submission guidelines

Conference Submission, Presentation, and Scheduling Guidelines

2024 Conference Submission Schedule (all deadlines are 11:59PM Pacific Time)

Rules for Participation

  • Each individual may apply to participate in no more than two sessions total, with a seminar or Emerging Scholars Workshop (ESW) each counting as one session (even though they convene on all 3 conference days).
  • No individual may give two papers or apply to more than one "presenter role." These include:
    • presenting a paper
    • convening/participating in a seminar
    • convening/participating in the Emerging Scholars Workshop (ESW)
  • Individuals may e.g. both give a paper (OR participate in a seminar or ESW) and participate in one roundtable OR serve as moderator or commentator* on another session. The following is an exhaustive list of all possible participation combinations for members with two conference roles:
    • Panel paper presenter + moderator on a different panel
    • Panel paper presenter + commentator* on a different panel
    • Panel paper presenter + roundtable participant
    • Roundtable participant + moderator of a panel
    • Roundtable participant + commentator* of a panel
    • Panel commentator* on one panel + moderator on another
    • Panel moderator on one panel + commentator* on another
    • Panel commentator* on two different panels
    • Panel moderator on two different panels
    • Participant in two different roundtables
    • Seminar or ESW participant + moderator of a panel
    • Seminar or ESW participant + roundtable participant
    • Seminar participant + commentator* of a panel

    *Graduate students may not serve as panel commentators.

  • For the sake of independent and impartial peer review and effective oversight of session rules (such as time limits), presenters may not serve as commentator or moderator of the panel on which they are presenting; similarly, a commentator may not also serve as the moderator of the same panel and vice versa.
  • We expressly welcome graduate student (M.A. and Ph.D. student) participation at GSA conferences as paper presenters on regular panels, roundtable participants, seminar participants, Emerging Scholars Workshop participants, and as panel moderators. Undergraduate students may present their work at GSA conferences in the context of dedicated Undergraduate Research panels.
  • An individual who has been accepted to a seminar may not withdraw in order to submit a paper.
  • Seminar participants, including conveners, are not permitted to submit a paper for 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.
  • Regular paper submissions by seminar participants/conveners will be deleted in the submission system.
  • If a conference participant ends up with more than two roles total, the Program Committee will determine which role(s) that participant will relinquish.
  • The 48th Annual Conference is an in-person conference; participants may not attend virtually (e.g. Zoom, FaceTime, etc.), nor may they have their contributions read in absentia.

The OpenWater Conference Submission Portal

With the exception of seminar auditors, all proposals for participation in the GSA annual conference are submitted in the OpenWater Conference Submission Portal. For a step-by-step guide to using the submission portal, please click here

If you experience technical difficulties submitting your application, email the Operations Director at BEFORE the deadline. Late submission requests will only be considered if you are a current GSA member experiencing technical difficulties accessing the OpenWater platform and have contacted us at about the issue before the deadline.

Seminar Guidelines

Please note the following guidelines and additional information regarding seminars, which are coordinated by the Seminar Committee separately from individual papers/panels/roundtables and have their own guidelines and deadlines:

  • You must be a current member of the GSA to submit a proposal for your chosen seminar.
  • 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, may not 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.
  • No-one accepted to participate in a seminar may withdraw from the seminar in order to present on a panel.
  • 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 Nancy Nenno and Jeff Hayton, 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. 
  • The 48th Annual Conference is an in-person conference; seminar participants/conveners may not attend virtually (e.g. Zoom, FaceTime, etc.).

Submission of Proposals for Individual Papers, Entire Panels, or Roundtables

  • Please consult the guidelines for crafting proposals outlining what the Program Committee is looking for before submitting your proposal.
  • Papers in both English and German are welcome.
  • All papers, panels, and roundtables must be submitted via the GSA conference interface.
  • All prospective participants, including moderators and commentators, must be paid members of the German Studies Association for the current year by the submission deadline.
  • All papers and panel titles must conform to the style guidelines of The German Studies Review. These may be found here for both German and English.
  • Please note that linked panels and roundtables should be formatted like this: Title (number of linked panel in Arabic numerals): Subtitle (sponsored by Name of Sponsoring Group if applicable)
  • The submission deadline is Monday, March 18th, 2024, at 11:59pm PDT. No submissions will be accepted after this deadline, with the exception of those who are confirmed current GSA members who have emailed us at before the posted deadline about technical problems accessing the OpenWater submissions portal.
  • Organizers of entire sessions should submit a 350-500 word session description, with 350-500 word abstracts for each paper in the session.
  • Individual paper submitters should submit a 350-500 word abstract.
  • Please indicate, using the drop-down menu, the field/area/chronological period to which you wish your session or paper to be assigned.
  • For assistance with membership dues payments and questions regarding member profile/login credentials, first contact JHUP customer service at For assistance with the online submission process post-login in the OpenWater conference submission portal, contact Operations Director Dr. Jennifer L. Jenkins.
  • The 48th Annual Conference is an in-person conference; presenters may not attend virtually (e.g. Zoom, FaceTime, etc.).

Composition of Panels

  • A complete panel must comprise a moderator, a commentator and no fewer than three and no more than four papers. Incomplete panels may be submitted, but their acceptance and/or eventual composition then becomes the purview of the Program Committee.
  • Graduate students may not serve as commentators.
  • The GSA values opportunities that junior and senior scholars have to meet and share ideas through panel participation. In general, therefore, we prefer that panels include no more than two graduate students. If, however, participants wish to include 3 graduate students, the abstract should include a very short justification.
  • There may not be more than two individuals on any panel from the same institution.
  • Co-authored papers are permitted, but each presentation is limited to two co-presenters. A co-presentation counts as one presenter role for each speaker, for scheduling purposes.
  • Panel series: Proposals for panel series must be limited to no more than four related panels.

Roundtable Guidelines

  • Please limit roundtables to six participants, including a moderator/chair. Roundtables should have at least three participants in addition to the moderator.
  • Roundtable moderators can serve either solely in the role of moderator, or in a dual role, in which they
    1. assure equitable access to discussion for the participants (and the audience in more general discussion), and
    2. participate in the discussion itself.
  • Roundtable organizers are free to decide on the form of the session, keeping in mind that they should not replicate a panel format.
  • All members of the roundtable must be identified (via "Add Participant") in the submission; substitutions for members may not be made after the submission deadline.

Roundtables/Panels: Finding Participants

  • If you are looking for participants to complete a roundtable or panel that you'd like to organize for GSA 2024, you may submit your session information on this form.
  • If you would like to know who is currently seeking participants for a panel or a roundtable, click here.

Projection and sound

  • All breakout rooms will be equipped with LCD projectors that have HDMI cables. Please be sure to bring an appropriate adapter for your laptop.
  • Laptops will not be provided. 
  • The standard projectors do not have sound support.
  • Presenters requiring separate sound equipment must request it during the submission process. Assignment of panels to rooms specially equipped for sound is at the discretion of the Program Director and the Executive Director.

Scheduling Changes

  • The Program Director and the Executive Director reserve the right to move papers from one session to another at their discretion.
  • New papers may not be substituted in cases of participant withdrawal. Only papers received by the original submission deadline and fully vetted by the Program Committee will be considered.
  • Withdrawn participants may not present via video conference (Skype, Zoom, etc.) at in-person sessions, nor may they have their contributions read in absentia.
  • When participant withdrawals result in a panel with two papers, or a roundtable with two participants (excluding moderator), remaining participants may be reassigned to other sessions if deemed appropriate by the Program Director and the Executive Director.
  • Single papers that are not initially accepted will be put on a waitlist in case of future openings. Authors are free to decline this option.