Guidelines for Preparing Abstracts for NAISA
(Updated August 2015)
Categories under which Abstracts may be submitted:
A person’s name can only appear in one abstract submitted for consideration.
A participant within a panel or roundtable (presenter or discussant) may Chair the panel/roundtable. A Commentator (discussant) for a panel may not present a paper within that panel, but that person may Chair the panel.
The only exception to this rule is when the NAISA Program Committee recruits someone accepted to the Program to Chair a session organized by the Program Committee.
Title: 120 character limit.
Does your title succinctly describe the topic of your presentation?
The audience depends upon the title when choosing to attend papers/sessions. NAISA Council has received consistent feedback that titles that do not describe a paper or session make it difficult to choose what sessions/papers to attend. For the 2014 meeting, Council hopes to make abstracts accessible online.
Abstract: 250 word limit.
Does your abstract answer the following questions?
What? is this paper/session about; Who? are the players; When?; Where? geographic area, if applicable; How? what method is used; and Why? are the question or inquiry or conclusions important. State your findings / conclusions explicitly; it helps the Program Committee evaluate your proposal, and Program readers decide on which papers/sessions to attend.
Does your abstract begin with your topic / focus / question?
Indicate clearly what you plan to argue/show/demonstrate. If there is necessary background or contextual information, put it at the end.
Terms: do you use discipline- or area-specific jargon or terminology?
NAISA is broadly interdisciplinary, international, and includes community-based as well as academic-based scholars. Try to avoid or explicitly define special terminology.
Can your abstract be presented in 20 minutes?
Presenting the ideas encompassed by an entire book manuscript or dissertation project is not possible in 20 minutes. If you are working on a large project, identify a chunk of it for a paper presentation. It takes two minutes to read a double-spaced page: twenty minute paper = ten pages, no more.
Is the scope of your presentation appropriate to the venue?
Professional meetings are not an appropriate venue to present class papers that survey the scholarship within some academic field, unless some substantively new or creative interpretation is presented. The NAISA Program Committee has been skeptical of proposals that claim to survey all of American Indian/Native/First Nations/Indigenous Studies conceptually, methodologically, ethically, or otherwise.
To sum up: Is your abstract scholarly, focused, substantive, and descriptive?
Topics & Methods:
Because of NAISA’s interdisciplinary and international character, the Program Committee welcomes a very broad range of topics and approaches. If prior Programs have not included your area or topic, please do not be discouraged from submitting an abstract. NAISA is always working to expand our coverage of issues of import to Indigenous Studies and to Indigenous peoples.
INFORMATION ON THE PROPOSAL TYPES
Individual paper presenters are allocated 20 minutes.
The Program time slots are scheduled for one hour and 45 minutes. If you are preparing a proposal for a Panel, Roundtable, or Film Screening, please plan to fit within this time limit.
If you are organizing a proposal for a Panel, you might consider the following possible combinations:
(1) 3 papers (20 min. each) + Commentator (20 minutes) + approximately 20 minutes for audience questions and discussion;
(2) 3-4 papers, NO Commentator, audience discussion;
(3) Time might be scheduled for introductory remarks by Chair.
A panel brings together 3 to 4 scholars, with a Chair and hopefully a Commentator, to present developed papers. A commentator who discusses the papers is recommended, but not required. The Chair briefly introduces each presenter; keeps each presenter on time; and moderates discussion/questions from the audience at the conclusion of the session. A Chair may also present a paper, but they or someone else on the panel must monitor their time. The Commentator may not present a paper as part of the panel.
The Program Committee encourages organizers to recruit Chairs who are well established in the field of scholarship the panel addresses, especially if there are graduate students on the panel, as a way for senior and junior colleagues to get to know one another. Because NAISA meetings facilitate interdisciplinary and international cross-fertilization of ideas, the Program Committee discourages proposed panels composed entirely of people from the same program/department/ institution. Use this opportunity to put together a panel that mixes junior and senior scholars, graduate students and others, and scholars from different institutions, communities, disciplines, and nations.
A Roundtable brings together a group interested in some defined topic of discussion, and opens that discussion up to include the audience.
Because NAISA meetings facilitate interdisciplinary and international cross-fertilization of ideas, the Program Committee discourages proposed panels composed entirely of people from the same program/department/institution. Use this opportunity to put together a panel that mixes junior and senior scholars, graduate students and others, and scholars from different institutions, communities, disciplines, and nations.
Film Screening Proposal:
A film proposal without people to speak about the film does not qualify for presentation at the conference. Screenings should include commentary by the producer, director, actors, those who can provide scholarly context for or interpretation of the film, and/or those who teach the film in classes.
The proposal needs to indicate how long the film is. The film and discussion by preferably more than one commenter
The Program Committee is open to suggestions for alternative formats for creative and scholarly presentations at the annual meeting. Please contact the NAISA Council to submit your ideas. Go to naisa.org for contact information.
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY REQUIRING WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PROGRAM