CfA: GSA Seminar Applications 2021



The 45th German Studies Association Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, from September 30 to October 4, 2021 will continue to host a series of seminars in addition to conference sessions and roundtables (for general conference information see **). With 13 seminars postponed from the 2020 conference (click *here* for those seminar topics), we will have space for approximately 15 new seminars, for a total of about 28 seminars in Indianapolis.


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 conveners (in special cases, there may be four conveners) and must consist of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 participants, including the conveners themselves. Conveners are expected to make every effort to aim for broad diversity and include scholars from different disciplines and at different career stages, including graduate students. 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 scholars seeking to develop an anthology; or the in-depth discussion of a political or public policy issue, novel, film, poem, musical piece, painting, or other artwork. Conveners are strongly encouraged to structure their seminars around creative and engaging forms of intellectual exchange; lengthy individual presentations are discouraged as they imitate “traditional” panels and may hamper discussion, collaboration, and innovative thinking.


To apply to convene a seminar, GSA members should submit a proposal through the online portal (**) by 11:59 pm EST on November 30, 2020. The proposal should include the following items: 

  1. Title of Proposed Seminar;
  2. Convener Information: names, ranks, institutional affiliations, email addresses;
  3. Seminar Description: a 150-word description of the seminar's subject, which will eventually be used in the call for participants and the final program;
  4. Format Description: a 50-word description of the seminar’s format, which will appear in the call for participants, etc.; 
  5. Goals & Procedures: a 200-word statement of seminar goals and procedures.
  6. Audio/Visual: indicate whether your seminar will require a projector and/or sound (note that we might not be able to accommodate all requests, especially for sound, so please request it only if absolutely necessary); and
  7. Auditors: indicate whether you will open the seminar to auditors (6 maximum) should space allow.

The Committee will review seminar proposals and post a list of approved seminars and their topics on the GSA website by January 4, 2021. Conveners may then enlist participants to join the seminar. A call for auditors (who may observe but who are not considered formal participants) will be issued later in the year, once the final conference program has been published.


Please note the following guidelines and additional information regarding seminars:

  • You must be a current member of the GSA to submit a proposal.
  • Seminar conveners must come from different institutions; where there are more than two conveners, no more than two may come from the same institution.
  • In order to facilitate extended discussion, seminar conveners and participants are required to participate in all three seminar meetings. 
  • Seminar participants, including conveners, will not be allowed to submit a paper in a regular panel session. However, they may take on one additional role in the conference independent of their role in a seminar – as moderator or commentator on another session or as a participant in a roundtable. 
  • Although the GSA does accept proposals from conveners who have directed a seminar during the past two consecutive years, the GSA’s Seminar Committee gives preference to newcomers and thus encourages the rotation of seminar conveners in similarly-themed seminars. We further recommend that conveners contact the coordinators of the Interdisciplinary Network Committee, Professors Heather Mathews ( and Winson Chu (, to connect with GSA Networks close to their topic. 
  • Seminar conveners will have the opportunity to propose a cluster of pieces representing the work of the seminar for publication in Konturen, a peer-reviewed, online, open-access journal of international and interdisciplinary German Studies. Please note: although the portal for applications for publication in Konturen will only open after the conference is over, conveners may address their interest in this project in their seminar description.


To access the XCD system to submit your proposal, use the same username and password as you use to log into your GSA profile at **. If your password needs to be reset, please contact Ms. Ursula Sykes ( at Johns Hopkins University Press. If technical questions or problems arise with the submission interface itself, please contact the GSA Operations Director, Dr. Benita Blessing (


The GSA Seminar Committee consists of:

Elizabeth Drummond | Loyola Marymount University | (chair)

Richard Langston | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | 


Please get in touch with both of us if you have any questions about the seminars or proposal process. Thank you for your support of the GSA’s seminar program!