Meetings

New Program Changes

The AAA Meetings & Conferences Department is pleased to announce a broad  range of changes to the Annual Meeting. These changes will enhance the Annual  Meeting experience and better meet the needs of our members and attendees. This  page details each change and the rationale behind it.

Background


In 2012 the Executive Board (EB) appointed an Annual Meeting Audit Task  Force. The charge of the task force included: (1) an in-depth review of current  policies and practices of the annual meeting, and (2) the identification of  areas of improvement. The task force report was received by the AAA Executive  Board in May 2013. An EB sub-group then carefully reviewed the findings and  recommendations. In late 2013, the EB adopted a series of changes to policies,  program features and activities related to the AAA Annual Meeting to be  implemented by AAA staff over the next two years (2014 and 2015). The following  changes will begin for the 2014 annual meeting to be held in Washington, DC  December 3-7.
In particular, new session types and configurations go into effect for the  2014 meeting. As parts of these have changed, we recommend reviewing them  closely as you prepare your abstract for the 2014 meeting.

New Session Types


1.Retrospective sessions
Objective: To add a specific session type that recognizes  the career contributions of established leading scholars (for example on the  occasion of their retirement or significant anniversary). This session type  will be part of the normal scholarly program and may be submitted by any  individual and sponsored by any sponsoring entity.
Rationale: Such sessions have in the past usually been  submitted as Executive or Invited Sessions. Creating a new session type allows  us to recognize the distinct nature of such panels (or other events) in a way  which also allows other session types to better achieve their objectives.


2.Annual opening plenary session

Objective: To institutionalize an opening plenary session  to highlight the meeting theme and specific goals.
Rationale: The opening plenary session will act as an  official kick-off event on the first night of the annual meeting, placing  greater emphasis on the early days of the meeting, generally helping to set the  tone, and allowing for common discussion across areas of interest and  expertise.


3.Permanent inclusion of Installations
Objective: To officially institutionalize a category of  event (variously called "inno-vents", "salons" and other)  which offers non-traditional ways of expressing and producing anthropological  knowledge.
Rationale: This session type was introduced in 2010 on an  experimental basis. It has proven popular (in 2010 11 proposals were submitted;  in 2013, 38 proposals were submitted), so the EB subgroup agreed with the Task  Force recommendation that it should be a permanent part of the program.
Read more about session types at the Annual  Meeting.


Session and Participation Transformations


1.Elimination of double sessions
Objective: To standardize the time unit for panels and  other events to address scheduling burdens.
Rationale: Sponsoring entities have often historically  proposed double sessions. Because it is necessary to schedule them sequentially  and ideally one half right after the other, they are given an unfair advantage  during the scheduling process, regardless of their ranking, in order to  accommodate their needs. As a result of AAA's growing meeting and concern for meeting  space, the task force recommended that only single sessions be proposed during  the submission period. While organizers may include a series of sessions in  parts (i.e. Part I, Part II) it will be understood that each individual session  will be reviewed and ranked by its merit. Part II may be accepted while Part I  may not. The Executive Program Committee (EPC) will make every effort to ensure  that accepted in-part series are scheduled in proper order, but cannot  guarantee this.


2.Allocation of 1 invited session to the World Council of Anthropological  Associations (WCAA )
Objective: To facilitate collaboration with sister  anthropological organizations around the world.
Rationale: As a founding member of the WCAA, the AAA should  allocate space on its program to showcase world anthropologies as a growing  aspect of the discipline.


3.Unified submission deadline of April 15 forall invited, volunteered and  installation sessions, as well as individual volunteered papers and posters
Objective: To streamline and better communicate the  submissions process for membership, section program editors and the EPC; to  give section program editors more control over the selection of invited  sessions.
Rationale:If all panels are submitted at the same time as  volunteered sessions, section program editors will have the opportunity to  review a complete pool of candidate sessions for invited status. This move  should increase the quality and range of invited sessions on the final program.  By moving to a single deadline, we make the process of submitting proposals to  the AAA easier to understand and to communicate.


4.Chair role no longer counts against the 1+1 role rule
Objective: To facilitate session organization without  overly constraining member roles.
Rationale: The EB agrees that any individual member should  not figure too prominently on the program in speaking roles. However, the chair  role does not entail a major substantive contribution, and chairs may  potentially attract audiences.
Read more about session types at the Annual  Meeting.
Read more about presenting policies and roles at the Annual  Meeting.


Other Aspects of the Meeting


1.Fuller engagement with social media
Objectives:
a.) Introduce E-Posters
b.) Create alternative media centers
c.) Create a Speakers' Corner
d.) Create opportunities for live-streaming presentations to/from the  meeting
Rationale: AAA wants to expand its influence in social  media and offer people opportunities to interact with the annual meeting  globally or with those who are unable to travel to the host city. By taking a  proactive stance with social media and various forms of virtual communication  we can enhance the opportunities for scholarly exchange for our members.


2.Provision of internet access to the all of AAA's meeting spaces.

Objective: To facilitate connectivity
Rationale: To increase our use of social media initiatives  and to enhance presentations and communications on-site, AAA must commit to  providing the resources to cover the costs associated with wireless internet  throughout the meeting.


3.Officially expand the Executive Program Committee (EPC) to approximately  10 members
Objective: To ensure that the EPC is large enough to  represent diverse fields of anthropology.
Rationale: The EPC has in fact been composed of about 10  members for the last four or five years, and this size has worked well to  achieve the above objectives.


Coming soon…


A second set of procedural changes addressing registration periods and  waiver applications for non-traditional presenters will begin in January 2015  for the Annual Meeting in November 2015. More information about these policy  changes will be available mid-2014.


2014 Important Dates

January 15

Online abstract submission system opens for executive sessions only

February 15

Deadline for executive session proposals online at www.aaanet.org

February 16

Online abstract submission system opens for all proposal types

March 17

Decisions on executive sessions announced

April 15

Proposal deadline for all sessions, individual paper and poster presentations, media submissions and special events via www.aaanet.org. To be included in the 2014 AAA Annual Meeting program, participants must be registered by this date.

April 16–May 31

Section program editors review and rank proposals

June 1–15

AAA Executive Program Committee schedules program

July 1–15″ Program decisions emailed to applicants

Annual Meeting Program, registration and hotel information are posted online

December 3-7

2014 AAA Annual Meeting in Washington DC

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