Frequently Asked Questions – CSAS Meeting

What is an abstract?
For CSAS, the abstract is a summary of your work boiled down to roughly 250 words. There are plenty of sources online that can help you construct a decent abstract.

What kind of paper can be submitted? (term papers, thesis, misc.)
Any kind of paper can be used. Students can present term papers, theses, dissertations, or any other research they may have conducted for a past class. There are also posters accepted for those who prefer this format.

What kinds of topics can be submitted? (posters too)
While an anthropology conference, there are topics that are considered more openly humanities or social sciences. “The study of people” is a rather broad topic.

How do I get to the conference?
Most who attend arrive by car. Since it is located in the Midwest, and most attendees will be from the Midwest, the conference is typically nearby. Going by car or plane are the two most used methods for transportation.

What are lodging options? Should I stay in the hotel the conference is held in? (Hotel discount code)
CSAS will usually offer a hotel discount for the venue the conference is held. This may be the best idea especially if you are unfamiliar with the host city. Others will prefer a nearby hotel that may have cheaper rates, even with the CSAS discount. Just be sure you know how to reach the conference if you do choose a different location.

Making a presentation, and timing it
Not all presenters need a presentation. But if you do, the more common programs used are PowerPoint and Prezi. Just make sure that you time your presentation before you give it – you allotted 15-20 minutes and will be stopped by the panel chair if you go over that time.

What is the Saturday business lunch?
This lunch is an additional cost when registering for CSAS. This a lunch normally provided by the venue, and during this business meeting the board members of CSAS discuss practical matters and announce changes in positions. This is a great experience for anyone who may be considering being a part of the board or some other position in organizing CSAS conferences or helping with the internal functioning.

What should I bring?
Besides your notes, presentation, and basic necessities, it may be smart to bring business cards, a folder, and a notepad to take notes on. Since CSAS is a great way to network, having business cards can make any exchange easier. And since CSAS is also a way to exchange information, taking notes during panel presentations and asking questions is a great way to become more involved.

What do I wear?
CSAS is more low-profile than some of the other larger anthropology conferences, such as the AAA. Business casual and business professional are the typical themes, though some go below or above this.

Do I organize my own panel?
You can! Paper can be submitted as a panel. If you do not do this, the organizers of the conference will put you in a panel with papers of similar research interests or topics.

Who do I send my paper to?
Your paper should be sent to your discussant. Once all the panels are organized and the program is sent out, you will be able to see your panel, who you present with, your chair, and your discussant. (And see Stanlaw’s comments on discussants below!)

Can I attend without presenting?
Of course. Many people come to learn and network rather than present.

Can I attend if I am not in anthropology?
Absolutely. Networking across disciplines is encouraged.

Why should I attend CSAS?
CSAS offers an experience for first-time attendees to get a feel for academic life. It is also an opportunity to have your work critiqued and receive constructive feedback. It is an opportunity to see people from prospective graduate schools you might be thinking about applying to. It is a chance to personally see and hear some of the latest research being done by professionals in all the subfields of anthropology. The reasons are endless!

When do I present?
The final program that is sent out will have your final panel time and location.