Call for Seminar Proposals

The 41st GSA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia (5-8 October 2017), will continue to host a series of seminars in addition to its regular conference sessions and roundtables.

Seminars meet for all three days of the conference. They explore new avenues of academic exchange and foster extended discussion, rigorous intellectual debate, and intensified networking. Seminars are typically proposed and led by two to three convenors and they consist of approximately 12 to 20 participants, including representation from different disciplines, a representative number of graduate students, and faculty of different ranks. For example, seminars may enable extended discussion of a recent academic publication; the exploration of a promising new research topic; engagement with pre-circulated papers; an opportunity to debate the work of scholars with different approaches; the coming together of groups of scholars seeking to develop an anthology; or the in-depth discussion of a political or public-policy issue, novel, film, poem, art work, or musical piece.

Seminar proposers should design topics that will suit the three-day structure of the conference and also submit a list of potential applicants while providing enough room for other GSA members to participate. The purpose of this list is to show that an outreach effort has been undertaken. Invited participants do not make any commitment until they officially apply for the seminar after its approval. It is important to note that application to all approved seminars will be open to all GSA members and that there is no guarantee that invited participants will be accepted. The conveners' decision on which applicants will be accepted or might be rejected will be based on a) the quality of the applicants' proposals, b) a balanced proportion of professors at different career stages and graduate students, and c) the disciplinary diversity of the seminar.

In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar conveners and participants are expected to participate in all three installments of the seminar. We ask seminar conveners to monitor attendance and inform the program committee about no-shows during the conference. Please note that seminar conveners and seminar applicants who have been accepted for seminar participation will not be allowed to submit a paper in a regular panel session. However, they may moderate or comment on another session independent of their enrollment in a seminar.

Although we accept proposals from conveners who have directed a seminar during the past two consecutive years on a topic or two separate but closely related topics, we recommend that they also contact the coordinators of the interdisciplinary Networks, Professors Jennifer Evans ( and Pamela Potter (, to establish an official GSA Network on their topic.

The application process has two steps. We invite you to submit a preliminary proposal that includes the title and a 100-word description of your seminar by November 21, 2016. The committee will then provide suggestions and assistance for the final submission which is due by December 8, 2016. Please submit your application online at Please note that, despite the new screen "look," your user name and password remain unchanged.

If technical questions or problems arise, please contact Elizabeth Fulton at

For your application you need:

  1. A 500-word description that addresses:
    a. the intellectual goals of the seminar
    b. briefly whether participants will be asked to write and read pre-circulated papers and, if so, of what length;
    c. briefly whether you will assign additional readings;
    d. briefly your communication with seminar participants in the months leading up to the conference;
    e. briefly the role of the conveners.
  2. A list of invited participants, their institutional affiliations, discipline, and academic rank.
  3. Mini-biographies of all conveners of no more than 250 words each.

The GSA Seminar Committee will review seminar proposals after December 8, 2016, and it will post a list of approved seminars and their topics on the GSA website by early January 2017. Between January 5 and January 26, 2017, the GSA members will be invited to submit their applications for participation in specific seminars. The conveners will then select the participants and submit their fully populated seminars to the GSA Seminar Program Committee for the final approval. The GSA Seminar Committee will inform seminar conveners and applicants on February 5, 2017, about the final makeup of the seminars. (These deadlines have been chosen to allow time for those not accepted to submit a paper proposal in response to the general call for papers.)

The GSA Seminar Committee consists of:

Heikki Lempa (Moravian College) |
Maria Mitchell (Franklin and Marshall College |
Carrie Smith-Prei (University of Alberta) |

Please direct all inquiries to all three of us.