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Annual Meeting Submission Guidelines

On this page:

Call for papers and sessions
Who may submit sessions or individual papers? How many may be submitted?
Whats in a proposal?
Other guidelines for submissions
Individual participation
Session roles
Linked sessions and series of sessions
Presentation language
Sponsored sessions: Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives
CFP blogs
CFP and session submission guidelines and etiquette
Membership
Cancellation policy
Conference travel grants
RSA conference terminology
Costs of participating

Call for papers and sessions

The Program Committee for the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America invites submissions for individual papers or sessions on any aspect of Renaissance studies or the era 1300–1700. Because RSA is a multidisciplinary society, it especially welcomes submissions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, as well as those that spotlight scholarship that is discipline-specific. Sessions sponsored by our Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives will make up part of the program. The rest will consist of sessions and individual papers proposed by RSA members and selected by the Program Committee.

Anyone who wishes to submit a proposal for a session or an individual paper on a topic from before 1300 or after 1700 must provide a short rationale for review by the Program Committee. To do so, please use this form.

Because the RSA Annual Meeting is a large conference, with as many as fifty sessions meeting concurrently, we have developed guidelines over the years, which greatly facilitate the work of the Program Committee and help ensure that there will be an audience for every session. Please note that proposing a session or a paper indicates your commitment to attend. The Committee will not be able to accept every submission. Good papers will have to be turned away. To take a slot and then later withdraw is discourteous to colleagues who would have liked to present a paper. Once the rooms are scheduled and the a-v equipment ordered, no substitutions are possible.

Organizers may propose a series of linked sessions, up to a limit of five. However, the Program Committee prefers that series be limited to three, to facilitate scheduling them in a row. Sessions organized in honor or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to no more than two per honoree.

Proposals for roundtables are also welcome but the Committee asks that roundtables be stand-alone sessions in terms of their content. Roundtables that merely involve recapping the content of a series of sessions take up valuable space in the program that could be used to present other research and are not likely to be accepted.

New this year: Series of sessions in honor of or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to two sessions per honoree.

Submission deadline for all proposals: Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time).

How to organize sessions: Members are invited to post their own calls for papers and participants on our CFP blogs to aid in the organization of sessions. You may also use the discipline group pages on this site to communicate with others in your discipline. 

Who may apply to present at an RSA conference: You do not need to be an RSA member to submit a proposal for the 2017 Chicago conference, but all accepted participants must become RSA members for 2017 and register for the conference. More about membership requirements and applying as a nonmember.

RSA welcomes graduate student speakers who are within one or two years of defending their dissertations. However, all sessions must include at least one speaker who has received the PhD or other terminal degree. Sessions composed entirely of predoctoral speakers and sessions that include precandidates or MA students will not be considered. Predoctoral speakers should present dissertation research, not term papers. Their CVs must include the dissertation title and expected date of completion to make their eligibility clear to the Program Committee.

Funding: Participants and attendees, or their sponsoring organization, must fund their own travel and lodging expenses as well as the annual membership dues and conference registration fee. The registration fee pays for conference facilities, audio-visual expenses, electronic and printed program materials, and a portion of the staffing needed to produce the conference. A limited number of grants to support paper presenters traveling from outside of North America are available to scholars in all disciplines by separate application. Please see the conference travel grants section of this page for more information. 


Who may submit sessions or individual papers? How many may be submitted?

An individual may submit one paper for consideration. That one paper may be submitted as part of an individual paper proposal or as part of a panel. Individuals who submit more than one paper proposal (or the same paper multiple times) will be asked to withdraw all but one of them before the submissions are reviewed by the Program Committee.

An individual may present a paper in a panel and also participate as a discussant in a roundtable session, may chair up to three sessions, and may also serve once as a panel respondent.

An individual organizer may submit up to five sessions.

New this year: Series of sessions in honor of or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to two sessions per honoree.

Here is a summary of the number of submissions permitted depending on your role:

Role
Number
Review Process
RSA Discipline Representatives
up to five sessions
sponsored session submission information
Since the Representatives will have vetted the proposals for quality and coherence, these proposals are accepted as long as they comply with RSA guidelines.
RSA Associate Organizations
(via official representatives)
up to five sessions
sponsored session submission information
Since the Associate Organizations official representatives will have vetted the proposals for quality and coherence, these proposals are also accepted as long as they comply with RSA guidelines.
Individuals submitting session proposals
up to five sessions
These session proposals will be vetted by the Program Committee for quality of papers and coherence of the session.
Individuals submitting an individual paper proposal
An individual may submit one paper for consideration, either directly to RSA as an individual paper proposal or as part of a panel. Individuals who submit more than one paper proposal (or the same paper multiple times) will be asked to withdraw all but one of them before the submissions are reviewed by the Program Committee. Individual paper proposals will be vetted by the Program Committee and then formed into compatible sessions.

