Inside the Annual Meeting Scheduling Process

Take a look at how the AAA Annual Meeting schedule is put together.

The American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) 2018 Annual Meeting in San José is on the horizon, and we couldn’t be more excited for the dynamic and diverse collection of presentations, sessions, and other events we have planned. The theme, Resistance, Resilience, and Adaptation: Change in the Anthropological Imagination, is a timely response to our current global political moment and an opportunity to bring together thousands of anthropologists working to improve our understanding of the human condition across time and space.

The 2018 Annual Meeting scheduling involved two intense days of work for the program chair-elect and me in the AAA’s Washington, DC, office. By the time we finished, it became clear that this year’s meeting is coalescing around several important themes, including immigration, migration, the refugee crisis, borders, global inequality, race and racism, feminism and intersectionality, human rights, climate change, and the opioid crisis. The 2017 Annual Meeting focused on making the case that anthropology has much to contribute to our understanding of the world. This year’s submissions take that cause a step further by demonstrating how anthropology can offer deep insight into the many pressing issues our world is currently facing and how anthropology can provide the hope and optimism that we can collectively work for positive, global change.

There are always some questions after programming decisions are made public and I thought I would use this space to answer two of the most common ones.

Who do I contact if I have a question about how my session was scheduled?

If you have questions about the schedule, please contact the section program chair that reviewed your submission. As the executive program chair, I don’t review your sessions individually. Section program chairs send me their list of rankings and we base the scheduling on those submitted scores. Our priority is to work through the three categories of ranking—A, B, and C—with first spots going to the A categories across all sections and then working down from there. The score assigned by your section chair is what ultimately impacts your scheduling. For more details, read my piece about the review process for the Anthropology News website, and see the Annual Meeting peer review page on the AAA website.

How do you schedule double sessions?

Double sessions are not a submission type. Please understand that if you do submit a double session, the section program chair(s) will evaluate each part as an individual submission. For example, if you submit a double session to the Archaeology Division, you may end up with part one of the session ranked in the A category and part two in the C category. This differential ranking means that we may not schedule part two at all due to the lower ranking. When possible, we do try our best to schedule both parts back to back on the first and last days of the Annual Meeting.

It seems that, now more than ever, our discipline is needed in the world to provide insight into our shared past, present, and future. We hope that you will join us in San José and help us make our collective anthropological voice heard!

Bookmark www.americananthro.org/annualmeeting to stay up to date with Annual Meeting details and announcements.

Cite as: De León, Jason. 2018. “Inside the Annual Meeting Scheduling Process.” Anthropology News website, July 13, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/AN.911

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Want to comment? Please be aware that only comments from current AAA members will be approve. AN is supported by member dues, so discussions on anthropology-news.org are moderated to ensure that current members are commenting. As with all AN content, comments reflect the views of the person who submitted the comment only. The approval of a comment to go live does not signify endorsement by AN or the AAA.