Culture Matters: 2012 CSA Conference, March 28-April 1, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Cultural Studies Association
contact email: 

Cultural Studies Association Conference
University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA
March 28-April 1, 2012

Deadline for Proposals: 19 September, 2011

The Cultural Studies Association (CSA) invites participation in its tenth annual conference. This year's theme, "Culture Matters," calls for proposals that critically and creatively reflect on culture and "the material" broadly conceived. How do we theorize the relationship between culture and materiality? In what ways might interdisciplinary formations such as ethnic studies, critical gender studies, queer theory, indigenous studies, and new media studies challenge or redefine notions of the material? How should cultural critics understand the material in relationship to the immaterial? What are the cultural-material aspects of knowledge production both inside and outside the university? How does culture become a material force and how can cultural critics and producers intervene in or transform institutions and material practices? In short, what do materialist cultural studies projects look like now and what forms should they take in the future? We welcome proposals from all areas and on all topics of relevance to cultural studies, including but not limited to literature, history, sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, communications, popular culture, cultural theory, queer studies, ethnic studies, indigenous studies, feminist studies, postcolonial studies, legal studies, science studies, media and film studies, material culture studies, visual art and performance studies.

While the program committee accepts individual presentation proposals, we especially encourage submissions of pre-constituted sessions. We also invite proposals that engage with this conference location and its many resources. All conference formats – papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and seminars – are intended to encourage the presentation and discussion of projects at different stages of development and to foster intellectual exchange and collaboration. Please feel free to adapt the suggested formats or propose others in order to suit your session's goals. If you have any questions, please address them to

All of the conference formats will be 105 minutes in length. The conference has a finite set of resources available in terms of space and technology. In your proposal, you can request specific space and technical accommodations, including audio-visual equipment such as video/data projectors and DVD/VCR combo players. You will be asked to provide a short justification for your request in terms of the goals and format of your session. Requests will be evaluated in terms of these justifications and available resources.

1. PRE-CONSTITUTED PANELS Pre-constituted panels allow a team of 3-4 individuals to present their research, work, and/or experiences, leaving 30-45 minutes of the session for questions and discussion. Panels should include 3-4 participants. Proposals for pre-constituted panels should include: the title of the panel; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the panel organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of all panelists, and a chair and/or discussant; a description of the panel's topic (<500 words); and abstracts for each presentation (<150 words). Pre-constituted panels are preferred to individual paper submissions.

2. INDIVIDUAL PAPERS Successful papers will reach several constituencies of the organization and will connect analysis to social, political, economic, or ethical questions. Proposals for papers should include: the title of the paper; the name, title, affiliation, and email address of the author; and an abstract of the 20 minute paper (<500 words). 

3. ROUNDTABLES Roundtables allow a group of participants to convene with the goal of generating discussion around a shared concern. In contrast to panels, roundtables typically involve shorter position or dialogue statements (5-10 minutes) in response to questions distributed in advance by the organizer. The majority of roundtable sessions should be devoted to discussion. Roundtables are limited to no more than five participants, including the organizer. We encourage roundtables involving participants from different institutions, centers, and organizations. Proposals for roundtables should include: the title of the roundtable; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the roundtable organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of the proposed roundtable participants; and a description of the position statements, questions, or debates that will be under discussion (<500 words).

4. WORKSHOPS Workshops allow a facilitator or facilitating team to set an agenda, pose opening questions, and/or organize hands-on participant activities. The facilitator or team is responsible for gathering responses and results from participants and helping everyone digest them. Proposals for workshops should include: the title of the workshop; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the (lead) facilitator and of any co-facilitators; a description of the activities to be undertaken (<500 words). Please also include a description of space requirements, if appropriate.

5. SEMINARS Seminars are small-group (maximum 15 individuals) discussion sessions for which participants prepare in advance of the conference. In previous years, preparation has involved shared readings, pre-circulated ''position papers'' by seminar leaders and/or participants, and other forms of pre-conference collaboration. We particularly invite proposals for seminars designed to advance emerging lines of inquiry and research/teaching initiatives within cultural studies broadly construed. We also invite seminars designed to generate future collaborations among conference attendees. Once a limited number of seminar topics and leaders are chosen, the seminars will be announced through the CSA's various public e-mail lists. Participants will contact the seminar leader(s) directly who will then inform the Program Committee who will participate in the seminar. Seminars will be marked in the conference programs as either closed to non-participants or open to other conference attendees as auditors (or in other roles). A limited number of seminars will be selected by the program committee, with a call for participation announced on the CSA webpage and listserv no later than 10 October 2011. Interested parties will apply directly to the seminar leader(s) for admission to the session by 14 November 2011. Seminar leader(s) will be responsible for providing the program committee with a confirmed list of participants (names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses required) for inclusion in the conference program no later than 21 November 2011. Please note: To run at the conference, seminars must garner a minimum of 8 participants, in addition to the seminar leader(s). Proposals for seminars should include: the title of the seminar; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the seminar leader/team members; and a description of the issues and questions that will be raised in discussion, along with a description of the work to be completed by participants in advance of the seminar (<500 words). Examples of successful seminar descriptions are available on the conference website. Individuals interested in participating in (rather than leading) a seminar should consult the list of seminars and the instructions for signing up for them, available at conference website after 10 October 2011. Please direct questions about seminars to S.

 A list of CSA divisions is available at here. All divisions have two sessions at their command. Divisions may elect to post calls on the CSA site for papers and procedures for submission to division sessions or handle the creation of their two division sessions by other means. Division chairs will submit their two sessions, including the appropriate information as listed above, to the conference website. They should also email their two sessions directly to the CSA's "division wrangler" – Bruce – by 19 September 2011.

7. PANEL CHAIRS We invite people to volunteer to chair panels. To do so please submit your name, title, affiliation, and email address, as well as a brief list of your research interests through the conference website.

Submission Deadline and Process
The CSA administers submissions electronically. Please prepare all the materials required to propose your session according to the given directions before you begin electronic submission. We recommend saving a copy of this information in a Word document. Then go to: You will be asked to enter the information into the fields provided (you may choose to cut and paste). The Program Committee will send final notifications regarding session proposals no later than 5 December 2011. In order to be listed in the program, conference registration – which includes membership in the CSA – must be completed online before 27 February 2012. All program information – names, presentation titles, and institutional affiliations – will be based on initial conference submissions.