2018 MAC Sponsored Symposium

Call for Proposals

MAC Sponsored Symposium
2018 Conference (Notre Dame, Indiana)
October 4-6

Dear MAC Members,

In 2010 the MAC, Inc. Board of Directors established a Sponsored Symposium for the organization’s annual conference. Contributed papers from the symposium are considered for publication in the open-access Midwest Archaeological Conference Inc. Occasional Papers series. General guidelines for Sponsored Symposia can be found on the MAC website and are pasted at the end of this email for your convenience. This is the call for symposium proposals for the 2018 conference at University of Notre Dame, Indiana.

Please find specific guidelines below; note that only complete proposals will be considered and a complete proposal will have:

  1. A clear and concise topical statement, why it is important to Midwestern archaeology and, more generally, to anthropology (including archaeology) or allied disciplines.
  2. The number of contributors must be identified, as well as the specific structure of the meeting session, which will be roughly three (3) hours long.
  3. Potential contributors should be specified; they need not be asked in advance (see below), but doing so tends to enhance the proposal.
  4. There must be two short session summaries, one for the meeting presentations and the other for the proposed publication submissions. Each should specify the topics that will be covered and any introductory or concluding comments (preliminary). There will be considerable overlap, but the meeting summary would include paper time limits and question-and-answer periods, whereas the publication proposal would include page lengths.
  5. A timetable must be provided that specifies when draft papers are to be submitted, as well as when manuscripts will be revised and submitted as a single package to the MAC Editorial Office.

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail in a single PDF format file to Secretary Eve Hargrave (secretary@midwestarchaeology.org) no later than Monday, April 23, 2018. The selected symposium will be announced via email in mid May.

General Guidelines

MAC-sponsored sessions address issues that are directly relevant to Midwestern archaeology. Symposia can cover any time period (prehistoric, historic, or both) or subject, ranging from culture history (e.g., a specific culture or time horizon) to specific procedures (e.g., faunal or human skeletal studies) or research topics (e.g., exchange systems or social organization).

Symposium proposals are due on April 23, 2018 and should be emailed as a single PDF attachment to the MAC Secretary.

Symposium and meeting organizers are free to modify session format details as circumstances dictate, within the general guidelines of the Board.  Note that the amount of time dedicated to individual symposia at MAC annual meetings and the length of MAC publications are strictly limited, and proposed sessions must take both into account.

The Board expects that sponsored symposia will be well thought out in advance with polished papers that address substantive issues and invite audience participation. They should address issues of broad interest to the MAC membership. That will often mean somewhat longer papers with adequate provision made for question and answer periods. 

While the Board would like to use sponsored sessions as a vehicle for special-topic MAC Occasional Papers, MAC sponsorship does not imply automatic submission acceptance, either individually or collectively. Each paper is reviewed as a separate contribution in terms of its scientific merit, and the session as a whole will be evaluated in terms of its coherency, substantive contribution, and potential impact. 

Written papers should be in draft form prior to the meeting. That will permit the participants to use the meeting to refine and focus the drafts to make a coherent publication issue. Doing so will permit the rapid completion of manuscripts in the months immediately following the fall MAC meeting, with quick submission to Editor and Editorial Board for consideration (preferably by the end of December).

Symposium organizers should match the number of participants with the number of papers required for a single issue Occasional Paper (approximately 144 printed pages). More participants mean shorter papers, both during the session and as final journal submissions. So it is up to the organizer to exercise good judgment when balancing the need to achieve a sufficiently broad coverage with the depth required for substantive individual contributions. 

One model for a symposium is as follows. The sponsored session would take a three (3) hour slot in the annual meeting. There would be a 15 min slot for the organizer to introduce the session, followed by five 1/2 hour papers. Each of these five contributions would consist of a 25 minute presentation, followed by five minutes of question and answer. At the end, there would be a 15 minute wrap-up moderated by the organizer or discussant who would take a few minutes to highlight principal themes before opening the discussion up to the audience. 

Page lengths for Occasional Papers are reasonably fixed, so both the overall session and individual papers must adhere to reasonable page limits. The following can serve as a useful guide when developing a proposal. A 144 page Occasional Publication issue starts off as 205 pages, double-spaced and at 12 point font, inclusive of text, tables, and figures. So if submissions each consist of 27 pages (text and all supporting elements such as references, tables, and figures), the entire package could consist of five (5) major papers plus a short Introduction or Conclusion.