I. Policies for Submitting a Proposal
A. Do's and Don'ts
Here are the rules. Please review them carefully; paper and session proposals that don’t follow these rules may be disqualified or rejected:
- You may participate up to two times in the conference in two different roles (e.g., present a paper in one panel, serve as respondent on another). You may choose any combination of two roles EXCEPT paper presenter and lightning session presenter. We have made this policy in order to ensure the widest degree of participation in the conference; please do not agree to participate in more than two sessions.
- Session organizers are asked to create panels with diverse institutional, gender, and professional representation (i.e., mix of junior and senior scholars whenever possible, with no more than two participants from the same institution, and no all-student panels). The Program Committee reserves the right to modify the composition of panels in order to meet these various diversity goals.
- Graduate students organizing sessions must invite at least one senior scholar—defined as a tenured professor, an independent scholar with equivalent accomplishments in the field, or an academic professional, e.g., curator, archivist, librarian—to participate, either as a paper presenter, discussant, or respondent. Please be aware, though, that senior scholars may not sit on a panel with more than two of their current or recent students. For further information, see section ''Graduate Student Presentations."
- You may not chair a session in which you are presenting a paper.
- You may not submit more than one paper proposal. If you submit more than one paper proposal, AJS will automatically delete the additional proposal(s). Please note: proposals for a lightning session presentation count as a paper proposal, so you may not submit both a lightning session proposal and traditional panel paper proposal.
- Paper and session proposals that will not be considered for presentation include: papers that have been published or presented in whole or in part elsewhere and sessions that summarize the proceedings of another conference. Sessions may not be organized around recently published books, although they may be structured around arguments and/or methods found in recent scholarly publications. Members interested in promoting their books published in 2017 are encouraged to participate in AJS Honors Its Authors, a special event to celebrate AJS members' publications.
- The AJS cannot accommodate audio-visual requests made after the proposal submission deadline of May 4, 2017. Do not request a piece of equipment unless it is essential for your presentation; unnecessary equipment adds significantly to the cost of the conference and registration fees, and limits the resources the AJS can allocate to other conference programs (e.g., travel grants ).
B. Graduate Student Presentations
The AJS welcomes graduate students at all stages of their training to submit proposals for all conference formats.
Graduate students are required to submit a CV as part of the application process, and are strongly encouraged to consult with their advisor about the best time in the course of their studies to submit a proposal (e.g., after a certain amount of coursework, while engaged in dissertation research, or when on the job market), and which format would be most appropriate (e.g., a fifteen- to twenty-minute paper or a five-minute lightning session presentation). Graduate students submitting proposals must upload their CV along with their proposal in the online submission site.
Please note that the Program Committee will not accept panel sessions in which all presenters are students; graduate students organizing sessions must invite at least one senior scholar—defined as a tenured professor, an independent scholar with equivalent accomplishments in the field, or an academic professional, e.g., curator, archivist, librarian—to participate, either as a paper presenter, discussant, or respondent. Senior scholars may not sit on a panel with more than two of their current or recent students. Lastly, only advanced graduate students (e.g., in the final stages of their dissertation) are eligible to chair or moderate sessions. Several special travel grants are available to graduate students on a competitive basis (see “Travel Grants”). Please note that most travel grants are available only for traditional panel presentations.
C. Proposals from Scholars / Professionals Outside of Jewish Studies
The AJS welcomes scholars whose primary research is not within Jewish Studies but whose work has a direct impact on Jewish Studies and whose participation would enhance the annual meeting. The AJS will waive the membership fee requirement for a limited number of session participants who are not academics or who would not otherwise become members of the AJS (e.g., journalists, authors, filmmakers, etc.), and whose participation is considered essential for the integrity of the session to which s/he was invited. Requests for fee waiver should be submitted by the session organizer to the AJS at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 25, 2017. Please put “Fee Waiver Request” in the subject line. In the text of your message, please explain the session that you are organizing, the role of the proposed participant, and why her/his role is important to the session. Anyone receiving a membership-dues waiver will still be expected to pay the conference registration fee (at the member rate).
D. Session Sponsorship
Session organizers may request to have an academic institution, research center/archive, learned society, or AJS caucus or working group listed in the program book as the sponsor of their session (e.g., if the institution has provided funding for the research being presented, is subsidizing the participation of presenters, etc.). Magazines, journals, websites, foundations, and other non-academic organizations/publications will not be listed as sponsors in the conference program book.
