From the 2009 Annual Meeting column of the September 2007 Perspectives
Call for Proposals: The 2009 Annual Meeting of the AHA
Felice Lifshitz and Jerry Bentley, September 2007
The 123rd annual meeting of the American Historical Association will be held January 2–5, 2009, in New York City. The Program Committee welcomes proposals from all members of the Association (academic and nonacademic), from affiliated societies, from historians working outside the United States, and from scholars in related disciplines. The theme for the 2009 Annual Meeting, described in detail in a separate statement, is "Globalizing Historiography." Although we have elected to emphasize this single facet of historiography, we very much welcome proposals on all aspects of the construction and representation of the past in all periods, places, and modes (such as through the built environment). Furthermore, as befits the AHA's role as the meeting ground for all historians, we will seriously consider all proposals which advance historical research, teaching, and public historical practice; or which address the professional needs, rights, and responsibilities of the community of historians and of the discipline of history, even if they are unrelated to historiography.
We invite proposals for sessions in five different formats: formal sessions (traditional paper presentations plus comment), sessions with precirculated papers, thematic workshops, roundtable discussions, and practica. Proposals for sessions involving more than a total of five participants, or completely lacking in gender, institutional, or career-stage diversity, will (if accepted) garner recommendations from the Program Committee for a reduction in the number of speakers, or for a redress of the imbalance(s). The committee also welcomes proposals from individuals or small groups to present posters as part of a large poster session, to be held on Saturday afternoon. There, historians will present their research through visual materials set out on posters. Finally, members may propose an "experimental" panel using novel forms of presentation (in terms of organization or content) not covered by the standard session types. Please consider carefully which presentation format would be best suited to your goals, and be prepared to justify not only the scholarly content of your proposal but also the logic of the selected format, particularly should you choose to organize an experimental session. For instance, a proposal to present a poster on a topic that does not clearly contain a strong visual element will likely not make sense to members of the Program Committee, and an experimental session that will be expensive to mount will be subject to especially close scrutiny by the committee. All organizers, including those submitting poster proposals, should aim to foster lively interaction among presenters and between presenters and the audience; the desirability of such interaction is the main reason for the strict limitation on the number of participants per session. Finally, in keeping with the function of the annual meeting as a forum for engagement with colleagues and the exchange of ideas, the AHA encourages members (especially graduate students and recent PhDs, whose professional networks might currently be relatively narrow) to reach out beyond their immediate circles throughout the organizational process, and to consider recruiting session participants through electronic mailing lists or other similar channels of communication.
Please consult the "Annual Meeting Guidelines" when preparing a proposal, and carefully follow the instructions for submitting a proposal. Proposals can only be submitted electronically at www.historians.org/annual/proposals.htm. With the exception of foreign scholars and scholars from other disciplines, all persons appearing on the program must be members of the AHA. Proposals must be submitted, in their completed form (that is, with full information concerning all proposed participants and their proposed presentations) by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, on February 15, 2008. It will not be possible to submit proposals after that date.
Questions about the content of proposals should be directed to the Program Committee co-chairs Felice Lifshitz and Jerry Bentley. Questions about policies and modes of presentation should be directed to Robert Townsend, AHA assistant director for research. Questions about the electronic submissions process may be e-mailed to the aha with "2009 Annual Meeting" in the subject line.
—Felice Lifshitz (Florida International University) and Jerry Bentley (University of Hawai'i) are co-chairs of the 2009 Program Committee.