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Call For Papers

Call for Papers – Click here for the CFP in Spanish

The NAISA Council invites all persons working in Native American and Indigenous Studies to submit proposals for: Individual papers, panel sessions, roundtables, or film screenings. We welcome proposals from faculty and students in colleges, universities, and tribal colleges; from community-based scholars and elders; and from professionals working in the field. We encourage proposals relating to Indigenous community-driven scholarship. The deadline for proposal submissions is November 1, 2018, 11:50pm EST. Only complete proposals submitted through the online Abstract Collector before the deadline will receive consideration.

The Program Committee limits submissions to one proposed session per person, in order to maximize representation at the meetings. Each person can only be part of one proposal of any kind. The Program Committee reserves the right to disqualify proposals that include individuals who are part of more than one proposal. Someone may however, be proposed to both Chair and present, or Chair and comment, within one session. Also, someone may organize a panel in which s/he does not have an active role and would be able to present a paper or chair/comment at another time in the program. In addition to submitting a proposal, people also can volunteer to chair one of the panels created by the program committee from individual paper proposals. The Program Committee may recruit panel chairs and commentators from people on successful proposals. No more than two panels can be included in proposals for linked sessions. 

Submit proposals for the 2019 NAISA conference here.

You must create an account before submitting a proposal. Even if you created one last year, you'll need to create a new one. All those accepted to the program must get or renew NAISA membership and must register for the meeting.

For information about the Hamilton 2019 meeting,


Guidelines for Preparing Abstracts for NAISA

(Updated July 2016)

Categories under which Abstracts may be submitted:

  • Individual Paper
  • Panel
  • Roundtable
  • Film Screening


No Double-Dipping
A person’s name can only appear in one abstract submitted for consideration.
A participant within a panel or roundtable (presenter or discussant) may Chair the panel/roundtable. A Commentator (discussant) for a panel may not present a paper within that panel, but that person may Chair the panel. The only exception to this rule is when the NAISA Program Committee recruits someone accepted to the Program to Chair a session organized by the Program Committee.

Title: 120 character limit.
Does your title succinctly describe the topic of your presentation?
The audience depends upon the title when choosing to attend papers/sessions. NAISA Council has received consistent feedback that titles that do not describe a paper or session make it difficult to choose what sessions/papers to attend. For the 2019 meeting, Council hopes to make abstracts accessible online.

Abstract: 250 word limit.
Does your abstract answer the following questions
What is this paper/session about? Who are the players? When? Where is/are the geographic context(s), if applicable, to which your paper speaks? How? (what methods are used?) and Why are the question or inquiry or conclusions important? State your findings / conclusions explicitly; it helps the Program Committee evaluate your proposal, and Program readers decide on which papers/sessions to attend.

Does your abstract begin with your topic / focus / question?

Indicate clearly what you plan to argue/show/demonstrate.  If there is necessary background or contextual information, put it at the end.

Terms: do you use discipline- or area-specific jargon or terminology?
NAISA is broadly interdisciplinary, international, and includes community-based as well as academic-based scholars. Try to avoid or explicitly define special terminology.

Can your paper be presented in 20 minutes?
Presenting the ideas encompassed by an entire book manuscript or dissertation project is not possible in 20 minutes. If you are working on a large project, identify a chunk of it for a paper presentation. It takes two minutes to read a double-spaced page: twenty minute paper = ten pages, no more.

Is the scope of your presentation appropriate to the venue?
Professional meetings are not an appropriate venue to present class papers that survey the scholarship within some academic field, unless some substantively new or creative interpretation is presented. The NAISA Program Committee has been skeptical of proposals that claim to survey all of American Indian/Native/First Nations/Indigenous Studies conceptually, methodologically, ethically, or otherwise.

To sum up: Is your abstract scholarly, focused, substantive, and descriptive?

Topics & Methods: 
Because of NAISA’s interdisciplinary and international character, the Program Committee welcomes a very broad range of topics and approaches. If prior Programs have not included your area or topic, please do not be discouraged from submitting an abstract. NAISA is always working to expand our coverage of issues of import to Indigenous Studies and to Indigenous peoples. Community-driven research is encouraged.


