The paper abstracts, written by the individual scholars but submitted by the session organizer, should explain the presentation’s purpose, methodology, sources, argument and specific contribution to scholarship in the field. Sample abstracts can be found on the AJS website and tips for writing abstracts here.
Note: Accepted abstracts will be made public on the conference program site. Please do not add any information to the abstract that you do not wish to be made public at a future date.
A respondent addresses wider-ranging reflections of the issues raised in the papers, talking about what Linda K. Kerber describes as “how the strongest elements of the papers, or the relationship between them, add up to something greater than the sum of the parts. Perhaps the papers point to a new direction in research or suggest new issues demanding study.” In traditional panels, respondents will have about ten minutes for their comments, and time for each of the three papers is strictly limited to 15 minutes.
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 individuals 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 a membership fee waiver must be submitted by the session organizer to the AJS by submitting this request form no later than April 23, 2020. In the form, please explain the session that you are organizing, the role of the proposed participant, and why their role is important to the session. Membership dues waiver recipients are expected to register for the conference at the Annual Income $50-70K rate or higher. Unfortunately, AJS cannot accommodate refunds for membership fees for any reason, including a request in lieu of this fee waiver.
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. There is an area in the session proposal submission process to indicate the session sponsor, if applicable. These sessions must be accepted through the regular submission process. Magazines, journals, websites, foundations, and other non-academic organizations/publications will not be listed as session sponsors in the conference program book, though they may be listed on the program’s website and on the mobile app.
Proposals will first be sent for review to the Division Chair/s. The Division Chairs, who are experts in their respective fields, are appointed by the Vice President for Program for a three-year rotating term. Division Chairs evaluate proposals, for both individual presentations and pre-formed sessions, on the basis of several criteria, including contribution to the field, originality, methodology, and clarity of expression. Division Chairs and the Program Committee are also looking for a diversity of participants in submitted session proposals and in organizing sessions out of individual proposals.
When evaluating an individual paper 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 individual paper proposals in a session vary widely in quality, the Division Chair may only accept those of high quality.
The Division Chairs for the primary division and secondary division will have the opportunity to evaluate the submission. Primary division chair(s) will have the chance to accept the submission first.
Division Chairs then rank the sessions they have recommended accepting. This includes both pre-formed sessions and created sessions, formed by Division Chairs out of the 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.
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 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. Please 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. Those using LCD projectors must provide their own laptops, and speakers are not included with LCD projectors. The AJS cannot accept audio-visual requests after April 30, 2020.
Confirmation of your proposal’s receipt will be sent to the submitter’s email address. 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. EDT, on Thursday, April 30, 2020. If you don’t receive a notification, it is possible the email got caught in your spam folder. If you cannot locate it there, please contact the AJS office (917.606.8249; email@example.com) before the submission deadline to confirm that your proposal was received. AJS cannot accept proposals submitted after the deadline.
The AJS office will notify you of decisions by email by mid-August. Other than the email acknowledgment at the end of the online proposal process, there will be no other acknowledgment of receipt before this notice.
The chair is responsible for starting the session on time, briefly introducing the panelists/speakers (no more than one minute each), keeping them to their allotted time, and moderating the Q and A. Ensuring equal time for all presenters is essential, and chairs must be prepared to end a presentation that will clearly exceed the allotted time by several minutes. All panel, seminar and lightning session proposals must include a chairperson (who may also serve as respondent); paper presenters may not chair a session in which they are presenting.
Please note: Seminar chairs are also required to take on the responsibility of ensuring that all seminar papers are prepared and submitted to the AJS by the November 20th deadline.
AJS Division Chairs are responsible for carefully examining each conference submission in their respective Division during the conference review process. There are typically one or two Division Chairs for each division, who act as chair on a three-year rotating basis. The current Division Chairs are listed here.
The AJS Program Committee is a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in Jewish Studies that meets in late May/early June to review Division Chair recommendations and make final decisions for the entire conference program. 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. Program Committee members are appointed to a three-year term. The current Program Committee members can be found here.
