23 November 2009

JGSLA 2010: Creativity, tips and details

Tracing the Tribe is sure that many readers are already thinking about programs for the upcoming JGSLA 2010 conference (July 11-16, 2010, in Los Angeles).

Here are some topic tips, how to submit information efficiently and more. See the topic list in a previous post here.

In addition to tips for creative programming, program chair Pam Weisberger is looking for presenters who might be interested in the following suggestions:

- A guide to bad handwriting: You have an old letter in Yiddish, German, Polish, Russian or even English. No one on JewishGen's Viewmate, or a translator can understand it. Everyone says, "I can't make out the writing." This program would show typical confusions between letters and how century-old handwriting differed from today's.

- Genealogy in fiction: Genealogists are immersed in facts, archival data, etc. In addition there are narratives on history and culture related to immigration. More non-fiction books deal with personal family narratives (Annie's Ghosts, Lost, In Search of Six of Six Million, etc.). But how have genealogy and genealogists been treated in fiction? This program would explore themes in novels, short stories, and poems.

- Why me? Catching the genealogy bug: Why do some of us catch the bug and some don't? Are there any studies? Is there a psychology of the amateur genealogist? Arthur Kurzweil's early book is well known for addressing the emotional side of the attraction to family history. This program would examine studies from psychology, sociology and philosophy.

- Organizing your genealogical life using mind-mapping software: Family tree software goes just so far. PIM (personal information management) and mind-mapping software may be helpful tools to tie together, in a flexible manner, many ideas and tasks. This focuses on using the software "Personal Brain."

Writes Pam, "For 2010 the sky's the limit. If we can pull off a few of these out-of-the-box talks, it will be a nice addition to the usual slate of conference offerings."

Remember that a new program (one not presented at the three most recent conferences) or one with substantial updates based on new information is more likely to be of interest. Also, practical research methodology sessions, where attendees can duplicate the procedures for their own quests, are of major interest.

What can you expect to see in July? You will likely be seeing lectures, workshops, panel discussions, theatrical/musical presentations and films, along with highly original topics, such as authors discussing books, computer classes and hand's-on activities like cooking/crafts workshops (related to Jewish genealogy/history).

Want to catch the committee's collective creative eye? A clever title helps, along with a well-written, grammatically correct summary. And, when it comes to time to submit your final version, take the necessary time to edit, fine-tune, spellcheck and proofread everything before clicking the SUBMIT button. If you aren't sure, ask a friend to read it over.

Can your idea be presented in several ways - variations on a theme? Offer them in any number of proposals.

Think about the format (lectures, panel discussion, workshop) and the audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced). Remember that regular lectures and panels are each a total of 75 minutes in length, with 60 for the program and 15 minutes for Q&A. Workshops can vary in length.

Now, open a new word document and write, edit and spellcheck these four items in advance:
1) Brief biographical sketch (150 word limit).
2) Recent presentation experience summary (150 word limit).
3) Brief presentation description (100 word limit).
4) Title of presentation.
Once you've written them and made sure the word-count is accurate, cut-and-paste each into the proper boxes during the online process. Remember: You can always look at each entry and make changes until the submittal deadline of January 15, 2010.

Also, think about optional items to upload, handout material, a few slides or a Powerpoint presentation, published articles, a lecture or book review, film on DVD, talk on CD. If your proposal is accepted, you'll be required (at a later date) to upload session handout material for the syllabus.

To start entering information, click here for the Call for Papers and follow the instructions. It's the only way to submit proposals; no other format or method will be accepted.

Now that you've submitted your proposal, do one or more of the following - until the deadline. Tracing the Tribe recommends that you print the abstract each time you edit it:

- Edit Your Abstract: Click "Edit Abstract" - View/Print Abstract: (Print suggested; click "Print Preview")
- Save & Edit Later: Click “Save & Edit Later.”
- Add a Speaker: Click "Add an Additional Speaker."
- Submit Final Abstract: Click “Submit,” for your final abstract.
Read all the details at JGSLA2010.com.

Tracing the Tribe is working on its own programs to submit.

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