Individual paper presenters are allocated 20 minutes.
The Program time slots are scheduled for one hour and 45 minutes. If you are preparing a proposal for a PanelRoundtable, or Film Screening, please plan to fit within this time limit.
If you are organizing a proposal for a Panel, you might consider the following possible combinations:
(1) 3 papers (20 min. each) + Commentator (20 minutes) + approximately 20 minutes for audience questions and discussion;
(2) 3-4 papers, NO Commentator, audience discussion;
(3) Time might be scheduled for introductory remarks by Chair.

Panel Proposal:
A panel brings together 3 to 4 scholars, with a Chair and hopefully a Commentator, to present developed papers. A commentator who discusses the papers is recommended, but not required. The Chair briefly introduces each presenter; keeps each presenter on time; and moderates discussion/questions from the audience at the conclusion of the session. A Chair may also present a paper, but they or someone else on the panel must monitor their time. The Commentator may not present a paper as part of the panel.

The Program Committee encourages organizers to recruit Chairs who are well established in the field of scholarship the panel addresses, especially if there are graduate students on the panel, as a way for senior and junior colleagues to get to know one another. Because NAISA meetings facilitate interdisciplinary and international cross-fertilization of ideas, the Program Committee encourages proposed panels that mix junior and senior scholars, graduate students and others, and scholars from different institutions, communities, disciplines, and nations. No more than two panels can be included in proposals for linked sessions.

If you are submitting a panel proposal, include details for each presenter, the chair, and the commenter (if you have one), ONE abstract for the panel as well as one abstract for each presenter. Abstracts should be 250 words or less.

Under the subtitle Roundtable Proposal (in the 5th block) can we put the following in bold as the last paragraph:

If you are submitting a roundtable proposal, include the details for each presenter and the chair, a title for the roundtable (but not individual paper titles), and ONE abstract covering all participants.

And under the subtitle Film Proposal (also in the 5th block) can we put the following in bold as the last paragraph:
If you are submitting a film proposal, include the name of the film(s) and a description (or descriptions) no longer than 250 words. 

Roundtable Proposal:

A Roundtable brings together a group interested in some defined topic of discussion, and opens that discussion up to include the audience.

Because NAISA meetings facilitate interdisciplinary and international cross-fertilization of ideas, the Program Committee encourages proposed roundtables that mix junior and senior scholars, graduate students and others, and scholars from different institutions, communities, disciplines, and nations.

Film Screening Proposal: 

A film proposal without people to speak about the film does not qualify for presentation at the conference.  Screenings should include commentary by the producer, director, actors, those who can provide scholarly context for or interpretation of the film, and/or those who teach the film in classes. 

The proposal needs to indicate how long the film isalso in relation to the commentary/discussion by preferably more than one speaker.

The proposal needs to include a trailer link or prescreening link.

Films will be a rough cut showing and not official screenings, thus allowing for film festival submissions in Hamilton.

To sum up: Include title, director, length of running time and summary. In submitting your film, please provide a trailer or prescreening link. 

The Program Committee is open to suggestions for alternative formats for creative and scholarly presentations at the annual meeting. Please contact the NAISA Council to submit your ideas. Go to for contact information.


  • When you submit an abstract proposal, you are making a professional commitment to attend the conference if your abstract is accepted.
  • If a presenter who has been accepted to the Program is not able to attend the meeting, please contact the CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS as well as the session CHAIR as soon as possible.
  • Of course emergencies happen, but the rate of late cancellations and no-shows has become an issue of serious concern at NAISA meetings. In the last week before the annual meeting, panels have been left with only one presenter. The Program Committee sympathizes with funding challenges, but withdrawals from the Program for other than emergency reasons, especially at a late date, seriously impact your colleagues within your session and the audience.

See the conference website or Registration website for directions and deadlines for requesting a refund of the Registration fee.