Lore and Practices

I. Annual Meeting

A. Meeting Date

  1. Held in the fall, usually in October or November.

  2. We try to avoid conflicting dates with the Southern Historical Association, Southern Political Science Association, and International Studies Association which usually meet the first week of November, and with the American Anthropological Association, which typically meets late in November.

B. Site Selection

The Executive Director in conjunction with the Indiana University Conference Boards (IUCB) investigates possible sites for meetings.

  1. Since Chicago is our biggest draw, the Executive Committee agreed to meet there every three years. The East Coast should be the site every third year as well, with the site for the third year of the cycle being “somewhere else” (non-Chicago, non-East).

  2. The Executive Committee gives final consent to the sites of the meetings.

C. Local Arrangements

  1. IU Conferences handles all negotiations with hotel, conference registration, etc.

  2. Local arrangements committee may or may not exist. If it does, it looks after extra amenities such as a restaurant guide, special sessions or entertainment, receptions, guest speakers, etc.

II. Committees

A. Executive Committee

  1. The SSHA Executive Committee consists of the four SSHA officers (President, Vice President, Executive Director, and Treasurer); nine elected members with staggered three-year terms (see amendment to Constitution); and the three most recent past presidents willing and able to serve. All members of the Executive Committee are voting members.

  2. The nine elected members of the Executive Committee are chosen from a ballot proposed by the Nominating Committee and should represent a balance of disciplines, gender, race, and geographical locations.

  3. The Executive Committee meets in person twice during the annual meeting; members should be available for consultation and/or virtual meetings during the rest of the year.

B. Publications Committee

  1. Six members serving staggered three-year terms (see amendment to Constitution)

  2. Responsible for overseeing publications of Association: currently SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY (current contract with Cambridge University Press

  3. Responsible for selecting editors of the Journal and members of President’s Book Award Committee.

  4. Consult with Executive Director, President, and Treasurer on new contracts.

  5. Report to the officers and Executive Committee at annual meeting.

  6. Vice President selects a chair, normally one of the two members entering the third and final year of service.

C. President’s Book Award Committee

  1. Three members selected by the Publications Committee for three-year, staggered terms. Member serving third year of term chairs the committee. Fourth member of committee serves one year term and is usually the previous year’s Award winner.

  2. Prepare announcement of President’s Book Award, solicit and read manuscripts for Award. The prize of $1000 rewards an especially meritorious first work by an early-career scholar. Submissions for the President’s Book Award in any year must bear a copyright date from the previous year and be published within eight years of the author’s Ph.D..

  3. Send name of winner(s) for annual award to Executive Director before annual meeting. Committee chair makes announcement of winner at annual meeting.

D. Nominating Committee

  1. Selected by the Vice President (a chair and four members) for a one-year term. The Nominating Committee will ordinarily consist of the three former Executive Committee members who have most recently completed their terms, and two of the current Executive Committee members who are in their final year of service.

  2. Draw up a slate for elections including Vice President, Executive Director or Treasurer (if respective four-year terms are up), three members of Executive Committee, and two members of the Publications Committee. Sole candidates are to be put forward for Vice President, Executive Director and Treasurer; and pairs of candidates for slots on the Executive and Publications committees. Ask all candidates if they will run and agree to serve if elected, and to provide a bio-sketch for ballot.

  3. Timing: During the summer and early fall the committee should decide which disciplines, genders, etc. are needed for each slot and generate names for the slots. It is wise to have more names than needed since some people will refuse.

  4. Candidates for elected office should demonstrate commitment and familiarity with the principles of the Social Science History Association as demonstrated by regular attendance at the annual meeting and service such as previous elected office, network chair, member of the Editorial Board of Social Science History or organizing panels As an aid for selection process: obtain copies of List of Past Officers, Committee Members, network chairs and conference participants from the Executive Director.

  5. Inform President and Executive Director of final candidates selected. Send list of candidates for each open position (with names, disciplines, institutional affiliations, and bios for the ballot) to Executive Director for balloting. Electronic balloting completed in time to announce the results at the Annual Meeting.

  6. Executive Director reports results of online election to President, Vice President, and Nominations Committee Chair.

  7. N.B. All offices should represent a balance of disciplines, gender, race, and geographical locations. Presidency usually circulates among disciplines.

E. Alan Sharlin Memorial Award Committee

  1. Four members selected for two-year, staggered terms. Two members selected each year by the Vice President. The awardee from the previous year is usually asked to serve. Vice President selects committee chair, usually from cohort serving second year on committee.

  2. Write announcement for the annual award, honoring the best book in social science history published in the previous year usually by the summer.

