Who is responsible for conducting the peer review for the General Call for Participation?

Representatives from each section, known as the Section Program Chairs, conduct the peer review of proposal submissions directed to their respective section. The American Anthropological Association and The Canadian Anthropology Society thank the 2023 Program Chairs who will enhance the AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting through the volunteering of their time.

Do all session types undergo peer review?


Below are the submission/session types that undergo section peer review:

  • oral presentation sessions,
  • roundtables / town halls,
  • conversations or debates,
  • interviews,
  • podcasts,
  • individually volunteered paper presentations,
  • individual flash presentations,
  • in-person posters,
  • virtual posters, and
  • virtual talks.

Demystifying the Annual Meeting Peer Review Process

The review process consists of three (3) review “rounds,” all of which are detailed below.

  • During this round, section program chairs skim proposals (directed to his/her section) and determine relevance to the section with a yes/no decision.
  • During this round (which runs simultaneously with 2B), section program chairs work within their sections and with other section program chairs to decide which fully-submitted panels should receive invited or cosponsored designations.
    • Sessions granted Invited and Cosponsored designations do not undergo further review, and are guaranteed primary placement on the final program.
  • During this review round (which runs simultaneously with 2A), section program chairs review individually-volunteered paper presentation submissions directed to his/her section and form them into panels of four (4) to seven (7) paper presenters.
    • These “newly-created sessions” will be reviewed and evaluated in the next and final review round.
    • Section program chairs also have the ability to request that AAA/CASCA extend individual gallery (poster) invitations to individually volunteered paper presentation submissions.
  • During this review round, section program chairs use review criteria to evaluate submissions that are not granted Invited or Cosponsored status, as well as the sessions the primary chairs have created from the individually volunteered paper presentation submissions.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Using a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high), each reviewer will evaluate each submission based upon four (4) weighted criteria:
    • Rate the rigor of scholarship in this submission (25%)
    • Rate the relevance of this submission to critical issues within the discipline (25%)
    • Rate the importance of this submission to current issues of broad concern (15%)
    • Rate the quality of the submission overall (35%)

After all, three of the review rounds have been completed, the decisions from all three rounds are compiled by the AAA and CASCA Meetings Department in preparation for the scheduling phase.


AAA and CASCA staff do not review or evaluate section submissions or participate in the section’s peer review process.

Once the review period concludes…

  • the top 50% of scores from within each section are given an A-grade;
  • the next 30% of top-scoring proposals are given a B-grade;
  • and the bottom 20% are given a C-grade.

In June, the Executive Program Committee Co-Chairs will visit the AAA office to populate the Annual Meeting program in the following order, until the program is full:

  • 1st priority: Sessions awarded Executive Session designation by the Executive Program Committee
  • 2nd priority: Sessions granted Invited and Cosponsored designations by Section Program Chairs
  • 3rd priority: A scores from each section (highest aggregate reviewer scores to lowest)
  • 4th priority: B scores from each section (highest aggregate reviewer scores to lowest)
  • 5th priority: C scores from each section (highest aggregate reviewer scores to lowest)

Accept/decline notifications are sent to all submitters in mid-September, and a preliminary Annual Meeting program will be released in mid-October.


AAA and CASCA do not collect or release reviewer comments. AAA and CASCA encourage interested individuals to contact the Section Program Chairs directly with questions regarding the reviewing of their submission(s).