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Submission Preparation

Can I submit as part of more than one submission?

Yes, you can submit to participate in a maximum of two submissions, as long as they are not both paper submissions for a panel, or both paper submissions for a lightning session. This means that you can submit to participate in a wide variety of ways, including (note: this is not an exhaustive list): a chair in two sessions, a chair and a respondent in one session (or a chair in one session and a respondent in another), a panel presenter and a roundtable participant, two seminar presentations, a lightning session participant and a seminar participant, a lightning session participant and a traditional panel participant, or as a participant in two roundtables. You can also volunteer to be a chair in a session formed by the Division Chairs, but that cannot be in addition to two accepted roles elsewhere in the conference.

Please note: Even though seminar sessions meet twice, being listed as a participant in a seminar submission counts as only one submission. The session organizer role does not count towards this submission maximum, as it is not a listed role at the conference. If you are submitting a session and you have a role in the session, please make sure to add yourself again to the submission site in the participating role during submission.

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What makes a good abstract?

How to Write an Abstract

The paper abstracts, written by the individual scholars but submitted by the session organizer, should explain the presentation’s purpose, methodology, sources, argument and specific contribution to scholarship in the field. Sample session abstractssample individual paper abstracts, and workshops on how to write abstracts can be found on the AJS website.

Note: Accepted abstracts will be made public on the conference program site. Please do not add any information to the abstract that you do not wish to be made public at a future date.

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What is the role of a chair?

The chair is responsible for starting the session on time, briefly introducing the panelists/speakers (no more than one minute each), keeping them to their allotted time, and moderating the Q and A. Ensuring equal time for all presenters is essential, and chairs must be prepared to end a presentation that will clearly exceed the allotted time by several minutes. All panel, seminar and lightning session proposals must include a chairperson (who may also serve as respondent); paper presenters may not chair a session in which they are presenting.

Please note: Seminar chairs are also required to take on the responsibility of ensuring that all seminar papers are prepared and submitted to the AJS by the November 20th deadline.

Guidance for Session Chairs

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What is the role of a roundtable moderator?

The moderator will pose the questions and control the time given to each discussant to respond during a roundtable. In order to make for an informed and lively dialogue, moderators should email questions to discussants at least two weeks before the conference, and ask discussants to prepare short responses for each. All roundtable proposals must include a moderator.

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What is a respondent?

A respondent addresses wider-ranging reflections of the issues raised in the papers, talking about what Linda K. Kerber describes as “how the strongest elements of the papers, or the relationship between them, add up to something greater than the sum of the parts. Perhaps the papers point to a new direction in research or suggest new issues demanding study.” In traditional panels, respondents will have about ten minutes for their comments, and time for each of the three papers is strictly limited to 15 minutes.

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What is a Division Chair?

AJS Division Chairs are responsible for carefully examining each conference submission in their respective Division during the conference review process. There are typically one or two Division Chairs for each division, who act as chair on a three-year rotating basis. The current Division Chairs are listed here.

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What is a Division?

Divisions reflect various subject areas under which you can submit a proposal to the AJS conference. All permanent divisions have one to two Division Chairs that rotate on a 3-year basis and are given the opportunity to have an annual Division-wide meeting.

Guidelines for Creating New Conference Divisions and Modifying Existing Ones

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What is the Program Committee?

The AJS Program Committee is a multi-disciplinary panel of experts in Jewish Studies that meets in late May/early June to review Division Chair recommendations and make final decisions for the entire conference program. The Program Committee takes into consideration topics covered by all the divisions, as well as the limitations of time and space. Taking into account the entire gamut of proposed papers and sessions across divisions, the Program Committee attempts to find a place for individual papers that the Division Chairs accepted but could not place into sessions. Program Committee members are appointed to a three-year term. The current Program Committee members can be found here.

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What if I want to submit a Digital Humanities paper or panel?

The Program Committee encourages submissions in Digital Humanities. If you prefer for your submission to be integrated into one of the divisions, you should submit the proposal to the specific division for review. If your paper/panel addresses Digital Humanities more broadly, you can also submit your proposal directly to the AJS division. If you are unsure, indicate the subject area as the primary division, and use the secondary division option to indicate the AJS division.

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When will I find out if my proposal has been accepted?

The AJS office will notify you of decisions on behalf of the Program Committee by email by mid-August. These emails will come from the following email sender:, so please make sure that this email address is whitelisted in your email inbox. Other than the email acknowledgment at the end of the online submission process, there will be no other acknowledgment of receipt before this notice.

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What should I expect to bring with me to my presentation?

All presenting scholars are responsible for bringing their presentation notes for themselves, and providing any handout copies. For most sessions, a minimum of 15 paper handouts is suggested. Should the session space include A/V equipment (based on the submission’s A/V request), each scholar connecting to this equipment is responsible for providing their own laptop and corresponding A/V cables/adaptors to connect with a projector or other player as needed via a (provided) HDMI cable. Seminar organizers are also responsible for providing paper copies for any session attendee who has not already viewed the papers digitally. If you have any questions about this during the submission process or after a session has been accepted and scheduled into a space, please contact

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Can an undergraduate student participate in the AJS Conference?

We invite undergraduate students nearing the end of their undergraduate studies and considering graduate school or a career in Jewish Studies or related fields to join the Association for Jewish Studies and attend the Annual AJS Conference. Undergraduates are not allowed to submit a proposal for presentation.

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Why does the AJS request that Panels be limited to 3 participants and a chair (or 3 participants, a chair, and a respondent)?

The AJS is committed to creating a conference whose sessions are a place of dialogue and discussion. Based on feedback from members and the division chairs, the program committee determined that panels with four presenters did not allow for sufficient time for a vibrant q&a. Panels will include three 15-minute papers, which should allow for a robust conversation among panelists and audience members.

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How should I go about creating a panel or finding a panel I could join?

If your session is not already complete or you are looking for a panel proposal to join, take a look at the current list of people and ideas looking for session matches, and submit your incomplete session or individual paper idea here to be added to the list.* You also should contact the division chairs in your primary and secondary division; they may be able to help connect you with other scholars in your field.

*Please note: Sharing an idea for a session or paper through this forum DOES NOT constitute a submitted proposal for the conference program. Only complete proposals submitted through the AJS Conference Submission Site will be considered for inclusion in the conference program.

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