who have been in it for months or years. They are the ones who are most disenfranchised by having the conference outside the U.S.

    Of course, people who can’t afford NYC hotel rates are disenfranchised by the current location, so I certainly don’t want to defend the status quo. But I think there are other options that make the job market more accessible to more people.

  10. On the travel outside the US issue- that is a real problem for people who are between visa statuses in the US. But, in most cases it can be overcome by applying for “advanced parole”, a status that allows people who are waiting for documents to be processed and the like to leave and re-enter the US while waiting for their formal documents and papers and the like, or for their case to be processed. This still isn’t easy- it has to done several months in advance and it’s always a bit nerve-wracking, but it can be done. (I’ve done this both for my wife on a few occasions, as she’s not a US citizen, as in my non-philosophical role as an immigration lawyer.) Still, it’s not a mere formality.

  11. Right – I’ve been on advanced parole a couple of times. As well as being nerve-wracking, the downsides include that (a) it’s expensive – which was the original complaint about New York, (b) it’s time consuming, (c) it’s slow in arriving, often unpredictably slow, and (d) it isn’t always a formality, especially for people without ongoing employment.

    The other problem of course about having to go to another country for the APA interviews is that a number of people need visas for any country they go to. Most Asians and Africans couldn’t get into Canada without a visa, even if they are legally in the U.S. That requires an expensive and time-consuming application, and possibly a very expensive and time-consuming trip to the nearest consulate to get the application approved. (And of course it might not be approved, which would lead to all sorts of immigration problems down the road.) It’s worse by a fair bit I’d imagine for Asians and Africans in Canada coming to the U.S., but it’s not a walk in the park going north.

  12. All of the things said above by Brian about immigration hassles are true. Not to turn this into the immigration blog, but do you know, Brian, if someone in the US on a valid H1-B visa (that is, many post-docs and quite a few junior faculty who are non-citizens) can enter Canada from the US w/o an additional visa, assuming they’d otherwise need one? I know, because of my wife’s experience, that a US green card allows the holder to go into Canada w/o a visa but don’t know about other visas.) My experience is also that Canadian immigration officers are at least as aggressive and unfriendly, perhaps more so, than American ones, so there’ s no advantage there, either.

  13. My apologies too for some derailing what is an important post.

    I’m not sure what the answer is to Matt’s question, but I think the answer is no. My wife needed a visa to go to Canada while she was on various different visas prior to getting a green card, so she knew these rules fairly well. And the U.S. visa didn’t help her at all getting into Canada, though for all we know there are some people who it helps.

    She also tells me that before 9/11 anyone legally in the U.S. could go to Canada for under 30 days without a Canadian visa, but that ceased to be the case soon after 9/11, and I don’t think it’s changed back. If it does change back, that would make things a little less bad for having the APA in Canada.

  14. If I could just add: Some non-US citizens face being sent home to serve in their military, and in my experience, such people just don’t want to chance running into problems at any border.

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