A Note from the 2014 Program Chair

Calling all knowledge producers!  On behalf of the Executive Committee, we invite you to get involved with the program for this year’s AAA meeting, to be held in Washington, DC, December 3-7. We particularly look forward to engaging, provocative sessions and activities that link to the overall theme of the meetings (“Producing Anthropology”), and, importantly, connect to educational actors and organizations in the DC area.

As many of you know, April 15 has become the annual deadline for paper and panel submissions, and that remains unchanged.  It will also remain unchanged that you must register for the conference (and typically renew membership) at the time of submitting your proposal, even though this does not guarantee that you will get on the program (You CAN get a refund in the event that you are not accepted to the program). Please note, however, that one does not need to be a member of CAE in order to submit to our section. Indeed, we hope that you will get colleagues involved who ordinarily might not participate in the CAE program. This goes for AAA members with primary affiliations to other sections, as well as non-AAA members, whom you can assist by applying for a membership waiver so they can participate without purchasing AAA membership (though they will still have to pay the non-member registration fee).

Submissions for the April 15 deadline can take multiple forms. You can submit as a member of a paper session, which is a cluster of papers organized around a particular theme, or as a part of some other collective format (see below). We very much hope that you will explore the CAE standing committee structure and connect with like-minded folks who are putting together panels or other events (There are currently 12 thematic committees, and 2 more pending Board approval). That said, we also want to make it clear that committee involvement is not a prerequisite to proposing a session; it is simply a way of trying to bring people together with common interests. And if you don’t manage to connect with a group compiling a panel, you can still submit an individually volunteered paper, and have it considered for inclusion in the program. If you submit an individual paper to CAE, the program committee attempts to group papers into panels that cohere around a particular methodological, theoretical, geographical, or conceptual theme.

There are a few changes and details in the program process that I would like to bring to your attention (click here to see AAA submission rules and suggestions). First, there are no longer early submission dates for “Invited sessions.” Rather, everyone will submit by April 15, and the review rankings will guide the CAE Executive Board in determining which sessions receive the Invited status that provides a heightened profile on the program. However, you will still need to indicate that you wish to pursue Invited status, as opposed to the more general category of “Volunteered session.”  Invited sessions are supposed to be “innovative, synthesizing sessions intended to reflect the state-of-the-art and the thematic concerns in the major subfields.”  If you think that your session does this, then by all means let us know by signaling your interest in having Invited status. CAE is typically allowed only 2-4 invited sessions, depending on whether we are able to arrange any co-sponsorships with other sections.   Even though you must submit your session to one section only, please let us know if you have an idea about which section might co-sponsor

There are also some alternative possibilities:  A new category of “Retrospective Sessions recognizes the career contributions of established leading scholars (for example on the occasion of their retirement or significant anniversary).”   There are also Public Policy Forums, Roundtables, Poster Sessions, and Installations.  We strongly encourage you to explore these alternative formats. Indeed, many of us had been commenting recently that the conventional paper session leaves us with all too little time to discuss issues in much depth. So let’s take advantage of these formats and think outside the box. Finally, there are also “Special Events.”   This is how we schedule our business and committee meetings, but other events can be proposed, too. The recent off-site event at the Field Museum in Chicago (submitted as an Installation) was an example of thinking way outside the box, and we encourage the same for next year.

April 15 is the deadline for all these proposals. February 16 is the earliest that submissions can be made. I will be in touch again at that time to help guide you through the details of the on-line submission process. For now, you should continue brainstorming ideas and developing session abstracts (500 words) and/or individual abstracts (250 words).

I will end this message by linking to the questions that comprise the AAA meeting theme.   To my mind, CAE members are extremely well positioned to speak to these questions and invigorate the discipline.  I hope you will consider them in your proposals.

Please feel free to be in touch with your questions and concerns.

Bradley Levinson can be reached at brlevins@indiana.edu

Melissa Fellin (Western U) is the Contributing Column Editor for the CAE section of AN. Contributions to the column can be sent to mm.stachel@gmail.com.

 

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