Whats in a proposal?

Individual paper proposal:

  • a paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • keywords
  • a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Prose bios will not be accepted. CV guidelines and models
  • general discipline area: History, Art History, Literature, or Other
  • any scheduling requests (scheduling requests will not be accepted after the submission deadline)

Panel proposal:

  • session title (15-word maximum)
  • session keywords
  • a-v requests
  • a chair
  • a respondent (optional)
  • general discipline area: History, Art History, Literature, or Other
  • any scheduling requests (scheduling requests will not be accepted after the submission deadline)
  • panels may include two paper presenters plus a respondent; three paper presenters; three paper presenters plus a respondent; or four paper presenters. Due to time constraints, panels with four paper presenters may not have a respondent.

Each paper presenter will submit:

  • a paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • keywords
  • a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Prose bios will not be accepted. CV guidelines and models
  • first, middle, and last name; affiliation; and email address for all participants

Roundtable proposal:

  • session title (15-word maximum)
  • session abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines
  • session keywords
  • at least four and no more than eight discussants
  • a-v requests
  • a chair
  • current email addresses for all participants; CVs are not collected for roundtable participants
  • general discipline area: History, Art History, Literature, or Other
  • any scheduling requests (scheduling requests will not be accepted after the submission deadline)

Other guidelines for submissions

Individual participation

An individual may not serve as chair or respondent in a panel in which he or she is a paper presenter.

Here is the maximum number of times an individual may serve in each role at an annual meeting.


Organizer Chair Paper Presenter Respondent Roundtable Discussant
Individual
up to 5 up to 3 sessions
1 1 1


Session roles

An individual may serve as organizer, chair, and respondent of the same panel.

Here are the requirements and limits for sessions roles.


Organizer Chair Paper Presenters Respondent Discussant
Panel (2 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
2 1 (required) n/a
Panel (3 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
3 1 (optional) n/a
Panel (4 presenters)
at least 1 at least 1
4 none allowed n/a
Roundtable at least 1
at least 1
n/a n/a 4 to 8


Linked sessions and series of sessions

Concatenated sessions on a single theme are allowed, normally in sequences of two or three sessions, but with a maximum of five. Series of sessions in honor of or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to two sessions per honoree. These limits ensure that participants may attend the meeting as a whole and not merely a conference within the conference. Many members will be able to attend only one session in a chain, so each session must have its own integrity. To conclude a series of sessions with a roundtable that relates back to the previous sessions may work well for a small conference, but is not suitable for RSA. Such sessions are unlikely to be accepted, even if submitted as a sponsored session.

A series of sessions organized around a theme should be submitted as separate sessions with numbered titles. For example: to submit nine papers on the theme of Michelangelo in Florence, submit three sessions of three papers each, each with its own chair. Name them according to the following scheme: Michelangelo in Florence I, Michelangelo in Florence II, Michelangelo in Florence III. This will ensure that they are reviewed and scheduled as a series, one following the next.


Presentation language

RSA encourages presenters to submit their abstracts and give their talks in English when possible, in order to ensure the broadest potential audience for the work being presented. Papers may be given in other languages as appropriate. We expect that papers will be delivered in the language in which the abstract is submitted.


If you are an RSA Discipline Representative or Associate Organization Representative, you have been authorized to submit up to five sponsored sessions through a separate application link on the main submission page: look for the Discipline Representative / Associate Organization link. This application will allow you to submit sessions for your organization or discipline, and will ensure that your sessions are identified with the proper sponsorship.

New this year: Series of sessions in honor of or in memory of an individual scholar are limited to two sessions per honoree.

No matter who actually organizes the sessions for your organization or discipline, only the official RSA representative may submit them; the submission software will only recognize that person’s RSA login. If you are unable to submit in this module and believe you are authorized to do so, please contact RSA for assistance; do not submit sponsored sessions in the general submission module. Your membership must be current in order to submit sponsored sessions.

