Call for Program Proposals: 2019 Joint Annual Meeting

Call for Program Proposals


Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA and SAA
July 31 – August 6  •  JW Marriott  •  Austin, Texas

 Submission Deadline: November 16, 2018

The 2019 Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) will take place July 31 – August 6 at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, Texas.

The 2019 Program Committee seeks session proposals that address how the archives, records, and information management community is working across, between, and through boundaries to navigate archives and the ever-evolving societies in which we live and engage. Through this call for proposals and the sessions that it generates, we hope to create a transformative joint conference!

CoSA and SAA are particularly concerned about the safety of attendees who are marginalized or vulnerable members of our community, and we intend to create a conference environment that is accessible. We hope to bring people together from across and adjacent to the archives field to engage in meaningful dialogue as they share their archival experiences, projects, and challenges.

As noted in “An Open Letter to SAA Members Regarding the Location of the 2019 Annual Meeting” in August 2017, SAA is committed to implementing in Austin (and beyond) live-streaming and/or other virtual conferencing options that will make it possible to participate for those who are not able to travel (due to state travel bans or other financial constraints) or who are not willing to attend a meeting in Texas (due to discriminatory legislation or safety concerns).

The Conference Theme

As we continue to advance the archives, records, and information management profession through research, practice, education, and community initiatives, it is important to confront issues—whether new or longstanding—that arise or are systemic in our work and in the relationships that we build. How are we, for example, navigating power dynamics, facilitating transparency, preserving the histories of transgender and other marginalized communities, or researching transnational records to actively transform our pedagogy and practice, and how do our actions affect the people and communities we serve? To address advancing the profession and mindfully serving society, we invite you to propose a session that is relevant to your work but that also challenges you in a different way. You could begin by looking across, between, and through the usual boundaries….

To ensure that under-discussed topics are included in the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting program, the Program Committee has identified the following tracks to complement the conference theme. (Please note, however, that you are not required to fit your proposal under any of these tracks.)

  • Leadership Development and Retention
  • Invisible Labor 
  • Instruction and Pedagogical Practice (eg, teaching with primary sources, anti-oppressive approaches to technological skills, K-12 civics engagement)
  • Diversity/Whiteness, Normativity, and Cultural Humility
  • Spaces, Places, and Margins

The Program Committee invites submissions for 60- or 75-minute live sessions or poster presentations. To submit a proposal for inclusion on the education program, please note the following information.

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives, records, and information management—local, national, and international—as well as their intersections with other professions and domains. Each proposal will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experience, the proposal’s relationship to the program theme, and the completeness of the proposal. Session proposals should incorporate one or more of the following:

  • A strong connection to the program’s theme. 
  • Inclusion of diverse or international perspectives and initiatives.  
  • Statement of potential impact on archives, records, and information management. 
  • Relevance of the topic for CoSA and/or SAA members and other interested attendees. 
  • Interaction and engagement with session participants.

The Program Committee intends to be watchful during the selection process of factors that may not be explicitly stated in a proposal but that could hold merit. For example, are the speakers:

  • Proposing a topic that places them in a vulnerable position? 
  • Challenging dominant or “status quo” ways of thinking and doing? 
  • Addressing traditional positions of privilege and power (eg, whiteness, ability, heteronormativity, cis-gender identities, class structures) when discussing diversity and inclusion?

Session Formats

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

Incubator Session. 60-minute session consisting of two presentations of 10 minutes each that describe project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and including at least 40 minutes of interactive discussion with feedback from the audience.

Special Focus Session. 60-minute session led by an individual or group, designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is encouraged.

Lightning Talks. Six to eight lively and informative 5-minute talks in a 60-minute session. The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides into one single presentation to ensure timely speaker transitions. Proposals in this category may suggest recommended presenters; commitments should be secured soon after the proposal is accepted.

Panel Discussion. 60- or 75-minute session consisting of a panel of three to five individuals discussing theories or perspectives on a given topic. The goal of a panel discussion is to have a more informal session with time for audience feedback. Presentation titles should be provided and will be printed in the program, but prepared papers are not required. A moderator is required (this role may be performed by the chair); a commentator is optional.

Traditional. 60- or 75-minute session consisting of two or three (and no more than three) fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a comment-and-discussion period. A separate chair is optional for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Paper titles are required.

Professional 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.

Alternative Format. Don’t feel confined by the prescribed formats—suggest an alternative or create your own! Alternative format sessions may take a variety of forms. Examples include world café and fishbowl discussions. Propose a moderated debate offering opposing points of view, or an “experiential” format involving simulation, role play, or games to convey key principles and learning objectives. We welcome your creative ideas about how your topic might best be addressed! Proposals in this category must: 1) specify the format and session facilitator and 2) describe briefly how the format will enhance presentation of the material. You may suggest up to four presenters for the session.

A note about Pop-Ups. A separate call for Pop-up proposals will be issued in the spring of 2019. Do not use the session proposal form for Pop-ups. 

Your format choice will not affect the Program Committee’s decision. The Committee may, however, recommend that the proposed format be changed if it believes that a different format may better serve the session’s learning objectives or desired audience.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

Archivists and records administrators who participate in the program (including in Pop-Up sessions) 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. CoSA and SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, non-archivists, non-records administrators, members, or nonmembers.

Proposals for the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting are due on Friday, November 16.
The Program Committee will not consider proposals received after the deadline.

Click Here for the Submission Form

Please Note!
The 2019 Joint Annual Meeting will take place on different days of the week than in previous years. Education sessions will be held on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (August 4–6) rather than from Thursday to Saturday. Other aspects of the schedule may change as well. Look for a preliminary schedule of events in January 2019.

The 2019 Program Committee has created a Google spreadsheet to be used as an informal tool to connect individuals who are seeking ideas and/or collaboration on session proposals for the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting. It is not monitored by CoSA, SAA, or the Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.


Annual Meeting referenced: 

CoSA and SAA thank the following Conference Sponsors for their support!