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II. How to Submit Online
All proposals must be submitted online via the AJS website no later than Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST. There are no exceptions to this procedure, and it applies to individual paper proposals, full session proposals, and proposals for other formats. You must use the self-contained, complete, and secure process directly linked to the AJS website. Proposals submitted by any other means or emailed directly to Division Chairs will not be evaluated.
The first step in the submission process is payment of dues for the 2017–2018 membership year (September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018) together with the appropriate conference registration fee via our online secure server. The AJS is unable to consider individual or session proposals submitted without these fees, and you will not be able to access the submission site, nor have your name added to a session proposal, if you have not completed payment for these items. Pre-payment of both membership and conference registration fees is meant to ensure the highest level of commitment to presenting at the conference if your proposal is accepted. If your proposal is accepted and you then cancel your participation, you eliminate a spot in the program that could have been taken by another scholar. If your proposal is not accepted and you do not plan to attend the conference, please notify the AJS office by November 15, 2017 and your conference registration fee will be refunded in full; membership dues are not refundable. See Section IV, Cancellation and Refund Policy for further information.
When submitting your online proposal, you will need to identify the subject area division (see “Division Chairs and Suggested Themes” in the Call for Papers) in which you choose to have your proposal considered. You may submit your proposal to one division only, although you may identify a second-choice division. Division Chairs will send worthy proposals to submitters’ second-choice divisions if they cannot place the proposal in the division of first choice. Please contact Division Chairs or the Vice President for Program with any preliminary questions regarding the best placement of your proposal.
The core of the proposal is a 350-word abstract, which is to be entered directly on the web. Please exercise great care in formulating and editing your abstract, following the University of Chicago Manual of Style or MLA Style Sheet guidelines. Sample abstracts are available on the AJS website. All abstracts of accepted proposals will be made available online. Submitters may not change the paper title or abstract after the submission deadline.
Individual Paper Proposal (Submission Checklist)
Those who are submitting a paper individually (not as part of pre-formed sessions) are required to submit a 350-word abstract, in addition to their contact information, division, and A.V. request. The abstract for an individual paper must explain the presentation’s purpose, methodology, sources, argument and specific contribution to scholarship in the field. In composing your abstract please bear in mind the time allotted for your presentation (15-20 minutes for a paper in a standard panel). The Division Chairs and the Program Committee will assign accepted proposals to a session. Please consult the Audio-Visual Equipment link for information on AV equipment policies.
Jewish Studies and Digital Humanities Workshop Proposal (Submission Checklist)
Those who are submitting a proposal for inclusion in this workshop are required to submit a 350-word abstract, in addition to their contact information. The abstract should describe the purpose of the presentation, its use of the digital medium, and its specific contribution to Jewish Studies scholarship, research, or pedagogy. Presenters will automatically be assigned a digital monitor. Click here for samples of past Digital Humanities Workshop presentations.
Lightning Session Proposal (Submission Checklist)
Those who are submitting a proposal for inclusion in a Lightning Session should submit a 150-word abstract describing their proposed five-minute presentation (a summary of research, a specific case-study, or a methodological problem). Please note that proposals cannot be accepted from participants who are submitting a proposal for a traditional panel session. Graduate students must also upload their CV to the conference submission site, along with their proposal.
Session Proposal (Submission Checklist)
For those proposing full panels, roundtables, seminars, and meetings, the organizer must create a session proposal with a 350-word abstract that explains the session's rationale and scholarly significance, and also lists the names and, in brief, contributions of each participant. Session organizers are responsible for submitting all other relevant information—paper titles, abstracts, AV requests, etc.—for each session participant. The abstract for each paper in a session, written by the individual scholar but submitted by the session organizer, should explain the presentation's purpose, methodology, sources, argument and specific contribution to scholarship in the field. Session organizers must make sure that each participant has paid his/her respective membership dues and conference registration fee, or else they will not be able to add that person to their session. Please be aware that AJS now offers the option for session organizers to apply for fee waivers for participants outside the field of Jewish Studies. Session organizers should also direct graduate student participants to upload their CV to the conference submission site. Session organizers should be aware that the Program Committee reserves the right to make adjustments to pre-arranged sessions (e.g., add or remove a paper, change the chair, discussant, or respondent) in response to program needs. The Committee will make every effort to notify the session organizer regarding such changes.
