Why should I present at AGIC?

The Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference, organized by Concordia’s Department of Religion, aims to provide a comfortable, friendly environment for students and other researchers in all humanities and social sciences disciplines to present their material in a supportive atmosphere. The conference is not only a wonderful opportunity for networking with other students from Montreal, Canada, the US and around the world, but it is also a great way to gain experience in the academic sphere, to expose yourself to other up-and-coming scholars, to familiarize yourself with current research and to add a little something to your resume. Also, it’s a fun and exciting way to explore Montreal and meet people.

I don’t study/know anything about religion. Can I still submit?

Absolutely! This is an interdisciplinary conference and we strongly encourage abstracts from any discipline within the humanities and social sciences that tie in with our theme. Last year, for example, over half the presentations were outside of the realm of religion.

How much time do I have to present?

A conference standard is 20 minutes to present with 10 minutes for questions and comments. We strictly adhere to this standard.

I’m not sure how to present for a conference. Do you have any tips?

Not to fear – this is the ideal place to learn. First, write your conference presentation. A conference paper should not be filled with jargon nor complicated language. A short, clear and concise presentation is much more impressive than one that no one understands. Make your thesis clear and explain it, keeping the details to a minimum. Conferences are environments in which to receive feedback on your ideas, to share your research and to have colleagues offer their opinions on it, not to confuse your audience with minute details. Keep that for your article. Remember, you have 20 minutes to present your ideas. Don’t get bogged down in the fine points that no one will remember.

Another tip is to rework a particularly strong paper, one that you would like to work on further, eliminate the details and excessive clutter, and tailor the paper into a strong, concise 20-minute presentation.

The general rule of thumb is 12 pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times font, equals to a 19 minute presentation.

Practice your presentation out loud, and time yourself. This will help you gain confidence to speak in public. And don’t worry if you’re reading your paper – almost all seasoned presenters  rely heavily on their extensive notes or actually read their presentations.

I have more questions/want to learn more about the conference. Where should I turn to?

We suggest that you keep checking this website, as we will be posting more and more information, particularly as the conference date approaches.

Also, we are on Facebook, so follow us. Or, send us an email anytime (agic.concordia@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns, and someone will answer you within 24 hours.

I am interested in coming as an observer/audience member but not actually present; is this possible?

Absolutely. We encourage interested parties to attend the conference. Just register with the conference by February 1st, 2013, through email (agic.concordia@gmail.com ) and show up. Or, alternatively, you may just show up on the day of.

Please note that we do not offer letters of invitations for visa purposes.

How much is the registration fee?

The conference is free to attend, for presenters and audience members. You are responsible for your travel expenses.

What does ‘publication-ready abstract’ mean?

A publication ready abstract is one that is properly written, adhers to the word-length specified in the call for paper, is clear and easy to understand,and is free from any spelling and grammatical mistakes. We use the abstract that you have submitted for our programmes.

Please do not send us your paper. We will not read them.

Who actually reads my abstracts and decides on the panels?

 The organizers, composed of a combination of Master and Doctoral students, a few days after the abstracts are due, get together and sort through the abstracts. We then discuss and form panels, trying to find a fluidity amongst the received papers.

In the past, we have had some excellent abstracts about intriguing topics, but we could not form a panel with the other papers, much to our disappointment. Do not assume that because we could not accept you that your abstract or topic was badly written, or uninteresting. Most often than not, it’s how the paper will fit with the others.

My abstract was accepted. Do I have to send in the full length of my presentation?
Congrulations! And no, you do not.
What’s this about an essay contest? Tell me more! 

A recent addition, each accepted presenters will have an opportunity to submit their 15-25 paged papers for AGIC’s essay contest. The essay MUST be based on your presentations, be properly sources and include a bibliography (outside of the 15-25 pages). A member of the executive AGIC committee, not affiliated with the essay contest, will remove all identification to ensure partiality. The essay contest-committee, consisting of the head of AGIC, the head of the essay contest and one MA and one PhD student will read through the essays and grade according to clarity, originality of thesis, coherency, appeal and academic value, choosing the first-place, first and second runner-ups. All winners will receive a cash prize, have their papers prominently published in the non-peer reviewed Conference Edition, edited by The Journal of Religion and Culture, plus most importantly – bragging rights.

Last year, one of the runner-ups have asked for tips on how to improve their submission, and now that paper is published as an article in a well-respected journal.

Please note that you MUST have your abstract accepted before you can submit your paper to the essay contest. You will be notified of the status of your abstract by mid-December.

Does the conference offer snacks and other food?
We offer to all our guests and presenters coffee and baked goods for the breaks and we will have a lunch as well. After the conference, we whold a small reception with hors d’oeuvres. You must be registered in order to attend lunch and the reception – all presenters are automatically registered.

I have dietary restrictions. Can you accomodate me?

Our lunch is certified kosher and included vegetarian and vegan options. If you have severe allergies and/or other dietary restrictions, please let us know as soon as possible and we will try our best to accomodate you.

The baked goods at the coffee breaks, on the other hand, is at the moment non- kosher.
I have been accepted, but in order for me to submit for travel grants, I need an official letter of acceptance. What do I do?

We completely understand the need to apply for grants, and the urgency of it. If you need an official letter, please email us atagic.concordia@gmail.com, and you will receive a PDF of the official acceptance for your grant application within 48 hours.

Do you offer travel grants for out-of-town presenters?

As much as we would like to, because our conference is free to attend, and included coffee-breaks, a lunch and the reception, we do not have any travel grants.

I would like to present at the conference, but I need/want an invitation. Would I be able to get one? 

Due to university regulations, we cannot send out letters of invitation.

I have been accepted, but I need a visa to enter Canada. Can you help me?

Due to university regulations, we cannot send out letters for visa purposes. Travel plans and expenses are the sole responsibility of the participants.

 I am interested in starting a conference at my own institution. Can you offer some pointers?

We are always willing to help fellow academics, but to detail all that goes into organizing a conference will take up too much space. Simply send an email to agic.concordia@gmail.com and one of the senior organizers will get in touch with you within 24 hours.

I would like to make a donation. How do I do so?

 We are always grateful for the generosity. Send an email to agic.concordia@gmail.com, and our financial officer will get in touch with you with the details.