IAGS CONFERENCE ORGANIZING GUIDELINES: Issued, August 28, 2015
I) Conference Site Selection (32-36 months prior to the conference)
- The IAGS second vice president will circulate a call for conference site proposals.
- The call should request that proposals contain the following information:
1. Brief description of proposed host institution and name, telephone number, and e-mail address of contact person(s).
2. Available accommodations for conference participants (should include cost of rooms and distance of hotel/dormitory from meeting site).
3. Provision for meeting rooms for plenary sessions (for at least 200 participants) and for individual panels (for as many as 50 or more participants). A map of meeting rooms including capacity for each and proximity to each other and to places of lodging and meals should be sent to <insert name>, whose contact information is listed at the end of this announcement.
4. Availability of audio-visual resources, including: microphones (stand-alone and wireless), overhead transparency projectors, computers, data projectors, etc.
5. Availability of simultaneous translation (from English to any locally spoken language and vice versa)
6. Capacity to organize banquet services, meals, and coffee breaks.
7. Capacity to prepare conference materials (program schedule, hand-outs, and conference gifts, such as pens, bags, etc)
8. Capacity to coordinate or facilitate communication with presenters (proposal acceptance, bio, title, papers, etc), local publishers or museums (book sales, book exhibit, etc), potential advertisers, and with the IAGS website manager
9. Ability of host institution to provide partial or complete subvention of:
a. Expenses and honoraria for keynote speakers
b. Meals and coffee breaks
c. Housing (especially for students, participants from developing countries, and participants whose institutions cannot pay their travel, meeting and lodging expenses)
10. Ability of host institution to provide complete subvention for provision of meeting rooms, audio-visual resources, and translation (if organized) Please provide a list of potential funders.
11. Estimated cost of current round-trip air travel (economy) between proposed conference site and the following cities: New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Toronto, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Sarajevo, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Yerevan, Baghdad, Dhaka, Phnom Penh, Sydney, Kigali, Lagos, and Nairobi.
12. Organization of opportunities for associated sightseeing excursions, commemorative events, etc.
13. Any special reasons why the conference should be held in the proposed location.
Proposals must be submitted prior to the deadline stated on the call for proposals. No proposal shall be accepted after the deadline, unless the IAGS EB has announced an extended deadline date.
Proposals will be evaluated by the IAGS EB based on the 14 categories listed above. The EB will make the decision on the next conference site at least two months prior to the current conference so it can be announced at the conference business meeting.
II) Conference Organizing Committee (20-24 months before the conference)
The IAGS First Vice President will form a conference organization committee.
The organizing committee is chaired by the First Vice President and is comprised of representatives from the local organizing committee and IAGS members selected by the First Vice President.
Initial tasks for the conference organizing committee, in conjunction with the Host organization, include: finalizing the conference site and dates, choosing the conference theme, drafting the conference call for papers, identifying potential keynote speakers, planning wide distribution of the call for papers, and selecting members of the conference evaluation committee.
III) Distribution of the Call for Papers and Budget (12 months before the conference date)
The call for papers will be distributed to the IAGS membership and through various distribution lists.
The call for papers should be titled “The (insert number) Meeting of the International Association of Genocide Scholars” followed by the conference theme, location and dates. The call should also include a description of the conference theme and site.
The call must also specify:
a) The IAGS evaluation committee will evaluate only one abstract per person before the due date. This includes both single and co-authored presentations. If there is sufficient space available, a second abstract may be considered at a later date;
b) Besides panels and papers, the organizers encourage other modes of presentation, including workshops, roundtable discussion, film screenings, book presentations, cultural media, and artistic works/readings, assuming the venue can accommodate these activities. Priority should be given to artists and exhibitions that have not previously been presented at an IAGS conference. Organizers should aspire to include subject-relevant artistic exhibits;
c) Attendance at the conference is open to all interested professionals and students, but presentation at the conference requires one to be a member of IAGS. It should be noted however, that papers will be evaluated on their scholarly merits.
d) A deadline date. Submissions are not to be accepted after the deadline unless the IAGS Executive Board agrees upon an extended deadline date. Thereafter, submissions will not be accepted after this extension.
e) Applicants should be directed toward the online submission portal. The submission must include email address, title and abstract (250 words maximum in English), a short 3-4 sentence biographical statement (please no CVs), and three to five keywords.
f) The quality and relevance of the applications will be assessed by two members of the Conference Evaluation Committee with an Accept, Reject or Revise and Resubmit. If there is a conflict, the paper will be assessed by a third member of the Committee.
g) Availability of funding for scholars from the global south, emerging scholars (this includes PhD students and early career scholars who are within 5 years of receiving a PhD), and others whose institutions cannot pay their travel. Information on how these individuals can apply for funding should be included. This information should be precise and include the requirements for consideration as well as clearly detail the application process, including information individuals must provide in their application: e.g., name; institutional affiliation; short bio; presentation topic; why attending the conference and presenting is important and relevant to their research/work; why they need funding; what funding they are requesting, including a budget.
h) A budget should be drafted. Conference fees must be set to recover costs not covered by other funding. The budget should include expected costs for: keynote travel, room rental, catering, excursions, student and emerging scholar support, translation, and A/V.
i) We strive for transparency in conference funding. A full list of conference funders should be provided.