You must complete the entire online sequence in order for the AJS office to receive your proposal. Confirmation of your proposal’s receipt will be sent to your email address (this is different from the email confirming online payment). If you do not receive the submission confirmation, your proposal may not have reached the AJS office. In this case, please follow up with the AJS office to confirm receipt. Please submit your proposal in a timely fashion as the website for submitting proposals will close at 5:00 p.m. EST, on Thursday, May 4, 2017.
The AJS office will notify you of decisions by email in August. Other than the email acknowledgment at the end of the online proposal process, there will be no other acknowledgment of receipt before August. If your proposal is not accepted and you do not plan to attend the conference, the AJS will refund your conference registration fee upon request until November 15, 2017. Membership dues are not refundable.
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III. Audio-Visual Equipment
The AJS is able to provide one of the following pieces of equipment per presenter: CD player, TV/DVD player, and a limited number of LCD projectors. A maximum of two pieces of equipment will be provided to pre-formed sessions. The online proposal form will ask you to specify your audio-visual needs and to explain how the requested equipment will be used in your presentation or session. Given the high cost of audio-visual equipment rental (e.g., $800 for a LCD projector; $400 for a DVD player/monitor), the AJS cannot guarantee that all audio-visual requests will be accommodated. The best way to ensure accommodation of your request is to provide a detailed and compelling need for its use (e.g., why the material cannot be shared by handout). Using digital projectors to present outlines of talks or simple text displays does not constitute a compelling need. Those using LCD projectors must provide their own laptops. The AJS cannot accept audio-visual requests after May 4, 2017. Do not request a piece of equipment unless it is essential for your presentation; unnecessary equipment adds significantly to the cost of the conference and registration fees, and limits the resources the AJS can allocate to other conference programs (e.g., travel grants).
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IV. The Evaluation Process
Proposals will first be sent for review to the Division Chair/s. The Division Chairs, who are experts in the field, are appointed by the Vice-President for Program. Division Chairs evaluate proposals, for both individual presentations and pre-formed panels, on the basis of several criteria, including contribution to the field, originality, methodology, and clarity of expression. When evaluating an individual proposal, chairs will recommend either acceptance or rejection. If recommending acceptance, they will then try to place the proposal in a session with other individual submissions. Division Chairs also evaluate session proposals and make recommendations for acceptance or rejection. If paper proposals in a session vary widely in quality, the Division Chair may accept those of high quality.
Division Chairs then rank the sessions they have recommended accepting. This includes both pre-formed sessions and sessions the chairs formed out of individual papers submitted. The Program Committee, a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in Jewish Studies, meets in late May/early June to review these recommendations and make final decisions. Other senior scholars in the field may also assist in this final review process. The Program Committee takes into consideration topics covered by all the divisions, as well as the limitations of time and space. Taking into account the entire gamut of proposed papers and sessions across divisions, the Program Committee attempts to find a place for individual papers that the Division Chairs accepted but could not place into sessions.
Please Note: The AJS office staff does not make acceptance/rejection decisions regarding proposals but serves as the liaison between the Program Committee and applicants regarding the status of their proposals, and ensures that all application requirements (e.g., payment of dues and fees) have been met.
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V. Cancellation and Refund Policy
Once a paper or session is submitted, it is expected that the author(s) will present their paper at the conference if the proposal is accepted. Participation in the conference is highly competitive, and a cancelled presentation eliminates a spot that could have accommodated another scholar. As a courtesy to AJS members, conference presenters, and attendees, the AJS strongly discourages presenters from canceling their participation in the conference. Please notify the AJS directly by September 15, 2017 if you are scheduled to participate in the conference program in any capacity and have a compelling need to cancel. No-shows (those who cancel without prior notification) will not be allowed to submit a proposal for the 2018 conference.
The refund policy is as follows: For program participants (chairs, presenters, discussants, etc.): requests for refunds of conference registration fees and meal payments must be received by September 15, 2017. No refunds will be issued after that date. For non-participants, requests for refunds of conference registration fees and meal payments must be received by November 15, 2017. No refunds will be issued after that date. All refunds will be charged a $20.00 processing fee ($10.00 for students), with the exception of refunds requested by those whose papers were not accepted. Membership dues are not refundable.
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VI. Conference Standards
In order to maintain a professional and comfortable environment for its members, conference registrants, and staff, the Association requires certain standards of behavior. These standards include, without limitation, courtesy of discourse, respect for the diversity of AJS members and conference attendees, and the ability to conduct business and participate in the AJS conference in a non-threatening, collegial atmosphere. AJS members and conference participants who do not uphold these standards may jeopardize their membership or conference participation.
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