116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Guidelines and Procedures

The 116th Annual PAMLA Conference will be held at Western Washington University, with rooms available at a special PAMLA rate at the Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel, on November 9-11, 2018. We hope that you will propose a paper for this conference.

The call for papers for the sessions is posted online. Please check this website for updates and corrections.

Guidelines and Procedures:

Please adhere to the following rules and procedures pertaining to registering for and presenting papers at the conference.


PAMLA is an organization for its members. All participants in the conference must maintain current membership, which runs from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Conference presenters and presiding officers should remit their dues by July 15, and must pay their conference fees by October 1, in order to be listed on the program. PAMLA now offers a combined membership/conference fee option, to make paying for membership and the conference a single step.

Presenters who fail to pay their membership dues and conference fees by the appropriate deadlines may not be listed in the program and may not be allowed to deliver their papers at the conference.

Online membership payment is available at our website: https://www.pamla.org/2018/registration-info

Students or faculty of our host institution may attend the conference’s sessions and non-fee activities for free (unless they are presenting a paper or chairing a session, in which case they must still pay all appropriate fees).

Conference Registration:

Everyone listed in the program must pay the conference registration fee by October 1, 2018 at the very latest, in addition to having paid their 2018 PAMLA Membership (by July 15). After October 1, a $10 late fee will apply. Registration materials will be made available online. There is a combined membership/conference fee option, should you wish to pay both fees at one time.

Students and faculty from the host institution who are not on the program may attend sessions and non-fee activities without paying the registration fee or membership dues (although they are invited to join PAMLA at our very reasonable rates).

Paper Proposals and Presentations:

  • One does not have to be a member of PAMLA to propose a paper, but one must become a member by July 15 to be listed in the program.
  • In order to propose a paper, a paper title, an approximately 500-word proposal, and an approximately 50-word abstract should be submitted online via the "Online Proposal Submission Form": https://www.pamla.org/2018/topic-areas by May 30, 2018 (you will first have to register on the website—proposals submitted before the deadline are most welcome). 
  • The same paper may not be submitted to more than one session. However, you may submit different paper proposals to different sessions (as long as you let each session's Presiding Officer know that you have done so, and as long as you remember that you may only deliver a single paper at the conference. Please limit the number of your submissions, however, to a reasonable number—no more than three or four, please.).
  • A member may chair only one session, and may not present more than one paper at the conference. The Executive Director and presiding officers shall resolve any conflicts that may arise.
  • Please notify your Presiding Officer and the Executive Director if you cannot be present at the conference so that the program can be updated and a replacement found. This is very important. While we recognize that emergencies arise, please make your plans as early as possible to attend or not to attend the conference. PAMLA would like to uphold the highest professional standards for its members and participants. Last-minute cancellations in the program, especially those that could have been conveyed earlier, do not bode well for the organization and the conference. If you cannot attend, please let your presiding officer and the Executive Director, Craig Svonkin (svonkin@netzero.com), know immediately. Papers may not be read in absentia.
  • Conference sessions are ninety-minutes long, typically with three to four papers in each session. Each paper should be 15-20 minutes to leave time for introductions and discussion (for sessions with four panelists, each panelist will have approximately 15 to 16 minutes; for sessions with three panelists, each panelist will have approximately 20 minutes—please contact your Presiding Officer for the exact time details for your session). Please observe this time limit when writing your paper. Roundtables and other alternative formats are available, but you will need to discuss these session designs with the Executive Director.
  • AV equipment is plentiful this year. We will have "smart classrooms"—but do have a backup plan for AV, just in case of problems, and do get to your room a bit early if you plan to use AV.
  • Please consider developing your paper into a publishable essay for Pacific Coast Philology (PCP), PAMLA's refereed journal. Guidelines for submission are available on the website.

