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February 10–13, 2021  

The CAA Annual Conference brings together over 4,500 art historians, artists, designers, and visual arts professionals in all stages of their careers. Each year we offer sessions selected by the CAA Council of Readers and the Annual Conference Committee, representing the vast scholarship and practice of CAA members.   

Members submit proposals each year to be reviewed by the Annual Conference Committee Council of Readers. The Committee considers subject areas and themes that arise from proposals to present as broad and diverse a program as possible. The Committee selects approximately 250 sessions for each conference and must, at times, make difficult decisions on submissions of high merit. This means that on occasion, quality submissions may not be selected.   

CAA will hold its 109th Annual Conference as a virtual program on February 10–13, 2021, with 30 percent of conference content concerning the topic of climate crisis. Scholars and practitioners will address the environment not only through the content of artworks but also by speaking to how we can and should change our professional practices in light of this crisis. 

 Session presenters will upload their prerecorded presentations, which conference registrants may access online shortly before and through the conference dates. Live Q&A will be scheduled for each session between February 10 and 13, providing the collegial, interactive, and accountable engagement created by attending sessions as a community. Questions about session presentations may be submitted to session chairs after viewing a session in advance of the scheduled live Q&A. Uploaded content will be accessible to registrants for a limited time after the conference dates. We will provide detailed information for presenters and attendees closer to the conference. 

Since 2017, all CAA sessions are 90 minutes in length. For the CAA 2021 virtual conference, presenters will upload their presentations (up to twenty minutes in length) and engage in a Live Q&A (up to 30-minutes). Presenters will receive technical guidance. The schedule of these timeslots and session content will post in early November. 


As part of the 2021 Annual Conference, CAA seeks to offer a selection of sessions, papers, speakers, and related programming on the topic of Climate Crisis. Including but going beyond eco-art and eco-criticism, and with climate justice and intersectional thinking as priorities, panels and presentations can address ecology as a matter of the content of artworks, but also, and pressingly, how we--artists, designers, and art historians, institutional stakeholders and independent practitioners, and members of allied fields--can and should change our professional practices in light of the crisis. We invite discussions of creative interventions into the status quo, up to and including a serious discussion of ways of reducing the carbon footprint of the annual conference itself, while preserving and enhancing access. Practices and themes may include remediation and amelioration, thematic representation and critique, the ramifications of change for institutions and collections, issues of preservation, and the nature of research. We invite radical and practical proposals. The conference content will stress a broad and inclusive conversation on climate crisis impact through the lens of age; gender; nationality; race; religion; and socioeconomic status among others.  

If your submission falls into this focus area, you will have the opportunity to indicate that inside the proposal form. Your focus on this topic will not affect the review process.   


  • All participants (chairs, presenters, discussants) must be current CAA members and register for the conference in some capacity in order to participate in a session.   
  • Only an Individual CAA Member ID or non-member CAA ID will allow you to sign into the submission forms.   
  • Institutional Member IDs can not be used to create a submission.  
  • To allow a greater number of participants in the conference, CAA members may participate in each of the following session roles once per conference: chair, presenter, discussant.   
  • Individuals may additionally participate in Poster presentations, Workshops; however, consideration will be made for those who are not participating in a session.   


  • All accepted information will be reproduced in conference listings as submitted. Accepted submission abstracts will be published as part of Abstracts 2021.   
  • Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style for your submission.  


  • CAA Affiliated Societies and CAA Professional and Publications Committees may each submit one guaranteed session in the Complete or Soliciting Contributors category according to the session proposal deadlines (March 1 – May 19, 2020).   
  • CAA Affiliated Societies may hold one guaranteed business meeting during the conference.  
  • Visit Affiliated Society or Professional Committees pages for more information.    


  • Your individual CAA Member ID and account password. Log in to the portal with your CAA Member ID and password. If you are not a member of CAA, email to request a non-member CAA ID.   
  • Title and abstract (250 words max.) for your session or presentation.    
  • Select five CAA Fields of Study that best represent your proposal. The first five selected will be viewed during the review process. See our full fields of study list.   
  • Possible scheduling conflicts   
  • CVs for chairs, workshop leaders, posters, individual presentation submissions (shortened CVs preferred)   
  • For Complete Sessions, collect all CAA IDs, names and affiliations of session participants (chairs, presenters, discussants), presentation titles, and abstracts (250 words max.) Participants can be added to your session either by name or email and must have a CAA Member ID  
  • You may include images with to your session or presentation proposal. This is optional and is meant to complement your abstract. You may include up to 5 images, in jpeg format. Each image may be no larger than 10 MB  
  • More info at our Proposals FAQ page.    



March 1 – May 19, 2020Complete Session; Session Soliciting Contributors; Individual Presentation; CAA Affiliated Society Session; CAA Professional Committee Session     

March 1 – September 17: Poster Session; Workshop; CAA Affiliated Society Business Meeting     

June 4 – September 17: Exhibitor Session (must be a Registered Exhibitor)     


Please be sure to confirm dates regularly as they may shift, thank you for your understanding. This list is up to date as of September 10, 2020.     

Early August: Acceptance notifications sent to submissions entered by the May 19 deadline  

August 12 – September 16: Chairs of accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors, will accept proposals directly from submitters during the Call for Participation.   

September 16: Chairs of Sessions Soliciting Contributors make their decisions and notify their accepted presenters by September 30.   

September 17: Deadline for Poster Sessions, Workshops and Exhibitor Session submissions.  

Early October: Notification of schedule is sent to accepted submissions entered by the May 19 deadline. Chairs are responsible for notifying their participants.     

Early November: CAA 2021 Annual Conference schedule posted on CAA website; online conference registration opens.