How to propose a session

To propose a session for THATCamp Jewish Studies, log in with the user name and password emailed to you when your registration was approved. (You can also click the “Log in” link under the “Meta” heading in the right-hand column to log in.) If you have forgotten your password, click “Lost your password?” on the login page. Go to Posts –> Add New and write a blog post describing what you want to discuss or do at THATCamp.

Posts - Add New

When you click Publish, your session proposal will be published here on this very site.

As a participant-generated unconference, THATCamp is very informal, so although you should plan to lead the session you propose, you need not prepare. In fact, we prefer that you *don’t* prepare, since we are looking for honest conversation and productive work rather than presentations. Here are some examples of THATCamp session proposals — you can also browse through the websites of past THATCamps to see the kind of things that people propose to do.

When do I propose a session?

You can propose a session as early as you like, but most people publish their session proposals to the THATCamp site during the week before the THATCamp begins. It’s a good idea to check the THATCamp site frequently in the week beforehand (perhaps by subscribing to its RSS feed with an RSS reader such as Google Reader) to see and comment on everyone’s session proposals. You can also come up with a last-minute idea and propose it to the THATCamp participants during the scheduling session, which is the first session of the THATCamp.

Why are sessions proposed this way?

Proposing sessions just before a THATCamp and building a schedule during the first session of a THATCamp ensures that sessions are honest and informal, that session topics are current, and that unconference participants will collaborate on a shared task. An unconference, in Tom Scheinfeldt’s words, is fun, productive, and collegial, and at THATCamp, therefore, “[W]e’re not here to listen and be listened to. We’re here to work, to participate actively.[…] We’re here to get stuff done.” Listen further:

Everyone should feel equally free to participate and everyone should let everyone else feel equally free to participate. You are not students and professors, management and staff here at THATCamp. At most conferences, the game we play is one in which I, the speaker, try desperately to prove to you how smart I am, and you, the audience member, tries desperately in the question and answer period to show how stupid I am by comparison. Not here. At THATCamp we’re here to be supportive of one another as we all struggle with the challenges and opportunities of incorporating technology in our work, departments, disciplines, and humanist missions.

See the About page for more information on the philosophy of unconferences.

What do I propose?

There are roughly four things people do in THATCamp sessions: Talk, Make, Teach, and Play. Sometimes one session contains elements of all these, but it’s also a fair taxonomy for THATCamp sessions.

  • In a Talk session proposal, you offer to lead a group discussion on a topic or question of interest to you.
  • In a Make session proposal, you offer to lead a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim of producing a draft document or piece of software.
  • In a Teach session, you offer to teach a skill, either a “hard” skill or a “soft” skill.
  • In a Play session, anything goes — you suggest literally playing a game, or you suggest some quality group playtime with one or more technologies, or what you will.

Talk session examples

Make session examples

Teach session examples

Play session examples

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