Sessions may be cosponsored by more than one Associate Organization or Discipline Representative. A cosponsored session counts toward the five-session limit for both sponsoring groups. To submit a cosponsored session, one of the sponsors should submit the session in their sponsorship area using the Discipline Representative / Associate Organization link. The cosponsorship has to be applied by an administrator: when the session has been submitted and before the submission deadline, please send an email to rsa@rsa.org to request cosponsorship, indicating the name of the session, the sponsor that submitted it, and the name of the cosponsoring group. Both sponsors will be listed in the online and print programs.

Sessions sponsored by Associate Organizations and Discipline Representatives will be reviewed by the Program Committee to ensure that they comply with RSA guidelines. Most paper presenters in sponsored sessions should be members of the sponsoring organization or discipline group.



CFP blogs

Members may post calls for papers on our CFP blogs: there are separate blogs for art history, history, literature, and interdisciplinary/other; you may cross-post to as many of them as you wish.

Art History CFPs
History CFPs
Literature CFPs
Interdisciplinary CFPs

 


CFP and session submission guidelines and etiquette

If you organize a session, you are responsible for submitting it to RSA by the submission deadline.

If you respond to an individual’s call for papers, please remember that your paper is submitted only when your organizer submits the full session online. 

Session organizers are asked to inform individuals before the submission deadline if they are accepting their papers or not. Only the organizer who submits the session receives a confirmation notice of submission. Paper authors do not receive a notice until a decision has been made by the Program Committee later in the summer.

Papers submitted as part of a session should not be submitted again separately as an individual paper submission.

If you are not an RSA member, you will need to sign up in our database with a temporary Conference Submitter account before submitting a proposal. If your paper is being submitted by a session organizer and you are not an RSA member, please sign up for a Conference Submitter membership before the organizer submits the session. If your membership is expired you can be added to a session without a Conference Submitter account.

Membership

All people submitting proposals and participating in sessions must be in our membership database. The method for being recorded in our database depends on ones RSA membership status.


If you've never been a member, but wish to join now

You are welcome to join RSA by following this link and completing the sign-up and dues payment process. RSA memberships run according to the calendar year, so your membership will expire 31 December 2016. If your proposal is accepted by the Program Committee, you will need to be a 2017 member of RSA and register for the conference.


If you've never been a member, but wish to create a free, temporary account for now

Should you prefer not to join RSA when submitting your proposal, you must sign up as a Conference Submitter so that your contact information is recorded in our database. “Conference Submitter” is a temporary administrative record created for conference submission purposes only. It has no charge and confers no membership privileges. If your proposal is accepted by the Program Committee, you will need to sign into your Conference Submitter account in order to become a 2017 dues-paying member of RSA and register for the conference.


If you were a member of RSA in the past, but your membership has expired

If you used to be a member of RSA and your membership has expired, please do not sign up as a Conference Submitter, as this will result in a duplicate account; instead, if you are having difficulties with your submission, please contact rsa@rsa.org for assistance. Expired members may be added to a submission that is being proposed by someone else, but they will not be able to make a submission without contacting the RSA office. If your proposal is accepted by the Program Committee, you will need to become a 2017 member of RSA and register for the conference.


If you're a current member of RSA

If you're a current member of RSA, please do not sign up as a Conference Submitter, as this will result in a duplicate account; instead, please contact rsa@rsa.org for assistance. If your proposal is accepted by the Program Committee, you will need to become a 2017 member of RSA and register for the conference.


If a member of your proposed session isnt in our database

All members of your session must be in our membership database in some way. When you submit your proposed session, you will be asked to select the session participants from a list of the names in our database; that list includes current members, expired members, and Conference Submitters. If a participant is not in our database, you will have the opportunity to add the person. Please make sure you have searched correctly for that person’s last name, including any accent marks and being mindful of hyphenated last names or other features. By adding a name, you are signing up that person as a Conference Submitter, and that person should not sign up again later. You will need the person’s name, email address, and affiliation. Please be sure the email address is valid, or your session participants will fail to receive important communications from RSA about conference acceptance and registration.


Cancellation policy

Acceptance to the conference is a commitment to attend. To withdraw after the registration deadline, except in cases of emergency, is discourteous to your colleagues and to all those whose papers were not accepted for lack of space. If you cannot attend, your paper may not be read by someone else, and you will not be listed in the program. Speakers who fail to register and fail to show up at the conference to give their papers will be barred from speaking at the next year’s conference.

If you must cancel your attendance at the RSA annual meeting due to an emergency and wish to request a refund, the following rules apply:

There are no refunds on RSA membership dues.

