Seminars to be Added to 2013 GSA Conference

We are excited to announce a pilot project adding a small number of seminar modules to the program structure of the GSA Conference in Denver 2013.

Seminars are meant to meet for all three days of the conference during the first morning slot to foster extended discussion, rigorous intellectual exchange, and intensified networking. Seminars should be proposed and led by 2 to 3 organizers and consist of 15 to 20 participants, at least some of whom should be graduate students. In order to reach the goal of extended discussion, seminar organizers and participants are expected to participate in all three installments of the seminar.

We assume these participants will submit some form of written communication to the seminar ahead of the conference, which will count as the equivalent of an ordinary paper presentation. That is to say, those who are accepted as seminar participants (or organizers) will be listed in the program as such and will not be allowed to present another paper at the conference. However, any participant or organizer may also serve as moderator or commentator for normal sessions. We envision making it possible for others to sit in on seminars; such persons would not be counted as official participants and therefore could deliver a paper in a different session.

For our pilot program, we will seek proposals for seminars that involve:

  • Pre-circulated papers addressing a defined topic to be exchanged among seminar participants before the conference and discussed intensively on site;
  • In-depth discussion of one or more academic publication(s) in any of the fields represented in the GSA or of work(s) of art (literature, film, music, theater, the visual arts, etc.). Organizers need both to choose the items to be discussed and to stipulate the form of response to the chosen text/object of analysis to be circulated before the conference;
  • Any other workable format the organizers can envision (n.b., include a description not only of the topic but also of format in the proposal).

We believe the seminar format is a viable option for individuals or networks who are considering creating a 'thread' of thematic sessions.

Instructions for submitting a proposal for a seminar sequence:

  • Seminar proposers should submit a coordinated 500-word description of the topic, goals, and format of the seminar, as well as their vision of their own role in the actual running of the seminar. A one-page cv for each organizer that clearly states her/his rank and institutional affiliation should also be included.
  • Seminar proposers should attach to their proposals a list of five to ten scholars whom they plan to invite to participate in their seminar if the proposal is accepted; please include those individuals' institutional affiliations and email addresses on the list.

Process of selecting seminars and populating them with participants:

  • Seminar proposers will submit their proposals to the Seminar Working Group no later than January 1, 2013; earlier if possible is encouraged.
  • In consultation with the Executive Director and the Program Director, the Seminar Working Group will give the go-ahead to several well-coordinated and promising proposals by Jan. 15, 2013 and will post a list of approved seminars and their topics on the GSA web site by Jan. 18, 2013.
  • Association members will thereby be invited to submit applications for participation in specific seminars directly to the Seminar Working Group. The application for seminar participation will require a 300-word abstract, stating one's particular interest in and proposed contribution to the seminar in question and a one-page cv. These applications for participation are due to the Seminar Working Group on or before Feb 1. Seminar organizers should note that since they will have already submitted the names of individuals whom they plan to invite to participate, their wishes on this matter will be taken into strong consideration, though no one other than the organizers is guaranteed participation. Final decisions will be made by the Seminar Working Group in consultation with the Executive Director and the Program Director.
  • The Seminar Working Group will inform seminar organizers and applicants no later than February 5 about the final makeup of the seminars. This will allow time for those who are not accepted as participants to join in the normal process of submitting a paper proposal to the general GSA Program Committee by the deadline of February 15.
  • We will work together with the Executive Director and the Program Committee to find appropriate rooms for seminars so that individuals who are not official participants but who wish to sit in may do so.

Please direct inquiries and proposals to the three members of the GSA Seminar Working Group:

  • Suzanne Marchand, Vice President of the GSA (Louisiana State University)
  • Irene Kacandes, Vice President Elect of the GSA (Dartmouth College) 
  • Lutz Koepnick, Executive Board Member and Member of Conference Task Force (Washington University in St. Louis)

Summary of schedule:

  • Nov. 7, 2012 - Announcement of seminar pilot project to membership of GSA
  • Jan. 1, 2013 - Would-be seminar organizers submit proposals to Seminar Working Group
  • Jan. 15 - Selected (and non-selected) organizers informed; organizers of selected proposals are requested to confirm interest within a day or two of announcement
  • Jan. 18, 2013 - Accepted seminar topics posted on GSA website; membership invited to submit proposals to become participants;
  • Feb. 1, 2013 - at latest proposals for participation due
  • Feb. 5, 2013 - entire seminar slate set and posted
  • Feb 15, 2013 - normal GSA paper/panel proposals due