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Traditional Panels

Traditional panels consist of either three 15–18-minute papers and a chair, OR three 15–20-minute papers, a chair, and a respondent. The chair is responsible for starting the panel on time, briefly introducing the panelists (no more than one minute each), keeping them to their allotted time, and moderating the Q and A. The respondent provides no more than ten minutes of reflection on the papers. This leaves fifteen minutes for Q and A and conversation with the audience. All panel proposals must include a chairperson (who may also serve as respondent); paper presenters may not chair the session in which they are presenting.

All panel organizers must submit a 350-word-maximum session abstract that describes the overall questions and goals of the session, as well as 350-word-maximum abstracts for each paper in the session. 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.

Any audiovisual equipment (eg., LCD projector) must be requested in the online proposal submission.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

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Seminar

The seminar format brings together a maximum of eight scholars for two 90–minute meetings over the course of the conference. The goal of this format is to allow for sustained discussion of a question or problem, and to take advantage of the presence of a diverse range of scholars at the meeting. Participants will not read papers in the seminars; rather, the AJS will post papers on its website in advance, for discussion. Only AJS members will have access to the papers through our password-protected site, and papers will be taken down immediately after the conference. Seminar organizers may invite individuals personally to participate in the seminar, as well as issue a call for participants on the Session Seeking Participants forum. The call for participants should state the issue to be explored in the seminar, and examples of questions that seminar papers may address. The seminar proposal should include a 350-word-maximum session abstract that describes the question or problem to be explored, as well as a brief, one-sentence description of the topic each participant will address. All seminar proposals must also include a chairperson.

Any audiovisual equipment (eg., LCD projector) must be requested in the online proposal submission.

Please note that by submitting a seminar proposal, the organizer and all participants agree to the following:

Each participant will prepare a paper in advance (10–20 pages in length) and agrees for that paper to be submitted to the AJS in November, to be posted on the AJS website by December 1. The papers will be housed on a password-protected, members-only section of the website. If an author is not willing to post their paper in advance, they should not be part of the seminar proposal.

All seminar participants are expected to read the papers of their fellow participants IN ADVANCE of the conference.

The first 75 minutes of each seminar meeting will be dedicated to presentations and discussion among the seminar participants. In general, each presenter scheduled for the session should present a five-minute synopsis of their work, to be followed by either a respondent among the seminar participants or discussion among the seminar participants. The last 15 minutes of each seminar meeting should be dedicated to comments/questions from the general audience (ie. those not part of the seminar, but attending the session).

Seminar organizers will ensure that physical copies of each abstract are on-hand in each meeting room for distribution to non-participating attendees.

Seminar organizers play a critical role in the success of their seminar. They are the seminar’s representative to the AJS office, and it is their responsibility to ensure the communication of information from the AJS staff to the seminar participants regarding deadlines, procedures, etc. Please take on this role only if you are willing to dedicate the time and attention necessary to ensure a successful and well-organized series of meetings.

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Roundtables

Roundtables are structured discussions around pre-circulated questions and/or texts  with the option to share materials publicly to encourage more robust session audience participation. The session consists of 3–5 discussants and a moderator, who takes a more active role in the session than a traditional panel chair. The roundtable is not a forum for the presentation of short papers; discussants may not read papers and may prepare no more than 3–5 minute responses to the questions being discussed. The purpose of this format is discussion and interchange among a group of scholars about a debate, question, or issue in the field. Participants will be seated in a semi-circle, and will speak to each other rather than from a podium. The moderator will pose the questions and control the time given to each discussant to respond. 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. While the best roundtables incorporate spontaneity and unexpected exchanges, they also benefit from advance preparation and reflection.

Those submitting a roundtable proposal must submit a 350-word-maximum session abstract that describes the overall goals of the session; the questions (usually three or four) that the discussants will address; and the perspective that each discussant will represent (i.e., a two-three sentence description of each participant’s role, including that of the moderator). Roundtable proposals that do not adequately detail the session’s guiding questions, and each participant’s role/contribution, will not be accepted. All roundtable proposals must include a moderator.

Any audiovisual equipment (eg., LCD projector) must be requested in the online proposal submission.

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Lightning Sessions

Lightning Sessions consist of a short presentations by 5–7 presenters and a chair. Each panelist presents for approximately 5–8 minutes, followed by general discussion.

The chair is responsible for starting the panel on time, briefly introducing the panelists (no more than one minute each), keeping them to their allotted time, and moderating the Q and A.

All panel organizers must submit a 350-word-maximum session abstract that describes the overall questions and goals of the session, as well as 350-word-maximum abstracts for each paper in the session. 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.

Any audiovisual equipment (eg., LCD projector) must be requested in the online proposal submission.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

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Graduate Student Lightning Sessions

Graduate Student Lightning Sessions provide a great opportunity to learn from and about the work of graduate students in Jewish Studies, while also receiving personalized feedback from senior scholars. Each session consists of a maximum of 8 graduate student presenters, plus respondents, and a chair. Each graduate student presents for approximately 5–7 minutes, allowing for 3–5 minute individual direct responses from one scholars per paper, followed by general discussion. Sessions are organized by the AJS Program Committee from accepted individually submitted papers, so topics may vary considerably. Graduate students, when submitting individually, have the options to explicitly submit for a graduate student lightning session, or to have their individual paper proposal considered for a graduate student lightning session, if there is not otherwise a place on the program for their submission.

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