Call for Session Proposals: Chicago 2023

The Midwest Archives Conference will hold its 2023 Annual Meeting April 13-15 at the Hyatt Centric on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.  A city long-associated with MAC, Chicago is known for its diverse culture, arts, museums, architecture, business and educational institutions, and….cuisine!

The Program Committee invites session proposals touching on the theme “Dig Deep.” Chicago is known as the birthplace of deep dish pizza, an apt framework to consider the many layers of archival meaning and how we understand our profession. Are there times you’ve had to dig deep to slice up new approaches, deliver creative solutions, or toss around new ideas? What are some of the professional, environmental, social, and cultural ingredients that we’ve baked into our profession, our collections, our patrons, and ourselves?

The Program Committee encourages submissions from newer professionals and members of underrepresented groups. MAC membership is not required. Presenters may submit more than one proposal, but may present only one session OR poster.

Possible areas of focus include but are not limited to: 
  • Modifying our recipes to adapt to changes triggered by the pandemic, emerging technologies, or other forces
  • Serving up advancements in archival theory and practice
  • Seasoning our work through collaborations with allied professionals such as records managers, museum curators, artists, educators, social justice advocates, community organizers, librarians, etc.
  • Raising support for new initiatives or attracting new patrons and donors through creative outreach and advocacy
  • Making new discoveries about collections, patrons, or the profession
  • Rolling out post-custodial or other approaches that document historically underrepresented or marginalized groups or collaborations that promote decolonization of archives
  • Innovating ways to fulfill our professional missions to support our communities and patrons, especially when there’s not enough dough (i.e. resources are constrained)
  • Delivering collections through improved discovery and accessibility
  • Promoting archival values like inclusivity and diversity
  • Or reflecting on other professional kneads like responding to climate change or evaluating the environmental impacts of our work

 The Program Committee will also consider proposals unrelated to our cheesy theme.

Possible Session Types

  • Standard Presentation: Two to four speakers present on a common theme. May include a moderator to steer discussion and/or introduce speakers and theme.
  • Open Forum: Topical discussion with moderator leading discussion with everyone present. May include additional moderator(s) to direct breakout conversations.
  • Roundtable Discussion: Three or four participants make very brief remarks, then discuss a topic together. Includes a moderator to steer discussion.
  • PechaKucha: Each presentation consists of 20 slides or images displayed for 20 seconds each, with comment. Each presentation lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Lightning Talks: Like PechaKucha, but without a set format. May or may not include slides or images. Presentations may be from 3 to 10 minutes long, with the time allotted depending on the number of presenters.
  • Debate: Moderator announces the topic, and two individuals debate. May include more than one topic and additional debaters.

In January 2023, there will be a call for poster proposals as well as a call for pop-up sessions for less traditional session types or time-sensitive topics.

Session Lengths and Formats

60 minutes and 90 minutes. Please be mindful of your number of presenters and session type when indicating preferred session length.

Speaker Representation

The Program Committee seeks a diverse slate of presenters representing a variety of personal and institutional backgrounds, perspectives, and voices. We seek to foster a culture of inclusion in the MAC program and encourage submissions from anyone who is interested in presenting, including students, new professionals, first-time presenters, and those from allied professions. In order to facilitate this, the proposal submission form will ask voluntary questions about presenters' past presentation experiences as well as some demographic information.

To facilitate collaboration among those brainstorming session ideas, the Program Committee encourages use of the MAC Facebook page and the spreadsheet for brainstorming session proposal ideas.

Proposal Evaluation

The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals submitted by the deadline using the following criteria:

  • Quality and clarity of the session abstract;
  • Thoroughness of content and sufficient speakers to address all relevant aspects of the topic;
  • Originality of proposed topic;
  • Diversity of presenters and viewpoints;
  • Appropriateness of proposed format with session content

All proposals will be considered in the context of the overall structure of the meeting and availability of time slots for proposed sessions.

You can preview a PDF of the proposal form here.

All individuals involved in an accepted proposal must sign a presenter agreement.

Proposal Submission

The deadline for submitting proposals for the 2023 MAC Annual Meeting is September 12, 2022 at 5 p.m. CST. Use the CFP form to submit your proposal.

If you have any questions about the proposal process, please contact the 2023 Program Committee co-chairs, Matt Gorzalski ([email protected]) and Kyna Herzinger ([email protected]).