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2018 Conference Proposal Process
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ASTR’s 2018 Conference will take place in San Diego at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter from November 15th-18th. We are now accepting proposals from ASTR members who wish to serve as Program Chair(s) for this conference. Details about the proposal submission and selection process, as well as a link to the application, are below.

San Diego’s location on the Pacific Ocean and near the southern border of the U.S. offers ASTR members a unique opportunity to think very specifically about intersections between theatre and themes such as immigration, migration, borders, globalization, multilingualism, climate change, and the natural environment. In addition, the multicultural community of Southern California offers exceptional possibilities for local programming. We therefore invite Program Chair applicants to think creatively about how an ASTR conference can take advantage of San Diego’s particular geographic position and cultural identity through its theme, programming, structure, etc.

The Westin is located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter, only four miles from the San Diego International airport. The hotel is very close to a large variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops, as well as to several major regional theatres and public transportation. It is a fully accessible hotel in ADA compliance, with recently resurfaced surrounding sidewalks, as well as entrances and a layout that are easy to navigate. Our hope is that by choosing a hotel with these conveniences and features it will enable all ASTR members to attend and participate fully in the 2018 conference.

2018 Conference Proposal Selection Process

  1. Deadline for applications: Applications due on September 16, 2016 are for the 2018 conference. Applications should be submitted to the Vice President for Conferences, Jill Stevenson, who will distribute them to the Committee on Conferences. Once the call for proposals officially opens, the form will be available here and proposals should be emailed to Jill at

  2. Application materials: Members will submit a CV for each proposed program chair, along with a form requesting the following:

    • Biographical information about the proposed program chair(s) – includes Names & Affiliations; Conference Planning (or similar) experience; ASTR experience. (Applicants should list this experience, annotating each item with a one-sentence description of responsibilities.)

    • Proposed Conference Theme – limited to 500 words, identifying key questions and potential topics under the theme, relevance to ASTR membership broadly. Applicants should also include rationale for the proposed theme, explaining how it could serve and extend the concerns/needs of the membership.


    Download the application here.

  3. Selection Procedure: The Committee on Conferences will perform the first round of review immediately after receiving proposals on September 16, 2016. Within two weeks, they will select two or three finalist proposals, and will ask for further information from those applicants. Such information may include: (C) Relationship of live performance events (or similar) to the conference planning and theme; (D) Specific interest in or ideas for the already-selected location for the conference; (E) Responses to suggestions and/or questions from the Committee on Conferences.

  4. The Committee on Conferences will select one proposal to present to the EC at or before the annual fall meeting. The timeline for selection will be:

    September 16: Initial applications accepted by the Vice President for Conferences.

    September 17-30: Applications reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences. If there are multiple proposals, the Committee selects 2-3 applications for final selection process

    October 1: Finalist applicants are notified and asked to submit supplementary information. Applicants will be given information (including any concerns/questions raised) from the Committee on Conferences’ initial deliberations to which they may respond.

    October 14: Deadline for finalists to submit supplementary information.

    October 14-31: Applicants reviewed and ranked by the Committee on Conferences.

    November 1: Committee on Conferences makes final recommendation to Executive Committee, for voting at or before the EC meeting held before the annual conference in November.

  5. Evaluation: The following questions will be used in evaluating proposals, and will be publicized within the calls for program chair applications:

    • Is the theme broad enough to be relevant to a diverse membership, but specific enough to have centripetal energy? Is the theme relevant and timely to current events and/or discussions and/or trends within our field(s)? Is there a clear sense of the theme’s importance?

    • Do the planners have relevant experience in conference planning (even if they have never planned a full conference)? Do they have enough experience with ASTR to understand our conference format and traditions? Do they demonstrate a strong “curatorial eye” in bringing together members from diverse disciplinary and methodological backgrounds?


    The Committee on Conferences also encourages applicants to consider how their proposed theme and their approach to conference planning will further ASTR’s explicit charge to promote, support, and feature work by, about, and with under-represented groups, including communities of color, LGBTQ communities, Disability communities, and communities of scholars without regularized institutional support.

  6. Selected program chairs will have conference registration fees paid by ASTR in (1) the year prior to their conference (with the expectation that they would hold meetings with their program committee) and (2) the year of their conference.

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