2021 Annual Meeting Frequently Asked Questions
The ASA Program Committee looks forward to welcoming you to the 2021 Annual Meeting, Creativity within Revolt. Below are answers to your frequently asked questions. This site is being regularly updated.
The 2021 Annual Meeting will take place fully online from October 11-14, 2021 (Eastern Standard Time).
For more information, see This Year’s Meeting.
Conference Format and Registration FAQ
Q: When and where will the virtual conference be held?
A: The conference will be held virtually from October 11-14, 2021(Eastern Standard Time). We have engaged OpenWater to provide the platform and offer technological support for the conference.
Q: Why did ASA cancel the conference only now? What was the decision making process for the ASA this year?
A: We chose a hybrid format due to the unpredictability of pandemic prognoses, politics, and polemics; we wanted to avoid a conference cancellation (which was something the ASA had to do last year, in 2020). We took seriously the health of our members and wanted to ensure an accessible virtual format. Despite such intentional foresight, we have consistently been reminded that it is impossible to plan for the unprecedented times in which we live.
Soon after acceptances for this year’s conference were sent, the program co-chairs worked closely with ASA’s small yet dedicated staff to pursue as many options as possible, which included a 100% virtual conference. However, this option required a considerable amount of “behind-the-scenes” work with hotels and other previously contracted entities. It was during this multi-month process, which coincided with the emergence of more virulent variants, including Delta, and greater hospitalizations, international travel bans, and vaccine hesitancy, that we began to see a dramatic increase in requests to convert in-person sessions to virtual panels. These requests have become even more frequent as the conference date neared and especially after our September 15 deadline for converting in-person sessions to virtual sessions.
On September 16, 2021, after many months of negotiation with convention center and hotels in San Juan, the ASA was able to move forward with a 100% virtual conference with the assurance that those who reserved hotel rooms would be fully refunded and without catastrophic economic consequence to the association. We were in the process of sharing this news via a member-wide email when we received news from individual members that the hotel had already started cancelling those reservations. This was done independent of the ASA, which is why you may have received such a notice without the benefit of context and confirmation of the virtual program shift.
Q: How do I register for the conference?
A: You can register for the conference through the JHU Press website.
Q: Where can I find the current schedule for the conference?
A: You can find it on the All Academic website once you have registered for the conference. Just log in to your account and click on “View the Online Program.”
Q: How can I find the exhibit hall?
A: Exhibitors will all participate virtually. The link will be available before the conference.
Q: I have a disability that requires accommodations in order for me to participate actively in the conference. Will you provide accommodations?
A: Please be in touch with the ASA staff at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can be sure to do our best to accommodate you.
Q: Why should an online conference cost as much as an in-person conference?
A: Webinar and video-conferencing like Zoom are not free—especially when used at the scale of a 1000+ person conference. Not only is there a cost for the web technology, but managing a conference of this size requires us to hire an experienced technology company. We have engaged OpenWater to provide the platform and offer technological support. a professional company to make sure that everything runs smoothly. But, even more importantly, the most substantial expense of hosting the conference each year is the year-round staff time required to run the conference. The ASA has several full- and part-time staff who spend the majority of their time preparing for the conference throughout the year. Conference fees help the ASA cover these costs, which remain the same this year. Members will not have the cost of travel and hotel this year, so hopefully, overall, the total cost for conference participation will be much lower this year for everyone.
Q: What will the online conference look like?
A: We are building the online conference on the same basic foundation as previous in-person conferences. We will have several programming blocks during the day, a plenary session, receptions, mentorship opportunities, an exhibit hall with coffee breaks, and other informal networking opportunities! Stay tuned for more details.
Q: Can I get a refund from the conference hotel?
A: Your refunds can be processed with the conference hotel, please be in touch with the hotel. We do not have control over the processes of the hotel administration and do not know when they will be processed.
Q: I didn't want to go in-person before but now that things are virtual so I would like to go. What should I do?
A: Yes you can participate as long as you register by Friday, September 24. There will be no exceptions to this deadline due to our technical integration with the virtual conference platform.
Q: What can I do to help make the 2021 Annual Conference a positive experience?
A: We have a limited staff, and our program committee are all faculty volunteers who are managing research, teaching, service, and personal demands during a global pandemic. We kindly ask you to be flexible and patient with us. Please note that everyone is working very hard to make the conference happen under very difficult circumstances. At the end of the day, the success of this conference will rest largely on members’ openness to change and innovation. For those who are fortunate to be in a secure financial position, please consider donating to the ASA Solidarity Fund which will defray the conference registration fees for our most economically vulnerable members including students, contingent faculty, unemployed or underemployed members, and scholar-activists. We appreciate your continued support and we look forward to a positive conference experience for all!
