Below please find answers to some frequently asked questions for those considering a submission to our next conference (abstracts due in February 2015). If you have a question that is not answered here, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com.
What sort of proposal are you looking for? The proposal abstract, like the presentation itself, should be in English, and it should provide a clear summary of your paper in, at most, 250 words. (An excellent guide to writing a successful conference paper proposal can be found here, courtesy of Kecia Ali of Boston University.)
How should I format my submission? Please submit your proposed paper abstract as an attachment with your last name in the name of the file itself, and use a simple, editable format like .rtf, .docx, or .odt. (No PDFs, please!) Within the file itself, make also sure to include 1) your full name, 2) your institution, 3) the title of your proposed paper, and 4) the names of the other presenters if this is a pre-arranged panel. Please also let us know 5) if your presentation will require audiovisual equipment.
I’m not sure I can come; should I submit a proposal anyway? Please only submit if you believe there is a strong likelihood that you will be able to come if accepted. Each year, many fine proposals are turned down due to space constraints, so please do not submit without a serious intention of attending. And if you have to opt out for any reason, please tell us ahead of time. It’s only polite.
Can I submit multiple abstracts? Yes, you can. You will, of course, only be able to present one paper at the conference, but if you have a number of paper ideas in mind, you’re welcome to submit more than one proposal in order to increase the chance of our finding you a panel with a good thematic fit.
I’m coming from a long distance; can I receive a travel subsidy? All presenters are responsible to pay their way and arrange for their accommodations. With the exception of special panel sponsorships, which are announced year to year, we cannot fund travel.
Is there a fee to register for the conference? No, there are no fees to present at or attend the conference, which is free and open to the public. All we ask is that you honor your commitment to participate and contribute to the heady atmosphere.
I have difficulty with mobility/hearing/vision/speech, or another disability; can I still participate? Yes, absolutely. MEHAT is committed to providing an accessible forum for all its presenters and participants. If you have a disability that needs accommodation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to make it work.
What kind of presentation should I prepare? The sort of presentation we’re eager to hear is one that presents your own research and contextualizes it in terms of other recent scholarship in your field. Papers that draw comparisons between different periods and cultural contexts and that draw on insights from multiple disciplines are particularly welcome. Your proposal, if accepted, will be grouped on a panel with other scholars working on similar themes. You’ll be asked to share a copy of the paper with your panel’s discussant and with your co-panelists; the deadline for the paper itself will be in mid-April. The presentation itself will offer a concise summary of your paper, and it should be of a scope that can be easily communicated and absorbed in the span of 15 minutes, which is the length of most presentations.
Where will I stay? There are a number of hotels and other places to stay in Hyde Park, which are detailed in our MEHAT Guide to Chicago. If you’d like to try staying with a student, the most efficient way to go about it is to inquire through personal contacts at UChicago. Unfortunately, it is difficult and time-consuming for the organizers to make such arrangements upon request.
What will I eat? We provide most meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—throughout the conference itself, including vegetarian options. That said, our MEHAT Guide to Chicago is an informed resource about where to eat, how to get around, and what else to see and do in town.
Where is the conference, exactly? All the conference proceedings will take place at the University of Chicago. More information about Hyde Park and the surrounding area can be found at the MEHAT Guide to Chicago.