speaking of conference locations…

Consider this paragraph from a recent issue of the American Sociological Association’s newsletter:

[T]he Executive Office was directed to investigate western cities other than San Francisco for 2012 and 2016… At its meeting in February 2009, ASA Council reviewed site reports on Denver, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver. Denver was designated for 2012, and Seattle was chosen for 2016. Contracts with facilities in both cities have now been finalized.

Hmm, places in the West where you can have a big convention… San Francisco, Denver, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, Vancouver… and I suppose Los Angeles is out given how horribly the Anaheim conference is remembered… hmm… I guess there really aren’t any other Western cities with a lot of hotel rooms…

Oh, well, I mean, except for the city with the most hotel rooms and largest convention business in the country.

Can someone explain to me why ASA Vegas is never considered? SWS went there.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

11 thoughts on “speaking of conference locations…”

  1. Atlanta was also horribly remembered and we’re back there… so why not LA? And, SWS in Vegas was fun. We were there in January, but in August there is the “great indoors” and no one does that better than Vegas.


  2. I agree that Vegas could be a good location.

    On a tangentially related issue, do others agree that the ASA submission requirement of a 20 page completed paper 9 months in advance of the conference date is sort of ridiculous? Several of the early career people that I know think that this reduces submissions and the possibility of getting timely feedback. If I’ve got a complete paper, I’m sure as heck not going to sit on it for 9 months! Senior people don’t seem to mind as much since some of them don’t follow the rules anyway (e.g. “I’ll put in a ‘placeholder’ paper and just present whatever I want”).

    I’d prefer that we went to PAA’s submission rules – a choice of a ~3 page extended abstract OR a completed paper. What do others think?


  3. It is obnoxious, but there are ways to make it less so. to wit: submit the 20-pager to ASA and, shortly thereafter, the full version to a journal. By the time ASA rolls around, you (probably!) will have received your first round of reviews. Use the reviews to improve the ASA talk, and incorporate all the comments into a revised ms. at the same time.


  4. why have a page limit at all? if the paper sucks, the organizer is under no obligation to read the whole thing. That would spare us the annual routine of stretching margins, squishing tables to the point of illegibility, and cutting huge chunks out of the reference section (a new trick I learned this year) in order to squeeze under this arbitrary limbo pole.

    I have often wondered the same thing about Vegas. I wonder if it’s more expensive? I also keep hoping Miami will come up on the radar sometime. I know, August & all–but…the Cuban sandwiches! Lobster rolls–er, Maine would also be pretty cool too.

    In any case, I’d like to see better communication from ASA about how & why they choose sites.


  5. ASA was in Miami sometime in the ’90s – 1993, maybe? – there were lots of complaints about the heat (literally, not the team), but I doubt it’s any different from Atlanta or Las Vegas.

    Also during the ’90s I think there were some other unusual choices – Cincinnati, maybe? – anybody know how things have changed?


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