A partial refund of the conference registration fee may be available, under limited circumstances.

If you submit a refund request on or before 31 December 2016, you will be refunded 50 percent of your registration fee, minus a $25 administrative fee.

No refunds will be issued for requests sent on or after 1 January 2017.

Exceptions for serious medical and family emergencies will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the RSA Executive Director, President, and Vice President, upon receipt of an explanation. In such cases, if a refund is granted, a $25 administrative fee will be assessed.


Conference travel grants

Grant Opportunities for RSA 2017 Chicago blog. Share and browse grant opportunities for the Chicago conference from RSA and other organizations.


RSA Conference Travel Grants

RSA will offer a limited number of travel grants to assist speakers who will be traveling to Chicago from outside North America. These grants are competitive, not guaranteed; the average award is $500. Funding comes from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Renaissance Society of America General Fund.


How to apply for grants

The submission deadline is 7 June 2016 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time). Late submissions are not accepted.

If you’re submitting an individual paper proposal to RSA you’ll have the option to apply when you submit your paper.

If your paper is part of a panel proposal submitted by you or someone else you still have the opportunity to apply. Log in to submit your travel grant application by clicking on the Submit a Travel Grant Application link.

Grants decisions will be announced in September 2016.


Kress travel grants eligibility

  • giving an art history paper
  • scholars presenting their research; session organizers, chairs, respondents, or roundtable participants will not be considered for funding
  • traveling to the conference from outside of North America
  • submit a 100-word maximum statement of need and submitted paper information

RSA travel grants eligibility

  • paper presenters in all disciplines
  • graduate students and degree holders without either a tenured or tenure-track position
  • scholars presenting their research; session organizers, chairs, respondents, or roundtable participants will not be considered for funding
  • traveling to the conference from outside of North America
  • submit a 100-word maximum statement of need and submitted paper information

RSA conference terminology

Paper: academic conference shorthand for paper presentation, the most common way of sharing ones research in RSA sessions. Most papers are no more than twenty minutes in length and are drawn from about eight to ten pages of double-spaced text. Papers often include images and text shared with the audience via a (speaker-provided) laptop and (RSA-provided) digital projector, although some presenters prefer to provide hardcopy handouts or speak without visual aids.

Session: a ninety-minute panel of three paper presentations or a roundtable discussion. Session is used to refer to either format.

Panel: a ninety-minute session in which scholars present their research individually (or as co-authors); those presentations of individual research are called papers. Most panels are composed of three twenty-minute papers. This leaves time for formal responses or for questions from the audience. Each panel must have a chair who is not giving a paper in the session; a respondent is optional.

Roundtable: a ninety-minute session in which discussants talk about the roundtables topic, guided by a chair who stands outside the discussion and moderates it. Roundtable discussants may have some prepared remarks, but they typically do not give long individual presentations since the conversation tends to be more informal.

Organizer: the person or people assembling the session proposal. Usually this person also submits the session, though it is possible for an individual to submit a session on behalf of someone else who has organized it. Unlike some other conferences, RSA organizers do not automatically serve as chairs of the sessions they organize, but are welcome to register themselves to do so.

Chair: a scholar who stands outside of the main discussion to introduce speakers, moderate the discussion, and ensure that time limits are respected.

Panelist/Speaker/Author: a scholar presenting a paper as part of a panel.

Respondent: a scholar who provides formal remarks in response to the papers presented in a panel.

Discussant: a scholar who contributes to a roundtable discussion.

Conference Submitter: a temporary administrative account created for conference submission purposes only. It has no fee and confers no membership privileges.


Costs of participating in the 2017 RSA conference

All participants in the 2017 RSA Chicago program must pay 2017 membership dues and the registration fee.

2017 Membership Dues

Membership Category 2017 Dues
 Patron $200
 Annual income $100,001 and above $145
 $80,001–100,000 $120
 $60,001–80,000 $100
 $48,001–60,000 $85
 $36,001–48,000 $75
 $24,001–36,000 $55
 $12,001–24,000  $45
 $12,000 and below  $35


Meeting Registration

until 30 November 2016 from 1 December 2016 to 22 March 2017 from 23 March 2017, including on site
Regular Member Rate $185 $235 $260
Reduced Member Rate (students, independent scholars, adjunct instructors, part-time instructors, unemployed non-students) $120 $145 $165
Non-member $310 $335 $360
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