  3. Read submissions and agree on a book for award.

  4. Report name, address, etc. of winner to Executive Director.

  5. Committee chair announces winner of award at the annual meeting.

III. Officers

A. President

  1. For election see Constitution.

  2. Duties:

    • Represent Association for year of presidency.
    • Aid program chairs.Preside at Executive Committee business meetings.
    • Consult with Executive Committee or other appropriate committees and Executive Director as problems arise during year of presidency.
    • Deliver Presidential Address at annual meeting.
  3. Occupies the complimentary “Presidential Suite” provided to the Association, at the meeting in which this person’s presidential address is given (2-bedroom suite has traditionally been shared with the Executive Director).

B. Vice President

  1. For election see Constitution.

  2. Committee selections:

    • Co-chairs of Program Committee.
    • Five-member Nominating Committee (including one person designated as chair).
    • Two members of the Alan Sharlin Memorial Award Committee.
    • Chair of Publications Committee.
    • Timetable for selections: Chair and co-chair of Program Committee: aim for January. Nominating Committee should be appointed by the Spring before the annual meeting. Sharlin Committee members also by Spring preceding the annual meeting which initiates first year of two- year term. Chair of Publications Committee should be appointed by time of annual meeting.
    • Inform Executive Director of Program co-chairs and Committee appointments as soon as they are made. Send institutional affiliation and full addresses of nominees when communicating names to Executive Director.
  3. Chairs annual business meeting at plenary session from “head table” that also seats outgoing President, Executive Director, Treasurer, incoming President, co-chairs of following year’s Program Committee, editor(s) of SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY and the two Book Award Committee chairs. Agenda includes thanking the program chairs and committee for current meeting, thanking local arrangements and other committees, report from Executive Director, reports from President’s Book Award and Sharlin Award committee chairs (in which winners are announced and awards presented), awarding of SSHA Graduate Student Travel awards, awarding of the SSHA Founders’ Prize, other reports, awards, or business as needed, and introduction of outgoing President for the Presidential Address.

  4. Accedes to presidency after predecessor’s Presidential Address.

C. Treasurer

  1. For election see Constitution.

  2. Oversight of Association finances. Receives copies of checks written by Executive Director.

  3. Reports on Association finances to Executive Committee. Provides recommendations on financial matters to Executive Committee.

D. Executive Director

  1. For election see Constitution.

  2. Arranges site for annual meeting in cooperation with IUCB..

  3. In charge of all communications to membership. Arranges for electronic balloting, announces election results at Annual Business meeting.

  4. Responsible for providing the Executive Committee with all needed papers, documents, and information for official committee actions, being present at all Executive Committee meetings, and keeping minutes of those meetings.

  5. Responsible for operating budget of Association: day-to-day management of accounts receivable and disbursements, preparation of annual budget report.

  6. Represents Association with Cambridge University Press for publication of SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY Journal.

  7. Honorarium from Association currently ca $6500 per year.

E. Editor(s) of Social Science History

  1. Selected by the Publications Committee for term of five years, if possible. Selects associate editor if there is to be one.

  2. Responsible for selection of articles (including refereeing process), preparation for publication, and sending manuscripts to Cambridge University Press.

  3. Editor’s expenses, including editorial assistant, time compensation for editor (my understanding is that Anne donates her time for free), postage and telephone are borne jointly by the association, Cambridge University Press, and the editor’s home institution. Currently the association and Cambridge each pay ca. $ per annum to the editor’s home institution to help defray expenses of the editorial office.

  4. Special issue editors are encouraged.

IV. Program Committee

A. Program Co-Chairs

The Vice President persuades a Program chair and co-chairs to undertake this arduous task. The co-chairs should be balanced by gender, discipline, and geography.

B. Network Representatives

  1. Selected by the networks. If the networks have not done so, selected by Program co-chairs, usually in consultation with co-chairs and network representatives of the previous year’s program committee. Co Chairs of each network should be balanced by discipline, gender, and geography whenever possible.

  2. Program chairs may add new areas or additional members (e.g., for local arrangements) as they wish. Current networks represented on the Program are listed on the SSHA website.

  3. Networks, including their names, are born, evolve, and die out over time. Ideas for new networks should approach the Program Committee for advice and approval.

C. Call For Papers

  1. The President draw sup the Call for Papers, including date and place of meeting, deadline for submission of papers and panels, committee members with contact information and other pertinent instructions.

  2. The President and Program Committee Co-Chairs may decide on a particular emphasis or theme for special sessions.

D. Call For Papers Distribution

  1. The Call for Papers is sent to the Executive Director who posts it on the Association’s website and distributes at the preceding annual meeting.

E. Program Committee Co-Chairs’ and Network Representatives’ Responsibilities

  1. Program Committee Co-Chairs attend network meetings during the annual conference preceding their year of service and describe the next year’s conference theme, encourage submissions, and answer questions.

