Submitting a Proposal for the 2013 AGLSP Conference

We’re hoping that some of our students and others in the DePaul community will consider participation in the upcoming annual conference of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. We have the honor of hosting this year’s conference, to be held October 10-12 at the magnificent Renaissance Blackstone Hotel in Chicago’s South Loop. The theme will be “Urban Gateways: Immigration and Global City.” Information on page 3 of this Convergence newsletter lays out the theme in greater detail. We are hoping to get proposals which deal with the ways that immigrant communities in cities act now as nodes in a global cultural, economic and political network.

If you’re thinking about submitting a proposal, the most important thing is to focus on a specific idea or phenomenon. Generally, conference papers are 20 minutes long. To stick to this time limit, your paper will need to be 10-12 pages of double-spaced text; you don’t want to be racing through the paper. Your paper topic should be highly specific, which means that if you’re adapting it from something you’ve already written, you may need to present just one part of the original paper, or leave out some of the supporting details to cover the main points.

The proposal itself (which might be an abstract of a previously written paper) should be one or two paragraphs. It should state the topic clearly, talk about how it advances previous work on the topic or breaks new ground, describe the kind of research methods used, and suggest the main conclusions. By all means use visual materials via PowerPoint if those will make your presentation more clear or vivid, but avoid “death by PowerPoint” if the only reason you’re employing the screen is to project an outline of your points. If your paper is accepted for presentation, be sure to practice delivering it, so you can feel comfortable with it and bring out the highlights in a natural way.

In the case of the upcoming AGLSP conference, there are a variety of topics related to immigration, cities, ethnicity that could be considered. But unlike other conferences, the AGLSP does consider high-quality proposal on topics unrelated to the conference theme. This allows graduate liberal studies students and alums to showcase interesting projects they’re working on. Please feel free to contact me if you’re a student or alum and thinking of putting together a proposal for this exciting conference.

by David Gitomer, Director