Duties of Presiding Officers:

  • Presiding Officers must be current in their PAMLA dues. 
  • The Presiding Officer reviews paper proposals submitted beginning on May 31 and selects three or four papers for that session (See step-by-step instructions). If the choice of proposals is limited, the Presiding Officer is responsible for soliciting additional proposals from among colleagues, from field-specific listservs, etc. We will have an extended deadline period available, for those sessions in need of more good quality paper proposals.
  • Normally, presiding officers may not accept more than one paper from a colleague or graduate student in their own institutions. Normally, presiding officers may not read a paper in the same session over which they preside. For exceptions to these rules, please contact Craig Svonkin, PAMLA Executive Director: svonkin@netzero.com
  • The Presiding Officer notifies all who proposed papers of acceptance or regrets beginning on May 31 by updating the proposal status online and including a brief note explaining their decisionPlease do not accept any paper proposals before May 31, as everyone has until the end of the May 30 deadline to propose a paper. The presiding officer should try to finalize the makeup of the session by June 15, but we can extend the time available should more papers be required. When wishing to include a paper in the session, the presiding officer invites the proposer, and if the proposer indicates via an email to the presiding officer that she or he is committed to attending the conference and presenting a paper in that session, then the Presiding Officer marks that proposal "Confirmed" online. The Presiding Officer should remind invited participants that they may only deliver a single paper during the conference.
  • The Presiding Officer must remind presenters to pay PAMLA dues by July 15, and that the conference registration fee is due by October 1 (there is now a combined PAMLA membership/conference payment option available). 
  • The Presiding Officer should attempt to finalize the status of proposals for his or her session online by June 15, but more time is available if needed. Please stay in contact with Craig Svonkin, PAMLA Executive Director, about your session and your needs: svonkin@netzero.com or 626-354-7526.
  • The Presiding Officer or session chair should contact each panelist beforehand, asking for a brief bio to introduce each panelist during the session. Also, it is the Presiding Officer's or chair's duty to make sure all panelists still plan on attending the conference and delivering their paper, and to let Executive Director Craig Svonkin know immediately if anyone is having to cancel: svonkin@netzero.com or 626-354-7526.
  • At the conference, the Presiding Officer (or session chair) introduces the topic and the speakers, and moderates the session, controlling the time allotted to each speaker. The Presiding Officer moderates discussion after all the speakers have finished speaking.
  • It is important to keep speakers from going too long, as a speaker taking up too much time may take away time from the other speakers and may make it impossible to have a good discussion following the papers. We encourage presiding officers and chairs to plan for at least twenty minutes for discussion. We encourage limiting presentations to 15 to 17 minute papers maximum if there are four panelists in a session, and 20 minutes maximum if there are three panelists. It is important to let panelists know ahead of time how much time they will have, and then to give them warnings about time while they are presenting. If a presenter continues presenting for more than a minute or two after you have let them know they are out of time, you may have to politely cut them off (please, always be polite; if there are just three presenters, you'll have a bit more leeway to allow a presenter to go a few minutes over time).
  • At the conclusion of the session, the Presiding Officer of PAMLA standing sessions holds an election for a new P. O. for the following year, and then sends that information to the Executive Director by December 1 (the list of standing sessions is available at http://www.pamla.org/constitution_and_bylaw . Presiding Officers of special sessions need not hold an election, as these sessions must be proposed anew each year.). Please observe that deadline for emailing your presiding officer’s report, as the Executive Director needs that information for the next year’s Call for Papers. 
  • If the Presiding Officer is not able to attend the conference, he or she is responsible for notifying the Executive Director immediately, and for helping the Executive Director to find a replacement if possible. As with presenters, there may, of course, be emergencies that prevent attendance. Please make plans as early as possible to attend or not to attend the conference. The Executive Director assumes that only the direst emergencies will keep the Presiding Officers and presenters who have agreed to participate in the conference from attending. 
  • The Presiding Officer should encourage all presenters to develop their papers into publishable essays for Pacific Coast Philology (PCP), PAMLA’s annual refereed journal. Guidelines for PCP are available on the website and at the conference. 

If you have any questions concerning rules regarding the conference or any questions about your duties as Presiding Officer, please email or call PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin: svonkin@netzero.com or 626-354-7526 (calls or texts are very much welcomed).