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FAQ

Questions about the 2022 Conference

Submission Preparation Questions

Membership and Conference Costs Questions


What do I do if my paper or session was accepted but cancelled from the 2021 AJS Annual Conference?

Accepted but cancelled 2021 sessions and presentations may be resubmitted as proposals for the 2022 AJS Annual Conference. These proposals will be evaluated for acceptance and inclusion in the 2022 conference program by Division Chairs and the Program Committee; however there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Alternatively, those with accepted but cancelled 2021 presentations who would like to make their presentations online rather than in person may apply for the AJS Conversation Series.

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Is the AJS committed to holding an in-person conference in December?

The AJS is committed to meeting in person in December. After several years of curtailed travel, we look forward to being able to come together, share our work, and have meaningful conversations. This year’s in-person conference will be affected by the impact of COVID-19, and we are committed to holding a conference that will protect the health and safety of our membership.

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Why does the AJS request that Panels be limited to 3 participants and a chair (or 3 participants, a chair, and a respondent)?

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. Panels will include three 15-minute papers, which should allow for a robust conversation among panelists and audience members.

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Can I present remotely or via recording?

No, all participation and presentations will be held live and in-person in Boston.

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Can’t we just use zoom for little or no cost like we do where I work?

Sadly no. In order to run simultaneous panels online, we need to buy much more expensive software and hire technical help. Moreover what technical help, wifi, and hybrid setup we use is restricted by the hotel contract, making it more expensive than at your home institution.

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Why can’t we have a hybrid or separate online conference?

Because of the nature of our hotel contract and the software we would need to use, we estimate that a hybrid conference would cost our organization at least $200,000 to run above our current costs. While we have some reserves for emergencies, planning to run the conference hybrid yearly would quickly bankrupt the organization. AJS prioritizes its members and we cannot serve that membership if we do not exist. Other organizations have been able to have hybrid conferences either because they charge substantially more, have a large endowment or income pool, or have different hotel contracts.  Our hotel contracts are somewhat unique because of the community we serve, for example our need to have kosher food available both in and outside of the hotel.

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Is there any chance we will go online at the last minute like we did in 2020?

The chance of us going online in 2022 at the last minute is slim. In 2020, there were not yet widespread vaccines, we were able to invoke force majeure and hence move online without hotel penalties running in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a last minute cancellation. The widespread use of vaccines and the addition of COVID exception clauses to hotel contracts makes it extremely unlikely we would have that option in 2022 unless, for example, there were a new natural disaster or a variant that does not respond to vaccinations, which of course none of us wants.

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What kinds of conference sessions are available during AJS 2022?

This year, the AJS is offering five forms of sessions: Panels, RoundtablesSeminars, Lightning Sessions, and Performance/Scholarship sessions.

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How long will each session last? In 2020 we had to transition from 90 minutes to 60 minutes. Will this year’s sessions be 90 minutes or 60 minutes?

The AJS is planning for an in-person conference in Boston in 2022. The sessions will be 90 minutes long.

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Might you consider delaying the submission deadline until the end of May?

No, the submission deadline will not be extended. If we keep our current deadline, we can be sensitive to the many different calendars that are involved in reviewing the submission process.

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Who should I speak with if I have feedback on any of these changes or other aspects of the program?

The VP for Program, and the Program Committee, are always interested in your feedback. Please contact leibman@reed.edu with any questions. If you have any questions about the submission process or about any technical concerns, please contact Michelle at mkatz@associationforjewishstudies.org.

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What if I have additional questions?

Please email Michelle Katz, Director of Membership and Conference Content, at mkatz@associationforjewishstudies.org

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Can I submit as part of more than one submission?

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 a lightning session. This means that you can submit to participate in a wide variety of ways, including (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, a lightning session participant and a traditional panel participant, or as a participant in two roundtables. 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 a participant in a seminar submission counts as only one submission. The session organizer role does not count towards this submission maximum, as it is not a listed role at the conference. If you are submitting a session and you have a role in the session, please make sure to add yourself again to the submission site in the participating role during submission.

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What makes a good abstract?

How to Write an Abstract

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 session abstractssample individual paper abstracts, and workshops on how to write abstracts can be found on the AJS website.

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.

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What is the role of a chair?

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.

Guidance for Session Chairs

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What is the role of a roundtable moderator?

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.

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What is a respondent?

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.

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What is a Division Chair?

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.

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What is a Division?

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 an annual Division-wide meeting.

Guidelines for Creating New Conference Divisions and Modifying Existing Ones

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What is a Secondary Division and should I list one?

