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Programs » Annual Conference


New York City, February 10–13, 2021  
Hilton New York Midtown  

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 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.  

All sessions are 90 minutes in length and are scheduled Wednesday, through Saturday of the conference 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 and Friday only)  


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 or Idea Exchanges; however, consideration will be made for those who are not participating in a session.  


  • We encourage innovative session formats and leaving time for questions and discussion.  
  • If Chairs 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.  
  • If your session will include many lively short presentations (Lightning Round or Pecha Kucha™), indicate on the submission form. 
  • All accepted information will be reproduced in conference listings as submitted. Accepted submission abstracts will be published as part of Abstracts 2021.  


  • 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. These meetings are held in the 60-minute midday time slot.  
  • 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 or call 212-691-1051, ext. 1 to get 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 (EXTENDED!)Complete Session; Session Soliciting Contributors; Individual Presentation; CAA Affiliated Society Session; CAA Professional Committee Session    

March 1 – September 17Poster 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 August 3, 2020.    

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

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

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

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