IV) The Conference Evaluation Committee (12 months before the conference)
- The conference date, the conference evaluation committee should be finalized.
- The evaluation committee is chaired by the IAGS First Vice President and must be comprised of IAGS members with sufficiently broad expertise to cover off the key conference themes and other regional and disciplinary areas of interest to IAGS members. The evaluation committee should also, to the extent that it is possible, be balanced to represent the gender, regional, and age diversity of the Association.
- Conference evaluation will take place through a double blind system. The IAGS First Vice President will select two evaluators for each abstract based on a review of the abstract and the keywords selected. Each evaluator will assess the abstract as Accept, Reject, or Revise and Resubmit, and provide the First Vice President a brief rationale for the decision.
- If there is a disagreement between the two evaluators, the First Vice President will distribute the abstract to a third member of the evaluation committee. The First Vice President will render a final decision based upon the three evaluations.
- An IAGS member may appeal a rejection by the evaluation committee. In such circumstances, the First Vice President will seek three external reviews of the abstract.
V) Conference Preparation (6 months before the conference)
- In the lead up to the conference, the conference organization committee should ensure the following objectives are achieved:
a) Prepare the conference website including information on location, getting around, accommodation, visas for international travellers, excursions, restaurants, attractions, and other information for delegates. Online registration is of particular importance. All members should be encouraged to register online and only in exceptional circumstances should other forms of registration payment be permitted.
b) A maximum of three keynote speakers should be selected. One of the three should ideally be chosen by the emerging scholars.
c) The First Vice President and the local organizing committee should work to ensure that all preparations are set for the conference site, including room and hotel bookings, food orders, hiring of conference staff and volunteers to run registration and other conference tasks, preparation of conference bags, excursion planning, transportation, translation, and other matters noted in the conference proposal.
VI) Conference Program (1-2 months before the conference)
a) The First Vice President, in consultation with the conference organization committee, constructs the conference program. Effort should be made to organize the presentations into thematic sessions based on related concepts or approaches rather than regional focus. As well, session panels should combine both established and emerging scholars.
b) Each presenter should be allotted 15 minutes, or a maximum of 20 minutes, to present.
c) Whenever scheduling sessions, every effort should be made to randomly assign sessions to presentation times so as to avoid the perception that prime time is being offered unfairly to certain scholars and not others. However, it is recognized that because of different travel schedules, a completely randomized slot assignment process will not be possible.
d) Each session should be assigned a chair. The chair’s role is to: briefly announce the presenter (long biographies should be avoided); keep time and cut the presenters off when they reach the end of their allotted time; moderate questions; and encourage questions for or ask questions to presenters who have not been asked a question before the end of the question and answer period. Particular effort should be made to ensure that emerging scholars are receiving feedback on their work.
e) A session for the Genocide Studies and Prevention journal team must be scheduled in a slot without other concurrent sessions, providing journal editors at least 20 minutes.
f) An IAGS business meeting must be scheduled for the conference in a slot without concurrent sessions. It should be ensured that an agenda is distributed prior to the conference, and adequate time and space is made available for the business meeting. In potentially noisy spaces, a microphone should be made available for conduct of the business meeting.
g) Time should also be scheduled for activities involving emerging scholars, including, but not limited to, professional workshops and a meeting at which they can nominate an Advisory Board representative.
h) Ideally, breaks and lunches will be organized to encourage scholars to meet in a common area or hub, so that opportunities for informal networking are maximized
i) Design and copying of the conference program is the job of the local organizing committee.
j) On the first day of the conference, a conference update should be distributed to let delegates know about any late changes to the conference program.
VII) The Conference
a) Conference registration should open at least one hour prior to the start of the conference. Ideally, all conference fee and membership payments will be made online or through check prior to the start of the conference. Sufficient volunteer or paid staff should be on hand to ensure an efficient registration process.
b) The conference opening ceremony ideally includes welcoming statements from local dignitaries and the local organizer, a farewell statement from the outgoing IAGS president, a statement from the newly elected IAGS president and Executive Board, and a keynote address.
VIII) After the Conference
- Within two months of the conference, the Vice President or her/his delegate should distribute a survey to the membership to learn both what they liked at the conference and what can be improved for the next conference.
- The IAGS board may also consider the following options: posting papers on the IAGS website; special issues of GSP; making available podcasts of panels and keynotes.