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Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 10:45 / Last updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 11:55
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8 April 2020

COVID-19 and CASID 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT
2020 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Western University, London, ON

Greetings to you all in these difficult times.

On 31 March 2020, the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences announced that it was cancelling Congress 2020 at Western University. This includes cancelling the virtual Congress that was initially proposed as an alternative.

CASID was exploring its involvement in the virtual Congress. The Executive Committee (EC) met on 2 April 2020 to discuss whether a virtual conference would still be tenable given the Federation’s decision. 

In light of the multiple constraints and issues we are all facing, it was deemed infeasible to proceed. After a lengthy discussion, the CASID EC voted to cancel CASID 2020.

This extraordinary step was not taken lightly. It is certainly not what the EC envisioned.
 

CASID 2020: What was planned

The CASID 2020 theme, Towards 2030: Challenging ‘Development’ to Bridge Extremes in an Age of Polarization, was bold. It recognized the contested nature of ‘development’ and challenged its institutions and processes to act for decolonization and justice, highlighting experiences of Indigenous Peoples and Black and other marginalized peoples.

Three exciting feature events were planned. The CASID 2020 Indigenous Round Table with elders, scholars, activists and community members was selected as a prime headline event for the whole of Congress (lead EC member, Jess Notwell). CASID was awarded a Federation grant to mount a cross-disciplinary event with the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) on decolonizing knowledge, visa denials, and epistemic oppression (lead EC member, Nathan Andrews). An inter-disciplinary panel on privatization of social services in health, education, and water with participation from Global South scholars was underway (lead EC member, Prachi Srivastava). 

The regular CASID 2020 program was diverse in disciplinary perspectives and regional and international participation. ‘Action for Change’, research, and open workshop and pop-up poster session types were added as new interactive formats. The workshops were a popular submission type. CASID invested in a new online submission and conference management system (ConfTool) to streamline the process and to generate a more user-friendly program. 

The CASID Reception was to be held in conjunction with Youth Opportunities Unlimited, a local social enterprise (lead EC member, Kate Grantham). Additional opportunities for socializing and informal networking were planned to provide convivial spaces for participants. We secured sponsorship for additional funding. Global Affairs Canada was also to support CASID 2020.
 

Steps Forward

We are aware that the CASID Conference provides a unique opportunity to share research and practice. We are also aware that conferences and knowledge exchange have additional implications for graduate students, early-career scholars, and scholars from the Global South. 

We are creating a CASID 2020 Conference Repository on ConfTool. If your submission was accepted, we invite you to upload draft or full papers, datasets, narrated PowerPoint presentations, or other materials. Just login to your ConfTool account, click on ‘My Submissions’ and then ‘Final Upload’ in the box on the right.

Authors are welcome to list accepted submissions on their CVs. The American Psychological Association has prepared guidelines for citations to address the extraordinary circumstances the global academic community faces. Please refer to them. 

The CASID 2020 Annual General Meeting will be rescheduled, most likely, in virtual format. Details will be announced.

The call for submissions for CASID’s annual paper awards - the Kari Polanyi-Levitt Prize and the Institutional Membership Prize - are typically released in April with winners announced at the conference. The call for contest submissions will be announced in the coming weeks. The prize will be awarded and announced online. 

Finally, the EC has established a sub-committee to explore alternative events for scholarly exchange and knowledge mobilization this year. Some of the events planned for CASID 2020 may be re-launched over the coming months or year. 

Congress has taken note of the associations that have cancelled and will carry out the refund process. There is no need to contact Congress regarding a refund. More information can be found here.

We would like to thank conference participants and members for their continued support, and for their interest in CASID 2020 which led to such a rich planned program this year. 

Sincere best wishes to you and your families.

In solidarity,
 

Dr. Prachi Srivastava, CASID 2020 Conference Organizer
Dr. Adrian Murray, CASID 2020 Conference Organizer 
Dr. Liam Swiss, CASID President
Dr. Kate Grantham, CASID Vice-President