Plenary Sessions

Plenary sessions are scheduled once per day, usually in the morning, for all participants to attend. Invited speakers address the group with formal presentations on topics of common interest, which can then serve as "touchstones" for subsequent conversations among delegates throughout the conference. Speakers are chosen on the basis of their scholarship and on the relevance of their topic to the community. Suggestions for plenary speakers are welcomed; please email us with the name, contact information, and a brief overview of the scholar's work or intended topic. 

Plenary sessions also serve as sources of information about the conference structure and activities, particularly the Opening Session on the first day of the conference. 

Parallel Sessions

Conference delegates present their work in Parallel Sessions scheduled throughout the day. In keeping with our value of interactions among delegates, these sessions are designed to allow opportunities for ample discussion following the formal presentations. Parallel Sessions consist of a mixture of:

Thematic Paper Sessions:  Individual paper presentations that are organized into thematic areas by the conference programing group. Papers on a common topic, or representing different perspectives on an issue, are presented sequentially in a session, with group discussion following to consider the ideas and implications arising from the papers as a set of ideas.

Roundtable Discussions: Individual authors have an assigned table during a session to review and discuss the ideas, frameworks, and perspectives underlying their work with interested delegates who gather at the table. 

Workshops: Interactive sessions in which skills or concepts are taught, demonstrated, or explored.

Colloquia: Groups of 5 colleagues present separate papers on a common topic or theme.

Poster/Exhibits: Individual scholars present visual displays (posters) of the status of their work, or exhibits of artwork, models, or other products.

To find out more about writing and submitting proposals for parallel sessions, see Submitting Your Work: Conference Presentations.

Talking Circles

Talking Circles give shape to a conference that is wide-ranging in its scope and broad-minded in its interests. Delegates have the opportunity to interact around the key ideas of the conference away from the formalities of the plenary, paper, workshop and colloquium sessions. These are places for the cross-fertilization of ideas, where cycles of conversation are begun, and relationships and networks formed. Their intention is to find a common ground of shared meanings and experiences in which differences are recognized and respected. Through the conversations begun and sustained by Talking Circles, the group proposes themes, questions, and foci for the community and conference the following year.

Garden Sessions

Instead of the usual group "Q&A" following a keynote presentation, our Plenary Speakers hold Garden Sessions after their talks. These are more informal, unstructured sessions that allow delegates to meet the speakers and talk with them about the issues arising from their presentations.