Call for Seminar Proposals

In response to the success of this year's pilot program, the 38th conference of the German Studies Association in Kansas City (September 18-21, 2014) will again host a series of seminars in addition to its regular conference sessions and roundtables.

Seminars are meant to meet for all three days of the conference during the first morning slot 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 either 12 to 15 or 16 to 20 participants, including a representative number of graduate students.

Seminars may, for instance, enable extended discussions about an important recent academic publication; the exploration of a promising new research topic in a setting that is at once focused and interdisciplinary; the engagement with pre-circulated papers; the opportunity to meet and debate the work of two scholars with different approaches to a given subject; the coming together of groups of scholars seeking to develop an anthology and using the seminar as a platform to coordinate their research and writing; the in-depth discussion of a recent or not-so-recent political or public-policy issue, novel, film, poem, artwork, or musical piece in order to probe new perspectives and develop fresh readings and interpretations.

Seminar proposers need not have a complete roster of potential seminar participants in mind when making a submission, but should design topics which will suit the three-day structure of the conference. In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar conveners and participants are expected to participate in all three installments of the seminar. Seminar conveners are held to monitor attendance and inform the program committee about no shows during the conference. Seminar conveners and seminar participants will not be allowed to give 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 following materials in one integrated PDF document by December 15, 2013, in order to propose a seminar for the 2014 conference:

  1. A 500-word description of the intellectual goals of the seminar.
  2. A 500-word description of the proposed seminar's structures and procedures of participation. Make sure to address:
    1. whether participants will be asked to write and read pre-circulated papers and, if so, of what length;
    2. whether you will assign additional readings
    3. how you envision your communication with seminar participants in the months leading up to the conference;
    4. how you define the role of the conveners.
  3. A list of 5-10 ideal participants and their institutional affiliations.
  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 might be willing to 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 15, 2013, and it will post a list of approved seminars and their topics on the GSA website by early January 2014. Between January 6 and January 30, 2014, association members will be invited to submit their applications for participation in specific seminars directly to the GSA Seminar Program Committee. The GSA Seminar Program Committee will inform seminar conveners and applicants on February 6, 2014, 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.)

The GSA Seminar Program Committee consists of:

Please direct all inquiries and proposals to all three members of the Committee.

The 'traditional' Call for Papers ' that is, for traditional sessions and roundtables -- will be circulated in late November.