Saturday, August 21, 2021
Below is helpful info about the ever-popular COSELL this fall from Jennifer Shinall. Bottom line is that an in-person option is up in the air, but at a minimum, we'll have a remote option, whether exclusively remote or hybrid. So get in those submissions. Also, much thanks goes to Jennifer for taking on the never-ending hosting duties!
I am writing to provide an update on the format of the 2021 Colloquium on Scholarship in Employment and Labor Law (COSELL), which will be hosted this year by Vanderbilt Law School on October 15-16, 2021.As I'm sure you are aware, the COVID-19 situation has changed rather dramatically since Vanderbilt committed to hosting the event in-person back in June. Vanderbilt has returned to a mask mandate, even for vaccinated individuals. Our campus regulations regarding in-person gatherings are becoming stricter each week, as the local public health situation here continues to decline.
All that being said, here is where we currently stand: at this time, Vanderbilt University will still technically permit us to host COSELL in-person. The university, of course, could change its mind at any moment. An additional complication is that the university finance department is currently prohibiting us from signing any vendor contracts, out of concern that the university will still be on the hook financially even if the conference will not be able to go forward in-person. That complication prohibits us from booking a conference dinner venue, hiring a caterer, and reserving hotel blocks at this time.
Despite the present uncertainty regarding conference format (virtual or in-person), we are moving forward with the paper submission process since October is only two months away. As in years past, if you would like to present at COSELL, we ask that you submit an extended abstract or a paper (early-stage works and works-in-progress are highly encouraged!). The paper submission site is now live, available here: https://law.vanderbilt.edu/phd/annual-conference/index.php
As part of the paper/abstract submission process, we are polling everyone regarding their preference for attending the conference in-person. We would like to gauge the level of interest in trying to salvage an in-person event if the public health situation improves. Although many of you expressed interest in an in-person conference earlier this summer, we realize that preferences may have changed, given the reinstatement of travel bans at some universities, as well as the rise in COVID vaccine breakthrough cases. Expressing a preference for virtual attendance will have no effect on paper selection for COSELL; we simply want to take everyone's temperature on traveling to an in-person event.
The abstract/paper submission deadline for COSELL 2021 is Monday, September 13
. Again, the link to submit your abstract/paper is here
In sum--worst case scenario, COSELL will be held virtually (as it was last year) on October 15-16, 2021. Best case scenario, COSELL will be held in a hybrid in-person/zoom format at Vanderbilt. Still, even best case scenario will require a great deal of flexibility from participants who wish to attend in-person since we will be unable to reserve hotel blocks or announce a schedule until the last minute. (For those of you who want to go ahead and reserve a hotel room around campus just in case in-person happens, the Aertson
, the Loews
, the Graduate
, and the Hutton
are all good options, but please
make sure the room can be cancelled in the event we move to an all virtual conference!).
Once again, please submit your abstracts/papers for COSELL 2021 by Monday, September 13. The results of the submission poll on in-person attendance will allow us to make a final decision regarding conference format by mid-September (at the very latest).
Thank you all for being patient and flexible. I look forward to seeing you all--virtually, at the very least--on October 15-16, 2021.