Q: How can we be sure our virtual panel aligns with my time zone?
A: You can access the virtual conference program on All Academic. All panels will be scheduled for Eastern Standard Time, so please plan accordingly to ensure you will be on time. Similar to our previous policy on in-person conference participation, we are unable to reschedule panels except in emergencies. If your panel needs to be rescheduled for an emergency we will handle your cases on a case-by-case basis. Please email us at email@example.com if you are in this situation.
Q: I was registered in-person conference, and I do not want to participate in the virtual conference. Can I get a refund of my membership dues? Can I get a refund of my conference registration fees?
A: Because the (in-person) conference has been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19-related and other emergency concerns, and you do not wish to convert your panel to virtual, your conference registration fees may be refunded or, at your discretion, applied to the New Orleans 2022 meeting. The membership fees, however, are not refundable since they include journal subscriptions for the calendar year 2021 plus other benefits for almost 9 months unrelated to the conference. It’s possible that some panelists may wish to attend the virtual conference, so each conference registration fee reimbursement request should be made individually to Kathy @ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Q: I expected to be on the program but I seem to have been removed. What should I do?
A: Please make sure your membership is up to date and you have registered for the conference. Then email us at email@example.com and we can make sure your participation in the conference is properly reflected.
Virtual Conference How To's
Q: May I participate in the virtual conference without being a member?
A: Anyone who wishes to attend the virtual conference must be registered for the conference.
Q: Where are my Zoom links? How does this conference software work?
A: OpenWater will host the meeting on a website designed specifically for the online meeting. We will send a link to the website for access several days before the meeting begins so you can become familiar with the website. The website will give you access to the entire virtual block of the meeting. You will sign in with the same password and e-mail that you used to register for the conference. Once it is time for your scheduled panel to occur, the specific Zoom link assigned to your panel will go live 15 minutes prior to the start time of your panel. For instance, if your panel is scheduled on Monday, October 11th at 10:00 am EST, you and your fellow panelists will have access to the link at 9:45 EST on Monday, October 11th. From there, once the panel starts at 10:00 am EST, others who want to attend your session that are also registered for the conference will be able to join the session... just like it would be if we were entirely in person. You will also have access, through the website OpenWater has compiled, to the entire virtual block of the conference and you can also attend other sessions... just like it would be if we were entirely in person.
Q: How do I join sessions as an audience member? Can I add these panels to my calendar?
All sessions will take place through the ASA conference application provided by OpenWater. You will not have a Zoom link to add to your calendar. Instead, you will be able to add your session and any others that interest you to your Google, Outlook or iCal calendars, or you can create your own personal schedule by starring your favorite sessions. During the conference, you will go to that session's page and click "Join Meeting." You will need to log in with the same email you registered with to gain access to the conference site. Zoom links are not sharable with those not registered for the conference.
Q: Will there be a training session of some kind for this OpenWater software?
A: We have scheduled a tutorial on how to use OpenWater's platform shortly before the conference begins and if you can not attend a recording will be available on the website to watch when you are able. All of this information is forthcoming in a series of emails and we appreciate your patience as we get closer to the beginning of the meeting time together! We hope it will be an amazing and invigorating conference.
Q: Will panelists be able to upload papers, handouts, or other materials to the virtual conference platform for viewing by the audience?
A: The panelists will be able to upload presentations/handouts for attendees to view on the website (on each session’s details page).
Q: Since the sessions are virtual will it be possible to exceed the one-hour forty-five-minute time slot?
A: Our virtual conference platform essentially creates a number of usable virtual rooms. Meaning that just like at the in-person conference, overlaps are prohibited as they will create problems will interfere with the setup time for the next panel in the same room. Our software will automatically end your panel at the time listed on the schedule so please plan accordingly and stay on time.
Q: What happens if my virtual panel has only one or two members or is missing a chair?
A: We will handle these situations on a case-by-case basis to see how we can allow everyone to participate who has already been accepted. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are in this situation.
Q: Will we be allowed to record the session so that it can be shared after the event?
A: We have set it up so that you may record the session if you like and some will be available for a limited time after the conference. Further information will be available closer to the conference. However, keep in mind that they won't be recorded and stored automatically in keeping with the practices of our usual in-person conferences.