Where would we be without more complaints about conferences? I've moaned about conferences more than once on this blog, myself, so I fully understand the temptation. But I wonder to what extent the ongoing funding crash in higher ed will force changes to the conference scene. Everyone gripes about the $1K costs involved in going to the MLA...yet, really, just about every conference costs $1K or more to attend, depending on location. One can scrimp and pinch in order to lower the prices--eat at McD's, share a room, drive (yikes), etc.--but for many faculty, the cost in doesn't necessarily equal value out. My campus, which is relatively generous with travel funding, nevertheless only gives us enough to support part of any given conference jaunt; moreover, as we can use that funding for research purposes as well, we have to make some hardnosed calculations. (This year, I needed my funds to partly subsidize plane fare to the UK, so no conference travel at all.) For adjuncts and t-t faculty at cash-strapped universities, the conference routine is even more difficult.