Call for Session Proposals: 2012 Annual Meeting

Beyond Borders: Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists
San Diego * August 6 – 11, 2012

SAA’s 2012 Annual Meeting convenes August 6-11 in the spectacular beauty and diversity of continental America’s most southwestern city – San Diego! The 2012 Program Committee invites you to imagine moving “Beyond Borders” through your excellent session proposals and your energetic participation as conference presenters. 

(For a Spanish version of this Call for Proposals, see the PDF attachment below.  Please note that English is the official language of "Beyond Borders.")

Program Theme

Thinking “Beyond Borders” enables us to envision new opportunities beyond our institutions and specializations, to expand our perceptions of history, culture, memory, and recordkeeping to arrive at a more inclusive and holistic view of the great work of archives. In 2012 we have the opportunity to free ourselves from the imaginary borders of our past and leverage the opportunity, knowledge, and experience that lies beyond.

The 2012 Program Committee seeks sessions and presentations that celebrate the courageous entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit of archivists who work with colleagues and constituents to change the world, one researcher, one collection, or one project at a time.  How can we use the power of our professional diversity to do more with less? How can we advance archival knowledge and increase resources by collaborating with partners we have never imagined before? How can archives work together to overcome real or imagined barriers to our success? The 2012 Annual Meeting is your opportunity to shine, to share the spotlight with your colleagues, and to strive for a world of archives without borders!

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives practice—local, national, and international—and its intersection with other professions and domains. Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experience, the completeness of the proposal, and relevance to the meeting theme. Session proposals that incorporate one or more of the following will be given special consideration:

  • A strong connection to the program’s theme (Beyond Borders).
  • Inclusion of diverse or international perspectives and initiatives.
  • Relevance for the broad range of SAA members and other interested attendees.
  • An intention to address the impact of the given topic for SAA and/or the archives profession.
  • Endorsements by SAA Sections and Roundtables. (Sections and Roundtables are invited to endorse up to two session proposals.)

Session Formats

The Program Committee encourages submission of proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following formats:

  • Traditional. Open session (i.e., unlimited attendance) of 90 minutes, consisting of two or three fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a comment-and-discussion period. Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters. A chair is not required for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers.  Paper titles are required.
  • Work in Progress. Open session of 90 minutes, consisting of two presentations of 15 minutes each, describing ongoing research topics and including at least 60 minutes for feedback and discussion. Paper titles are required.
  • Panel Discussion.  Open session of 90 minutes, consisting of a panel of three to five individuals who informally discuss a variety of theories or perspectives on the given topic. A moderator or commentator is recommended. No paper titles are required.
  • Workshop. Limited-enrollment session of 90 minutes, usually designed to teach or refine skills. No paper titles are required.
  • Seminar/Roundtable. Limited-enrollment session of 90 minutes, usually designed as a directed discussion among attendees sharing a common experience or preparation.
  • Special Focus Session. Open session of 60 minutes designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is significant. No paper titles are required.
  • Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board. Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees.
  • [NEW!] Lightning Talks.  Sixteen lively and informative 5-minute talks in a 90-minute Lightning Talk session format (or eleven 5-minute talks in a 60-minute session). The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides to ensure timely speaker transitions. Proposals in this category must specify the chair and may suggest up to four recommended presenters (Speakers 1-4). All presenter commitments should be secured soon after the proposal is accepted.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

Archivists and records managers who participate in the program must register and secure institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the United States and Canada, may be eligible for complimentary registration upon request. SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, non-archivists, non-records managers, members, or nonmembers.

Proposals for SAA’s 2012 Annual Meeting are due on October 11, 2011 (deadline extended from October 3).

Please note that the Program Committee will not be able to consider proposals received after the deadline.

For additional information, see “Instructions for Completing the Session Proposal Form” or contact 2012 Program Committee co-chairs Petrina Jackson and Rob Spindler at

See also

2012 Call for Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals

Annual Meeting referenced: 
ConvocatoriaSAA2012_REV.pdf328.48 KB