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Chicago, February 12–15, 2020 
Hilton Chicago 

The CAA Annual Conference is the largest gathering of visual arts professionals that celebrates and advances the accomplishments of members and provides opportunities to share research and creative work. Each year we offer a full breadth of sessions representing the vast range of scholarship and practice of our members, as well as professional development and art-making workshops, meetings, receptions, and more. 

Over 900 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 schedules the conference program so that there are back-to-back sessions with similar content. However, given the number of sessions, this is not always possible.  

In 2020, all sessions are 90 minutes in length and are scheduled Wednesday, February 12, through Saturday, February 15, in the following timeslots: 

  • 8:30–10:00 AM 
  • 10:30 AM–12:00 PM 
  • 2:00–3:30 PM 
  • 4:00–5:30 PM 
  • 6:00–7:30 PM (Thursday, February 13, and Friday, February 14 only) 

NEW FOR 2020 

  • CAA debuts Lightning Rounds in 2020. These short, lively presentations allow individuals to address key subjects related to their area of study or practice. Talks are brief and require the speaker to make their point clearly and concisely. Individual presentations may consist of up to 20 slides and are limited to seven minutes in length. Accepted rounds will be arranged by the Annual Conference Committee one after the other.
  • This year, you may upload images to your 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.


  • To allow a greater number of participants in the conference, CAA members may participate in each of the following session roles only once during a conference: chair, presenter, discussant. Individuals may also participate in lightning rounds and poster sessions; however, consideration will be made for those who are not participating in a general session. 
  • 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. 
  • We encourage innovative session formats. If you choose an alternate format, please plan accordingly, as all sessions are 90 minutes. 
  • For a traditional 90-minute session, we suggest one chair, four presenters, and one discussant.  
  • Proposal content will be used for printed and online materials as submitted. Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style. All edits to accepted submissions must be finalized no later than August 27, 2019.   
  • Institutional Member IDs can not be used to create a submission. Only an Individual CAA Member ID or non-member CAA ID will allow you to sign into the submission forms.
  • For information about submission and proposal types or technical questions about proposals, please contact


  • 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 or call 212-691-1051, ext. 1 to get a non-member CAA ID. 
  • Title and abstract (250 words max.) for your session 
  • List of subject area(s) that best represent your proposal. See our full fields of study list.
  • Possible scheduling conflicts 
  • CVs for chairs (shortened CVs preferred) 
  • For Complete Sessions, you must have all 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  

See FAQ for more information.


  • CAA Affiliated Societies and CAA Professional Committees may each submit one guaranteed session in the Complete or Soliciting Contributors category according to the general session proposal deadlines (March 1 – April 30, 2019). 
  • CAA Affiliated Societies may hold one guaranteed business meeting during the conference. These meetings are held in the 60-minute midday time slot. 
  • Visit Affiliated Society or Professional Committees for more information. 

Submit a Proposal for CAA 2020


    • March 1 – April 30: Complete Session; Soliciting Contributors; Individual Presentation; Lightning Round; CAA Affiliated Society Session; CAA Professional Committee Session 
    • March 1 – September 5: Poster Session; Workshop; CAA Affiliated Society Business Meeting 
    • June 4 – September 16: Exhibitor Session 

    Sessions Soliciting Contributors 
    OPENS: June 25, 2019 
    DEADLINE: July 23, 2019 
    The Call for Participation in sessions soliciting contributors will be posted on CAA’s website from June 25 to July 23, 2019. Individuals will submit proposals directly to chairs. Chairs are responsible for selecting and notifying accepted participants and must finalize their session details in the portal by August 29, 2019.   


    Poster Session 
    OPENS: March 1, 2019 
    DEADLINE: September 5, 2019 
    Poster Sessions offer opportunities for informal discussion focused on topics of scholarly or pedagogical research. Proposals should include a title and a 250-word abstract.  


    OPEN: March 1, 2019
    DEADLINE: September 5, 2019 
    Professional development and art-making workshop proposals may address the following topics: grant writing; finding grant funding and fellowship opportunities; pedagogy; diversity and inclusion; job searching and networking; publishing strategies; online learning platforms and technology; financial planning, strategies, and negotiation; art-making. Proposals on other topics are welcome. 


    CAA Affiliated Society Business Meeting
    OPENS: March 1, 2019 
    DEADLINE: September 5, 2019 
    CAA provides each Affiliated Society with one 60-minute business meeting at the Annual Conference. These meetings are held during the midday time slot and are free and open to the public at the discretion of the Affiliated Society. 


    Exhibitor Session 
    OPENS: June 4, 2019 
    DEADLINE: September 16, 2019 
    Registered exhibitors are invited to propose complete 90-minute sessions or workshops. These sessions should convey practical information, professional expertise, or historical/scholarly content and may not be used for direct marketing, sales or promotion of products, publications, services, or programs. These are guaranteed sessions and are not vetted by the Annual Conference Council of Readers or Committee.   



    Please be sure to confirm dates closer to the time as they can occasionally shift. 


    • Late June: Notifications sent to submissions entered by the April 30 deadline 
    • June 25 – July 23: Chairs of accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors, accept proposals directly from submitters.
    • Mid July: Notification of schedule is sent to accepted submissions entered by the April 30 deadline. Chairs responsible for notifying their participants. 
    • September 10: All session and presentation content must be entered into portal (includes any edits to abstracts, titles, and speaker order
    • October: CAA 2020 Annual Conference schedule posted on CAA website; online conference registration opens