All presenting scholars are responsible for bringing their presentation notes for themselves, and providing any handout copies. For most sessions, a minimum of 15 paper handouts is suggested. Should the session space include A/V equipment (based on the submission’s A/V request), each scholar connecting to this equipment is responsible for providing their own laptop and corresponding A/V cables/adaptors to connect with a projector or other player as needed. Seminar organizers are also responsible for providing paper copies for any session attendee who has not already viewed the papers digitally. If you have any questions about this during the submission process or after a session has been accepted and scheduled into a space, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The moderator will pose the questions and control the time given to each discussant to respond during a roundtable. In order to make for an informed and lively dialogue, moderators should email questions to discussants at least two weeks before the conference, and ask discussants to prepare short responses for each. All roundtable proposals must include a moderator.
Based on feedback from members interested in promoting greater levels of integration between divisions, we have updated the proposal submission process to allow you to choose a primary and a secondary division to review your proposal. Please note that the primary division you choose will have the first opportunity to accept your paper and the second division may no longer have space to accept your division by the time the division chairs have the opportunity to review your proposal. So, you should still think carefully about your primary and secondary choices. At the same time, we do hope that this process will help place proposals in the best division possible.
We invite undergraduate students nearing the end of their undergraduate studies and considering a career in Jewish Studies to join the Association for Jewish Studies and attend the Annual AJS Conference. Undergraduates are not allowed to submit for presentation.
The Program Committee encourages submissions in Digital Humanities. If you prefer for your submission to be integrated into one of the divisions, you should submit the proposal to the specific division for review. If your paper/panel addresses Digital Humanities more broadly, you can also submit your proposal directly to the AJS division. If you are unsure, you can also use the secondary division option to include AJS division and one other as well.
Yes, you can submit to participate in a maximum of two submissions, as long as they are not both paper submissions for a panel, or both paper submissions for any type of lightning session. This means that you can submit to participate in a wide variety of ways (note: this is not an exhaustive list): a chair in two sessions, a chair and a respondent in one session (or a chair in one session and a respondent in another), a panel presenter and a roundtable participant, two seminar presentations, a lightning session participant and a seminar participant, or a lightning session participant and a traditional panel participant. You can also volunteer to be a chair in a session formed by the Division Chairs, but that cannot be in addition to two accepted roles elsewhere in the conference.
Please note: Even though seminar sessions meet twice, being listed as participant in a seminar submission counts as only one submission.
Divisions reflect various subject areas under which you can submit a proposal to the AJS conference. All permanent divisions have one to two Division Chairs that rotate on a 3-year basis and are given the opportunity to have a Division-wide meeting during the conference.
The AJS is committed to creating a conference whose sessions are a place of dialogue and discussion. Based on feedback from members and the division chairs, the program committee determined that panels with four presenters did not allow for sufficient time for a vibrant q&a. Traditional panels will include three 15-minute papers, which should allow for a robust conversation among panelists and audience members.
Due to COVID-19, this policy will be implemented beginning in 2021.
Individual papers have had a much lower acceptance rate than panel submissions; this new policy will hopefully improve the likelihood of acceptance because we are encouraging members to apply through the channel that is most likely to lead to acceptance (individuals who are new to the AJS are less likely to have the networks to create panels). We also hope that the policy will ensure diversity at the session level. Individual paper submissions make it much more difficult for the program to enhance diversity at the session level. By shifting more applications toward sessions, the program committee can better ensure that each session will meet our diversity guidelines. Finally, we’re hoping that this policy will spark intellectual community and dialogue. Full session proposals tend to have a much stronger cohesive quality that will improve the experience of conference participants. Members are far better equipped to create panels that have thematically and intellectually linked papers. We recognize that there is a time investment in building successful session proposals but we believe that this time leads to sessions that hold together and improve the intellectual community at the conferences.
If your session is not already complete or you are looking for a panel proposal to join, take a look at the current list of people and ideas looking for session matches, and submit your incomplete session or individual paper idea here to be added to the list.* You also should contact the division chairs in your primary and secondary division; they may be able to help connect you with other scholars in your field.
*Please note: Sharing an idea for a session or paper through this forum DOES NOT constitute a submitted proposal for the conference program. Only complete proposals submitted through the AJS Conference Submission Site will be considered for inclusion in the conference program.