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SLA Submissions for AAA (March 15)

Dear Linguistic Anthropologists,


It’s that time of year again: The Society for Linguistic Anthropology (SLA) invites your submissions for the American Anthropological Association’s 2013 Annual Meeting, which will be held this year in Chicago, Illinois, November 20-24.  This year’s theme is: “Future Publics, Current Engagements”.  As this year’s SLA Section Program Editor, I am writing to encourage you to submit invited sessions, volunteered sessions, and volunteered papers and posters.


Invited SessionsMarch 15 deadline

The first deadline is for the submission of proposals for invited sessions.  All proposals should be submitted directly to the AAA site.  The website will be open for submission beginning February 15; the deadline for final submissions is March 15.  The invited session proposal requires a complete list of presenters and a panel abstract (500 words). Ideally, each presenter will also submit his or her abstract as well (250 words).  In the past, panels which include both session and paper abstracts have been ranked more highly, as the submission reviewers are better able to assess the panel as a whole.  We are particularly interested in panels that feature cutting edge research and theory, topics that cross subdisciplines, and/or topics related to this year’s meeting theme.


As in the past, all panels submitted for invited status by March 15 will be reviewed and ranked by a panel of reviewers.  (If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please get in touch with me.)  All AAA sections receive a set number of invited session slots; last year we had two invited sessions (one single and one double panel) on the program.  Co-sponsored sessions are one way to spread those slots further by sharing the time allotment with another section; please indicate on your proposal if there is another section that might be interested in co-sponsoring your proposed invited session.


Notifications will be made by April 4.  Panels which are not accepted for invited session status will be automatically rolled over into volunteered session submissions (those submissions can be altered on the AAA website, if desired, between April 4 and April 15).  Those panels which are accepted will have until the April 15th deadline to finalize their submissions on the AAA website.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your proposal, but do remember: all submission must be made to the AAA website – if you just send them to us, then they are not officially submitted.


Volunteered sessions, individual papers, individual postersApril 15 deadline

Proposals for volunteered sessions, individual papers, and individual posters must be submitted to the AAA website by April 15.  Please be sure to indicate, for all individual papers, whether you are willing to present a poster as an alternative if necessary.


General information and other thoughts:

The Society for Linguistic Anthropology would like to encourage panel organizers to make use of the SLA website for the building of sessions: .  We encourage SLA members as well as nonmembers to visit the site and post descriptions of panels-in-progress.  This is potentially a great way to find other scholars working in your area of interest.  The email linganth list is also a great place to advertise panel ideas; for information on how to subscribe, visit


The AAA has again asked Program Chairs to encourage their memberships to consider allotting more time for discussion and experimenting with non-traditional formats.  Sessions can be one of two lengths: 1.75 hours or 3.75 hours.  While all of the 15-minute time slots in the sessions must be scheduled, the SLA Program Committee is eager to consider variation in the way that they are used.  We also encourage submissions and presentations in languages other than English, a development that is obviously of great interest to us as linguistic anthropologists. If you are thinking of submitting a bilingual or multilingual panel, I encourage you to contact me in advance, as I will need to set up appropriate reviewers for assessing the submission.


The AAA adheres to a very strict “one paper/one other role” rule.  A person can give one paper and be a discussant or be a chair. Organizer/chair counts as one role in the same session.  No exceptions: one paper plus one other role. Participation in special events like chairing a business meeting or leading a workshop are not included in this calculation.


The organizer of a volunteered session MUST be clear in directing the session to a particular section for review, and the same goes for authors of volunteered papers.  If session organizers or authors are in doubt as to where their proposals will be best received, please contact all of the relevant section program editors for preliminary assessments before completing your submission.


Session organizers must check the progress of the session to make sure each participant registers and/or submits a paper/poster by April 15. If a participant role is incomplete -either by not registering or by not submitting an abstract – the participant will not appear as part of their session in the preliminary or final program.


If a panel includes a non-anthropologist, this person may apply to have the Association membership waived but must still pay the meeting registration fee.  The non-member (not the organizer of the panel) can apply for the waiver when they go through the submission process.


Please contact me if you have any questions (  I’m looking forward to another exciting AAA Annual Meeting with strong SLA participation!

Jocelyn Ahlers
Chair, SLA Program Committee