Monday, January 29, 2007

Inside Advice: Submitting your ASLH Proposal (by Feb. 1!)

This comes from Risa Goluboff, Co-Chair of the Program Committee, 2007 American Society for Legal History Conference.

This is a reminder that proposals for the 2007 annual meeting of the American Society for Legal History are due this Thursday, February 1. The meeting will be held in Tempe, Arizona, October 25-28, 2007. For those of you considering submitting a paper or a panel proposal, here are some things to think about:

If you’re submitting a paper: You want to submit a CV, an abstract of the paper, and, if you have one, a draft of the paper. The draft does two things: it gives the program committee a better sense of what your paper is about than a one-paragraph abstract; and it shows that you actually have a paper, as opposed to some speculation about a paper you might have next October. If you don’t have a paper, however, don’t despair. Most submissions just contain a CV and an abstract. In your abstract, you should definitely include a description of the topic and the thesis of the paper, as well as pertinent historiographical background. In addition, any clues you can give about broader themes or methodological approaches would be beneficial. This is not to say you should submit a long list of all of the possible panels your paper could join. But as the program committee puts panels together, it is helpful to have a sense of where your paper fits into larger thematic and methodological contexts.

Although not all "orphan" papers can be accommodated, good panels are often created from single paper submissions. So don't be dissuaded from submitting a proposal if you don't have a full panel.

If you’re submitting a panel: When submitting a panel, in addition to the CVs, abstracts, and (if available) paper drafts of the individual papers, you should submit a short description of the panel. When putting together your panel, think about the common themes—be they substantive or methodological—as well as points of temporal, geographic, or historiographical convergence among the papers. Ideally, the individual papers on the panel will have enough in common to make a conversation about them fruitful, but not so much in common that such a conversation will be boring. In the panel description, be sure to point out what holds the panel together and what discussion it is likely to provoke. It is an added bonus when a panel contains contributors at different points in their careers, whether as presenters, chairs, or commentators.

For the Call for Papers and links, click here. For details about the conference location, click here.