Each Division's Division Chair(s) review the submissions that are submitted to that Division, or subject area, as the Primary Division (for example, the proposals submitted to the Holocaust Studies Division are reviewed first by the current Holocaust Studies Division Chairs). That is the "Primary Division."

If your submission also falls under another division's purview, consider indicating a "Secondary Division Option" during submission. This is optional, and it automatically transfers any submission that has been rejected for any reason to the secondary division's division chair(s) for review.

The Program Committee reviews all submissions and may shift submissions to any Division, so please be advised that the Division that you select as the Primary (or the Secondary) during submission is subject to change at any point in the review process.

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What is the Program Committee?

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.

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What if I am a scholar/professional 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 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 they were 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 25, 2022. 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.

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Can my institution sponsor a session?

Session organizers may request to have an academic institution, research center/archive, learned society, or AJS caucus or working group listed in the guidebook 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.

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How will my proposal be evaluated?

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, based on the submissions to open calls for new Division Chairs in the fall. 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 at the conference itself. 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.

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Can I use A/V and media in my session?

The AJS is able to provide one of the following pieces of equipment per presenter upon request: CD player, TV/DVD player, and a limited number of LCD projectors (no audio). A maximum of two pieces of equipment will be provided to sessions, based on requests received during the submission. 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 connectors to an HDMI cable, and speakers are not included with LCD projectors. The AJS cannot accept audio-visual requests after May 5, 2022.

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What if I want to submit a Digital Humanities paper or panel?

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, indicate the subject area as the primary division, and use the secondary division option to indicate the AJS division.

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How can I be sure that AJS has received my proposal?

Confirmation of your proposal’s receipt will be sent to the submitter’s email address. The confirmation email will come from DO_NOT_REPLY@allacademic.com. 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, May 5, 2022. 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; conference@associationforjewishstudies.org) before the submission deadline to confirm that your proposal was received. AJS cannot accept proposals submitted after the deadline.

 

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When will I find out if my proposal has been accepted?

The AJS office will notify you of decisions on behalf of the Program Committee by email by mid-August. These emails will come from the following email sender: do_not_reply@allacademic.com, so please make sure that this email address is whitelisted in your email inbox. Other than the email acknowledgment at the end of the online submission process, there will be no other acknowledgment of receipt before this notice.

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What should I expect to bring with me to my presentation?

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 via a (provided) HDMI cable. 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 conference@associationforjewishstudies.org.

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Can an undergraduate student participate in the AJS Conference?

We invite undergraduate students nearing the end of their undergraduate studies and considering graduate school or a career in Jewish Studies or related fields to join the Association for Jewish Studies and attend the Annual AJS Conference. Undergraduates are not allowed to submit a proposal for presentation.

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What kinds of conference sessions are available during AJS 2022?

This year, the AJS is offering five forms of sessions: Panels, Roundtables, Seminars, Lightning Sessions, and Performance/Scholarship sessions.

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Why does the AJS request that Panels be limited to 3 participants and a chair (or 3 participants, a chair, and a respondent)?

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. Panels will include three 15-minute papers, which should allow for a robust conversation among panelists and audience members.

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How should I go about creating a panel or finding a panel I could join?

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.

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What if I have additional questions?

Please email Director of Membership and Conference Content Michelle Katz at mkatz@associationforjewishstudies.org.

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Who should I speak with if I have feedback on any of these changes or other aspects of the program?

The VP for program, and the program committee, are always interested in your feedback. Please contact leibman@reed.edu with any questions.

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Do I need to be an AJS member to submit a proposal?

Yes, in order to submit a proposal for the AJS 54th Annual Conference, you must be a current AJS member, with an individual membership for the 2022 membership year.

Login to MyAJS to renew your membership for the 2022 membership year or to enroll as a new AJS member.

If you are not sure whether you have already renewed for the 2022 membership year, please contact Michelle Katz at the AJS at mkatz@associationforjewishstudies.org.

If you are submitting a session proposal, please confirm that every participant is also a current member of the AJS before submitting.

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Limited Membership Waiver for Participants Outside of Academia or Jewish Studies related Professional

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 they were 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 25, 2022. In the 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 $194 rate or higher. Unfortunately, AJS cannot accommodate refunds for membership fees for any reason, including a request in lieu of this fee waiver.

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How do I update account and profile options when I renew my membership?

For step-by-step instructions, click here.

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What if I have additional questions?

Please email Director of Membership and Conference Content Michelle Katz at mkatz@associationforjewishstudies.org.

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