  2. Network Representatives frequently chair network meetings, discuss panel suggestions, and create mailing lists for future network communications.

  3. Generally speaking, no individual participant presents more than one paper or chairs or discusses more than two times. Exceptions can be made when a participant is a co-author of several different papers.

F. Deadline for Submission of Panels

Is usually early-mid February.

G. Program Materials

  1. Program Committee Co-chairs set deadlines for Network Committee members’ submissions of completed program materials to them about March 15.

  2. Program Committee Co-chairs create an electronic list to facilitate communication among Network Chairs during the planning process.

  3. Program Committee Co-chairs, in conjunction with the President, Executive Director, and SSHA’s professional conference organizer, make decisions about the starting and ending times of the program and the number of time slots, and thus total number of panels, to be included. While the number of total submissions will of course factor into any scheduling decision, the schedule from year to year should feel familiar to conference attendees and emphasis should be placed on retaining what works well for SSHA.

H. Proposals

Committee members receive proposals for papers and panels, complete incomplete panels (in consultation with co-chairs and with each other), rank completed panels, and send to Program chairs complete information about panels and participants.

I. Program Database

Program Committee Co-Chairs and Network Reps work collaboratively to use SSHA’s conference organizing software to accept submissions, make decisions on acceptances and rejections, and construct the program. The Program Committee Co-chairs also interface with Indiana University Conferences regularly and proofread the preliminary and published versions of the final program.

  1. Care should be taken in scheduling panels in time slots to minimize overlapping subject matter or participants. As program size has increased in recent years, some overlap may be unavoidable.

  2. Times for network meetings (two slots of one hour each) must be accommodated in the Program.

  3. Nothing should be scheduled in competition with the Annual Business Meeting /Presidential Address which is usually held Saturday in the late afternoon. Additionally, officers, editors, and elected Executive Committee members hold a business meeting Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning and so should not be scheduled for a panel in the last time slot on Thursday or the first time slot Sunday morning.

  4. The Program Committee Co-chairs will consult regularly with the IUCB over such matters as number of meeting rooms available, hotel registration procedures, scheduling of panels into hotel meeting rooms of various sizes, provision of audiovisual and computer equipment, and pre-registration of participants for the conference.

J. Registration for Program

  1. In order for a panel member to be on the Program, she/he must register in advance and become a member of SSHA.

  2. Program Committee Co-Chairs work with the IUCB to send acceptance letters to all participants, accompanied by conference and hotel registration forms.

  3. Non-attending co-authors of multi-authored papers, invited speakers on plenary sessions, and chairs/commentators recruited from nearby campuses may be exempted from the pre-registration requirement. All other paper-givers, chairs and commentators must register without exception.

  4. Follow-up E-mail messages to non-registrants may be necessary. Participants who fail to register will be removed from the printed program, normally in early Fall. Those who subsequently register will be listed in an addendum to the published program. While an annoyance to the co-chairs, this kind of follow-up and then purging of non-registrants is necessary to meet the Association’s requirement that Program participants MUST be registered.

K. Preparing the Program

  1. The Program co-chairs generate the program from their database, and provide a copy to IUCB.

  2. Preliminary program is produced as an online document.

  3. Deadline for delivering the final program to IUCB is late August. IUC handles the printing and delivery (at the conference site) of the final program.

L. Funding

  1. Program Committee Co-chairs will likely benefit from financial support from their departments, either in the form of student or secretarial assistance or as phone, mail and fax support.

  2. It is important to consult early and regularly about budgetary matters with previous co-chairs (who can give some indication of costs in previous years) and with the SSHA Executive Director, who oversees the financial status of the annual conference as well as of the Association as a whole.

V. Membership Information

  1. Indiana University Conferences is the keeper of SSHA’s official membership database. Starting in 2016, annual memberships in SSHA runs on a rolling 12 month basis, meaning a member is due for renewal 12 months after joining the Association. Indiana University Conferences sends out renewal notices approximately one month before a membership is due to expire.

  2. Membership entitles one to vote for officers and committee members, receive SOCIAL SCIENCE HISTORY, vote at the Annual Business Meeting, and receive a reduced conference registration rate.

  3. The SSHA List of Past Officers, Committee Members, and conference participation is revised annually. The list is useful to Nominating Committee, Program Committee, and officers.

VI. Prizes

  1. President’s Book Award for a first monograph. The President’s Book Award Committee solicits manuscripts and reads them to make a decision. The award gives the author $1000.00.

  2. Alan Sharlin Memorial Prize for best book published in proceeding year. Sharlin Committee determines award. $500 given annually.

  3. Graduate Student Travel Awards are for the most outstanding paper being presented by a graduate student in each network. Depending on funding availability, several of the larger networks sometimes make more than one award. Selection of awardees is made by the Network Representatives.


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