Propose a session

Propose an unconference session

Most people who go to a THATCamp propose a session, either on the blog before the actual event, or in the organizing session on the first morning. Proposing a session is the only way to make sure your topic gets covered. Of course you might team up with others, or combine your session with someone else’s as you see see fit. Do not prepare a paper or presentation. Plan instead to have a conversation, to get some work done, or to have fun.

After you register, you will receive login information for this site. (If you have already been to a THATCamp, you might have login information already: go to the login page and click “Lost your password?” to see if you already have an account on To propose a session, log in, and post a session proposal to the blog by clicking on Post –> Add New in your administration panel. As for what to propose, read on . . .

No papers, no presentations

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.

Session genres

  1. General discussion — Sometimes people just want to get together and talk informally, with no agenda, about something they’re all interested in. Nothing wrong with that; it’s certainly a much better way of meeting people than addressing them from behind a podium. Propose a session on a topic that interests you, and if other people are interested, they’ll show up to talk about it with you.
  2. Hackathon — Several coders gather in a room to work on a particular project.
  3. Helpathon — You’re working on something, and you suspect that some of the various people who come to THATCamp might be able to help you with it. You describe problems you want solved and questions you want answered, and strangers magically show up to hear about what you’re doing and to give you their perspective and advice.
  4. Writeathon — A group of people get together to start writing something, whether it’s an article, a manifesto, a book, or a plan.
  5. Solvathon — People get together to figure out how to address a shared or general problem.
  6. Workshop — A traditional workshop session with an instructor who leads students through a short introduction to and hands-on exercise in a particular skill.
  7. Grab bag — Ah, miscellany. One of our favorite categories. Indefinable by definition. It’s astonishing how creative people can be when you give them permission; performances and games are welcome.

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