Some basic information about the conference

Who Can Take Part?
What Subjects are Covered?
How is the Conference Organized?
What Happens Each Day?
How Do I Take Part?
Must I Write an Original Paper?
May I Do More Than One Presentation?

Who Can Take Part?

The Connections Conference is open to Undergraduates and Masters students (or very recents grads) to present their research in any area related to understanding human experience, culture, society, history, art, etc. It is intended to offer students a change to exchange ideas, build confidence, and to hone their academic skills. We recommend that PhD students apply to present in professional conferences instead of Connections. Higher level conferences will help your academic career more than our meeting!

What subjects are covered?

We like to cast a wide net, research from any discipline in the humanities and social sciences, or related subject are eligible: anthropology, sociology, English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, History, Gender Studies, Social Psychology, Political Studies, Art History, Film Studies, are some examples are the disciplines we are interested in.

Basic Conference Structure

  • The conference follows the general format of many professional academic conferences. It is held over three days, with an opening meet and greet the first night and presentations over the next two days.
  • Oral presentations will be grouped into sessions by theme, discipline, or approach, and 1-2 hours will be allotted for each session (2-4 presentations each). Each presentation is given 30 minutes; 20 minutes for the actual presentation and ca. 10 minutes for questions and discussion by the audience.
  • There are multiple sessions on each conference day, and audience members are free to attend whichever sessions they would like and to quietly leave after one speaker is done to catch another paper elsewhere. It is very rude for a presenter to attend their session only for their own presentation.
  • Each Session has a number of paper presenters and a Presider. The Presider’s job is to introduce each of the speakers in turn, and to make sure that everyone keeps to the time limits. They are also to help facilitate the discussion period after each presentation.
  • We will also have a Poster Session of 1-2 hours, in which participants can pin up a large poster (ca. 60-90 cm) detailing their research project. The posters will remain posted for the duration of the conference.

The three day meeting

We hope presenters can come to the entire conference but we realize that this is often not possible. Here is how the three days of the event (in 2020, May 1-3will (probably) look like.

Friday: Our meet and greet Friday evening at the U of Lethbridge. The event is great for meeting people and realizing everyone else is just as nervous about it as you are. The reponses we’ve had from earlier student conferences we’ve organized have all pointed to the opening evening as a major stress reducer for all concerned. Come and enjoy some free nibbles and a cash bar. This will also be a great opportunity to hang up your poster if you are doing one, and to see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday: We will have a some light breakfast items (pasteries, etc), coffee and so forth (ncluded in registration fee) from ca. 8:00 or 8:15. This will also be a good time to pick up your registration packets etc (if you didn’t the evening before). After some opening comments by the organizers and sponsors, Our first academic session will take place around 9:00 AM. There will be a couple of sessions in the morning, followed by lunch (included in registration fee), and our poster session, followed by additional sessions until the late afternoon.

Saturday eveing will be our dinner (separate ticket required)and guest speaker and reception (cash bar).

Sunday: We will begin again on Sunday morning again with complementary nibbles and coffee and sessions will start at 9:00 or so. We would like to wrap things up around noon, but we might go a little later depending on how many papers we receive.

How do I get to take part?

You will have to fill out our submission form with your personal data, title of the project, and a short (ca. 250 word) summary of it. We will send it off to someone who knows about your topic for thier approval, and if they like it, we will accept it. You will still be responsible to pay the registration fee by the deadline, however. If our reviewer has a few reservations about your abstract, they may suggest you clarify some issues and resubmit, and we will look at it again. Don’t worry if that happens, the conference is all about learning, and we find that most prospective presenters can write a better paper than an abstract, but coming up with a good abstract actually helps you focus on the most important parts of your research in the actual presentation. We have some tips for writing an abstract (TBA).

Do I have to write an original paper?

No, we’re not that nasty! We expect students to present improved versions of papers they have already submitted to a class and got a good grade on. The conference is an opportunity to improve already strong work and see just how good you can get it.

Posters are usually 60-90cm in size and outline your research project. They can represent an essay or some other project you completed for a class.

May I do more than one presentation?

Yes, but we will limit this to two presentations if we have room. To allow more than that would make scheduling a nightmare!

A Student Conference for the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Related Disciplines