Submissions Information

Session Formats

Prospective presenters should propose an ideal format with which to share their ideas and their work, understanding that all proposals will be considered first as part of a locally organized and curated seminar or workshop. A proposal that does not fit neatly into a curated seminar or workshop will be considered as a stand-alone session.

Imagining America encourages prospective presenters to think creatively when crafting their ideal session design, and note the importance IA places on story/narrative, dialogue, and critical exchange. The most common session formats are listed below. Please note that IA does not accept paper presentations.  

  • Performance and Dialogue: These sessions provide the experience of particular performance-based engagement methodologies or innovative models of engaged performance. Sessions must include ample opportunity for discussion and critique.
  • Roundtable: Designed to generate discussion around a shared topic, issue, or action, roundtables begin with short statements (5-10 minutes) in response to questions distributed in advance by the organizer. The sessions are then largely discussion and feedback.
  • Workshop: A facilitator sets the agenda, poses opening questions, and organizes participant activities and discussions. The session can focus on specific skill development, problems, resources for higher education-community partnerships, or work and conversation on particular issues.
  • Media Session: Films, video or audio clips, or excerpts from projects that utilize new media. The viewing of or listening to media should not take up the whole of the sessions; presenters should build dialogue or other ways of engaging the audience into their proposed session description. Instructions for submitting media are included in the online submission form.
  • Poster: Conference attendees may present and solicit feedback on their existing and emerging projects by displaying a poster at a session dedicated to that format. Posters typically mix a brief narrative description with photographs, organizational or historical charts, maps, video, or other modes of presentation.
  • Pecha Kucha: Brief 6-7 minute thought collages of basic concepts. One slide is visible for 20 seconds. 20 slides are allowed. This format democratizes the presentations – all speakers are held to time limits and provide core concepts of their talk that can then be integrated into the subsequent group discussion session.


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