SHEAR 2021 Proposal Guidelines and FAQs

For the first time, SHEAR is planning on a hybrid conference, meaning that at least some of the events for the 2021 conference will be online. While we await more information about what the state of the covid pandemic might look like by July of 2021, we are planning a conference that is dynamic, engaging, and flexible to emerging circumstances.

Every year, the Program Committee can accept only 50 panels for the conference, and every year the number of proposals goes up. As you prepare your proposals for the 2021 conference, you should bear in mind the advice given by program committees in past years: make sure that your panel has a clear topic with distinct, vivid, and relevant questions or problems at its center. The SHEAR 2021 program will reflect the wide-ranging interests of its members, with space for social, cultural, intellectual, and political histories of the Americas in the years from 1776 through 1861.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE 2020 PROGRAM?

Panels that were accepted for the 2020 program will appear in Philadelphia 2021, as promised. 2020 Conference Co-Chairs Nancy Isenberg and John Belohlavek retain control of that program. We expect that panels from 2020 will appear during the days on Thursday and Sunday, with the 2021 conference scheduled for Thursday evening through Saturday evening. Participants on the 2020 program are welcome to submit proposals for the 2021 Program Committee.

WHAT DOES GOING ONLINE MEAN?

We expect that at least some of the 2021 program will be provided through virtual formats. If you cannot travel to Philadelphia for health, financial, or other reasons, there are still ways to participate in SHEAR 2021. Please feel free to submit a proposal, specifying that you would like to present online. If the covid pandemic continues through the spring, we will inform all panelists of the plans for pivoting in-person events to a virtual format.

To assist us in this process, all proposals should identify an individual who can serve as a tech chair. This person would be in charge of monitoring the Q&A for a virtual session and would assist in the migration of the panel to an online format if needed. Tech chairs can appear in that role on multiple panels.

WHAT IS A STATEMENT OF DIVERSITY, AND WHY IS IT NEEDED?

The SHEAR 2021 Program Committee is committed to creating a program that reflects and encourages the diversity of the field of the history of the early American republic. All proposals should reflect a thoughtful engagement with this issue, and every proposal must include a brief diversity statement that explains how the panel will contribute to SHEAR’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in its composition and/or thematic content.

SHEAR has long requested panels to avoid nepotism (advisor/advisee pairings) and to be inclusive of career stage. We have found that the best panels feature scholars across a range of career stage, gender, and racial categories. This policy will not be interpreted to mean that all-graduate student, all-Black, or all-women panels are not acceptable.

CAN I PROPOSE AN INDIVIDUAL PAPER?

Yes, but your chances of acceptance are higher when you propose as part of a panel. We encourage you to use social media or to reach out to members of the Program Committee to identify people who might join you on a panel.

CAN I APPEAR ON THE PROGRAM MORE THAN ONCE?

Yes. Participants may appear on the program more than once, although if they appear multiple times it must be in different roles. That is, an individual may present a paper on one panel and chair or comment on another panel. Those who appear on the 2020 program may also appear on the 2021 program. Tech chairs can serve in that capacity on multiple panels.