Session Types Available for the MSS Annual Meeting

We welcome all submissions with a sociological focus. In particular, we encourage submissions that address this year’s theme.

Open sessions are available for individuals submitting their own work for presentation. These submissions will be organized into small groups for official presentation. Open sessions types include: Papers, Posters, Roundtables, Teaching Techniques, and Innovative Presentations powered by Pecha Kucha.

Closed/complete sessions proposals are available for workshops, complete panels or other closed sessions on any sociological topic. For these sessions, organizers select topics and identify all presenters in advance of submitting their proposal. All presenters should agree to participate before the organizer submits a proposal. We welcome proposals for sessions in all subfields of sociology including research and teaching topics, as well as professional development sessions or workshops. Closed sessions types include: Papers, Roundtables, Panels, Workshops, Academics-Community-Partnered Projects, Academics-Meet-Activists, and Author-Meets-Critics.

Individual Formal Paper Session

These formal sessions include the presentation of completed papers. Though presenters only submit an abstract, session presiders may request completed papers by March 1. Presiders may serve as discussants or may recruit others to do so. Individual papers will be grouped with papers of similar topics to form a complete session. 

In the spirit of exploring multiple modalities for presentation and technology formats, including using apps/smart devices to distribute presentation notes, we are here to support you.  If you know you will not be using hotel AV equipment (projector/screen equipment) for your presentation, please indicate that upon submission.  Note that our conference meeting app also allows for presentations and handouts to be uploaded.

Closed Paper Session 

These sessions should have between three and five participants who present completed papers on a predetermined topic. Chosen presenters will send completed papers to their session organizer by March 1. Session organizers may serve as presiders and discussants or may recruit others to do so. This is a closed session submission.

Roundtable Sessions

This less formal and smaller session type is appropriate for presentation and discussion of research proposals and works in progress. This format gives scholars who are in the early research stages a formal opportunity to present their research. These roundtables provide a low stress opportunity to receive feedback on initial research ideas, pilot studies, research restarts, and other works in progress. Unlike formal paper presentations, roundtables focus on discussion among participants rather than formal presentation styles. Audio-visual not available.  

Teaching Techniques

Submit your Good Ideas for Teaching Sociology (GIFTS). Rather than presenting scholarship on teaching and learning (SoTL) these submissions are  5-7 minute presentations which focus on a teaching technique and its implementation in the classroom. We encourage submissions from all levels of teaching, from high school to community college to four year institutions. 

Panel Session*

Organizers will invite three to five panelists to present on a shared area of expertise or interest. While panelists make formal presentations, they are generally not the empirical reports that predominate in paper sessions. The organizer moderates discussion between the panelists and with the audience. This is a closed session submission. Audio-visual must be requested in advance.

Academics-Community-Partnered Projects Session

Have you worked in partnership with community members, or do you know a group of community members who have participated in research projects?  This session type provides an opportunity for you to share the work being done with community partners and how that work is impacting the field of sociology and/or the community.

Author-Meets-Critics Session

An invited author and three to five invited critics participate in a lively discussion about a recently-published sociological work. This is a closed session submission. Audio-visual must be requested in advance.

Academics-Meet-Activists Session

Similar to Author-Meets-Critic session, an invited activist or organization and academic(s) discuss the intersections of academic research and activist initiatives around social movement/social justice issues. This is a closed session submission. Audio-visual must be requested in advance.


Workshops are often interactive professional development opportunities facilitated by organizers and are often participatory sessions. Workshops generally form around topics related to teaching, publishing, technology, data analysis, and administration. This is a closed session submission.

Poster Presentations 

Posters are visual presentations of research work illustrating a research question, methods and outcomes. Posters will be displayed during scheduled time slots and presenters will discuss their research with other meeting attendees. Audio-visual not available. 

Innovative Presentations, powered by Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha literally means “chit-chat” or “the sound of conversation” in Japanese. It is a strictly timed, 6 minute and 40 second PowerPoint presentation which involves showing 20 slides for 20 seconds each while the presenter talks. The short timeframe necessitates that presenters be focused, precise and creative in conveying their ideas and/or argument. Background, examples and “How To’s” available at  

*If you are interested in providing your expertise as a panelist, you are invited to submit to the "Panel Participant" option.

Panel Participant

A submission of this type provides the planning team with information that you are willing to serve as a member of a panel on a topic pertaining to your area(s) of expertise. By submitting to this, you are putting your name on a list of experts, on a range of topics, for us to use in helping closed session panel organizers and the conference planning team find people who can be added to fill panels. We invite all conference participants to submit their names for consideration, by indicating areas of expertise they would be willing to share in a panel format, so that we can build a database of people willing to be added to panels for this year's conference. This submission type is not the same as other submissions in terms of follow-up, communication, and inclusion on the program. If you submit to this type, and organizers would like to add you to a panel session, you will be contacted by the program team between mid-November to mid-January to further clarify the details of that participation. Otherwise, you will not hear from us regarding this particular submission. Information will not carryover from year to year, so please consider re-submitting next year if you are not contacted.