Call for Seminar Proposals

In response to the success of the last two years' seminar programs, the 40th GSA Conference in San Diego, California (September 29-October 2, 2016), will continue to host a series of seminars in addition to its regular conference sessions and roundtables. 

Seminars to meet for all three days of the conference to 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 conveners 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. They may, for instance, enable extended discussion of a recent academic publication; the exploration of a promising new research topic; the engagement with pre-circulated papers; the opportunity to debate the work of two scholars with different approaches; the coming together of groups of scholars seeking to develop an anthology; the in-depth discussion of a political or public-policy issue, novel, film, poem, artwork, 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. The invited participants do not make any commitment until they officially apply for the seminar after its approval. It's important to note that application to all approved seminars will be open to all GSA members and that there is no guarantee for the invited participants that they 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 and 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 other sessions independent of their enrollment in a seminar.

Please submit the title and a 100-word description of your seminar by November 23, 2015. The committee will then provide suggestions and assistance for the final submission which is due by December 10, 2015. In order to propose a seminar for the 2016 conference provide following materials in one integrated Word document:

1. A 500-word description of the intellectual goals of the seminar. 
2. A 250-word description of the proposed seminar's structures and procedures of participation. Make sure to address: 
a. whether participants will be asked to write and read pre-circulated papers and, if so, of what length; 
b. whether you will assign additional readings; 
c. how you envision your communication with seminar participants in the months leading up to the conference; 
d. how you define the role of the conveners. 
3. A list of invited participants, their institutional affiliations, discipline, and academic rank. 
4. Mini-biographies of all conveners of no more than 250 words each. 
5. A statement about the desired size of the seminar (either 12 to 15 or 16 to 20) 
6. A statement about whether you allow for silent auditors and if so for how many (either 1-5 or 6-10). 

The GSA Seminar Program Committee will review seminar proposals after December 10, 2015, and it will post a list of approved seminars and their topics on the GSA website by early January 2016. Between January 5 and January 28, 2016, association members will be invited to submit their applications for participation in specific seminars directly to the conveners. The conveners will then submit the proposals for their fully populated seminars to the GSA Seminar Program Committee for the final approval. The GSA Seminar Program Committee will inform seminar conveners and applicants on February 5, 2016, about the final makeup of the seminars. (These deadlines have been chosen to allow time for those not accepted to submit a paper proposal to the general call for papers.)

GSA Seminar Committee:
Heikki Lempa (chair), Moravian College
Darcy Buerkle, Smith College
Carrie Smith-Prei, University of Alberta

Please direct all inquiries and proposals to all three of us.