Fall Conference "Unsession" Proposals

Hi everyone,

The site where you can propose your “unsession” topic for MARAC Roanoke is now live:


Here are the rules:

Due Dates

All proposals are due Monday, September 21 at 9 AM. Brief rules for posting are available on the site.

Proposals will be turned into a poll and presented to conference attendees for a vote—you’ll get an announcement that the poll is open. Winners will be notified and announced by Friday, September 25 at 5 PM. Four proposals will be selected based on the highest vote count.


Here’s the breakdown of how the unconference sessions will be scheduled:

  • The unconference will happen during S13 and S17 on Saturday.
  • S13 and S17 will have two unconference sessions each, each lasting 40 minutes:

                           o Unsession topic 1 (See S13 in your program): 9:45-10:25

                           o Break: 10:25-10:30

                           o Unsession topic 2: 10:30-11:10

                           o Break: 11:15-11:30 (Note that this is the session changeover for the whole                                    conference)

                           o Unsession topic 3 (See S17 in your program): 11:30-12:10

                           o Break: 12:10-12:15

                           o Unsession topic 4: 12:15-12:55

                           o Mini-unconference wrap-up/early start home: 12:55-1

  • Please note that the unconference sessions won’t conflict with anything else, such as Steering or the mid-morning snack break.

This is our maiden voyage into unconference planning, so if you’ve got any questions or suggestions, please email jsteele@jhu.edu.

If you missed my initial announcement, I’ve pasted that below. See you in Roanoke!

Dear MARAC members,

You may have noticed that on Saturday of the MARAC conference this year, MARAC’s going to experiment with the meeting model by holding our first unconference—in addition to the regular, traditional sessions that will be happening concurrently. For those of you who haven’t attended an unconference, this is an opportunity to have informal congregations of meeting attendees for a topic that has been voted on by peers. (For those of you that have lots of experience with unconferences, this will feel like a modified version of an unconference.)

What does this mean? About a month before the conference, you’ll receive a link to a Google form to submit a brief proposal for an unconference topic at the MARAC meeting. From the eminently practical to the intimidatingly theoretical, all topics are fair game!

About two weeks before the conference, MARAC members will vote on proposals. Those with the highest vote counts will be added to the unconference meeting agenda.

So if you’ve got an idea you’d like to explore with your peers in real time, consider submitting an unconference topic for discussion at the upcoming MARAC meeting. What do you have to lose?

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at jsteele@jhu.edu. Let’s make Roanoke a conference to remember—a time of experimentation, inquiry, and fun!


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