General Submission Guidelines for Paper & Presentation Proposals


The program committee for annual conferences welcomes proposals for presentations in several formats, outlined below. Alternative formats may also be proposed. 

In 2020, DSA particularly welcomes submissions in two new formats:

Gatherings: Gatherings run 90 minutes. This format takes a dialogical approach to collective thinking about tools and strategies in dance studies (for the 2020 conference, particularly those related to dance activism). We welcome proposals from teams of at least five facilitators who will lead discussions with session attendees. Topics for 2020, for example, might include "Syllabi for Dance Activism in the 21st Century," "Strategies for Decolonizing Dance Performances," or "Using Dance to Protest Climate Change." One member of the Gatherings group must submit the proposal and submission form, but the names of all members of the Gatherings group must be listed on the submission form. Note: this format replaces DSA's previous "roundtable" format.

Lightning Sessions: Lightning sessions run 60 minutes, can take a variety of formats, and should include at least three presenters and a moderator/respondent. Formats might include: 

  •  Multiple related Ignite or PechaKucha presentations, followed by discussion.
  • Long Table conversations
  • Discussion Groups, for which applicants propose a one-time open discussion that brings participants together to engage with materials (scholarly papers, published books, dance practices or productions) read and/or viewed prior to the conference. 

To propose a lightning session, the organizer should submit a title, an abstract, an explanation of the structure of the session, and names of all participants. 

Other submission formats include: 

Individual Papers: Paper presentations must be based on unpublished research or interpretation and must be designed for oral delivery within 20 minutes, including use of audiovisual aids. Papers running eight double-spaced pages are ideal. The programming committee will arrange individual paper submission into panels of three with a moderator. 

Panels: Panels are 90 minutes in length and should consist of three 20-minute papers or occasionally four 15-minute papers on a related topic and 30 minutes for questions/answers. We also welcome panels that take a delivery response format, in which formal respondents comment on one or two presenters' work. Panel proposals should consist of one document that contains a 150-word summary of the larger panel topic and individual paper proposals as outlined above for each presenter. The title of the proposed panel and the panelists' names should be included in the appropriate fields of the submission form only. Only one member of the panel needs to submit the panel proposal. Proposed panels will not be assigned a moderator. If panels would like a moderator, they may include their own moderator with their proposal if they wish. 

Lecture-Demonstrations: Lecture-Demonstrations may run either 45 or 90 minutes, and should be presentations where spoken and performative aspects are in dialogue (as commentary, illustration, disruption, or otherwise). Proposals should articulate: why the presentation best fits within the lec-dem format; the time requirements and studio/space requirements (specifically whether a studio space is necessary); and the names of all presenters (include performers or demonstration assistants).  If two or more applicants are involved, one person may submit the proposal.

Workshops: Movement workshops may run either 45 or 90 minutes. If two or more applicants are involved, one person may submit the proposal but the names of all presenters (including performers or demonstration assistants) must be listed on the submission form. On the submission form clearly indicate the type of space required (whether the workshop can be held within a conference room or whether a dance/studio space is required) and the recommended attire for participants.  

Dance Works and Screendances: Dance works and screendances should run no more than 12 minutes. Proposals should include a link to a trailer, full work (preferable), or excerpt of the work to be shown. The proposal abstract should articulate the work's research inquiry. Presenters will be grouped into performance panels or screendance showings, depending on the space available at the conference site, and the research inquiry being posed. There will be time for a facilitated Q&A with all of the presenters/performers at the end of the session. It should be noted that there are no submission fees, screening fees, or other fees or revenue for the presentation of dance works or screendances. There is no technical support for dance works. 

FORMAT: All Proposals must include the title of the presentation and an abstract of no more than 250 words that describes the topic, approach, sources and format of your presentation, as well as keywords. Proposals will be anonymously reviewed and therefore names and affiliations of presenters should be omitted from the proposal and indicated only on the online submission form. 

GUIDELINES

  • Membership Requirement: Only DSA members in good standing are eligible to present at conferences.  Potential presenters may submit a proposal as a non- member, but must be a member of DSA in order to submit a Presenter Acceptance Form. For membership information, visit the Join Us section of our website.
  • Participation Limits: A potential delegate's name may be included on only one proposal submitted to the conference portal, whether as a presenter (including on Gatherings or Lightning sessions) or as moderator. Though some exceptions apply, these are initiated by the program committee (i.e., if invited by the program committee after a panel has been accepted, a delegate may also serve as a moderator on someone else's panel.) A delegate presenting their own work may also serve on an awards panel honoring another scholar.  A delegate presenting their own work may also serve as their Working Group's "Lightning Round" speaker. 
  • Graduate Awards: Graduate students interested in having their submissions considered for the Selma Jeanne Cohen Award, or in applying for a Graduate Student Travel Award, can submit here as a part of conference submissions.  Consult the Awards page for more information.
  • Remote Participation: If a paper is accepted at the conference, only the author of the paper may deliver the presentation.  Remote requests can be considered on a case-by-case basis (generally for those from regions that prohibit travel to the conference location, or due to health or other emergencies).  See the Conferences section of our website for updated information regarding remote presentations.

Note about DSA Working Groups: At each conference, ongoing DSA Working Groups meet immediately before the conference starts to discuss a particular topic. Currently, there are working groups in: Dance and Music; Dance and Technology; Dance History Teachers; Dancing the Long Nineteenth Century; Diversity; Early Dance; Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Dance Studies; Popular, Social, and Vernacular; Practice as Research; and Students . Each Working Group is asked to contribute a 10-minute presentation to a "Working Group Lightning Session" at the annual conference, articulating a vibrant question or other vital issue the group is addressing.  If you wish to join an ongoing Working Group, contact its organizer HERE . If you wish to propose a new Working Group, or for additional information about WG requirements, visit our website HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Please click HERE to view FAQ.