This PAMLA conference and registration webpage is non-functional and informational only. To access our new conference and registration portal, please visit

Member Login

PAMLA 2019

117th Annual Conference - San Diego, California
Thursday, November 14 - Sunday, November 17, 2019

PAMLA Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

PAMLA Conference FAQs:

What is PAMLA?

PAMLA stands for the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association. Often, we get confused with PMLA and the name Pamela. That can be confusing! Specifically, we are a century-old non-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of ancient and modern languages, literatures, and cultures as the West Coast regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association (MLA).

When & where is the PAMLA 2019 Conference being held?

PAMLA 2019 will be held between Thursday, November 14, 2019 and Sunday, November 17, 2019 in beautiful San Diego, California at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel (1355 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101). There is a special PAMLA rate at the hotel available for conference attendees:

I noticed that the conference is starting on Thursday this year, instead of Friday as in past years. Will there be sessions on Thursday, or just a reception?

PAMLA 2019 is indeed starting on Thursday, November 14 this year, instead of starting on a Friday. And while we will have a terrific Welcome Reception in the evening, the conference will begin with a few workshops about 11 am, and a fabulous "Send in the Clowns" Opening Event at 1 pm, and breakout sessions after that. So, please plan accordingly.

I’m shy. Are there events that I can attend to help me to meet people?

Yes indeed there are. One way to meet people is to volunteer to work at the Registration Table for a shift. PAMLA needs your help, and volunteering is a good way to give back and meet people. If you are interested, please email PAMLA Assistant Director David Boyd:

There are also three or four events we would suggest you attend to help you to meet people. First, there will be the Opening Session on Thursday, November 14 (from 1-2 pm), and then later that day, the Welcome Reception. Each evening there will be creative events, including poetry readings and open microphone events. And on Friday evening, there will be our annual PAMLA Reception, this year from 5 – 8 pm aboard the steam ferry Berkeley, docked across the street from our hotel.

What is there to do in San Diego near the conference site?

If you’ve never been to the beautiful city by the sea, that's no problem, because we here at PAMLA have got you covered. Since the PAMLA 2019 Conference ( will be situated in downtown San Diego at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel (adjacent to the bay), extremely close to the city’s excellent railway, we also wanted to provide information about some surrounding sites of “the birthplace of California,” as local historian Clarence McGrew called it.

  1. Museum of Contemporary Art - San Diego (

  2. Maritime Museum of San Diego (

  3. Little Italy (…/downtown-urban/little-italy.aspx)

  4. Gaslamp Quarter (

  5. USS Midway Museum (

  6. Old Town San Diego (

  7. Ferry from Broadway Pier (a five minute walk from the Wyndham) to Coronado Ferry Landing ( ),

Other sites near us also include Waterfront Park to the north, Seaport Village, Coronado Bridge, and Chicano Park, to the south, Point Loma to the east, San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park (home to dozens of amazing museums) to the east, and Sea World to the north, most of which can be reached via railway or on foot or via a brief Uber or Lyft ride. If you have the time, check out these sites, and don’t miss our Friday Night PAMLA Reception just a five minute walk from the Wyndham onboard the ferryboat Berkeley, part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego (, and located next to the famous Star of India, a nineteenth century British merchant ship that is regarded the oldest ship still sailing regularly to this day.

General Membership FAQs:

Can I be part of more than one panel at the conference?

Members of PAMLA can present one traditional panel paper at the conference, and chair one session; or, if they are not presenting a paper, they may chair two sessions. In addition to delivering one paper as part of a traditional paper panel, members may also present on a Roundtable, as part of a Workshop (and there are no limits on how many Workshops a person may register to take), or as part of a Creative Conversation or Special Event.

Can I submit proposals to multiple sessions?

The same paper should 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 panel paper at the conference). You probably would be better off submitting just one or a few strong proposals, though. In addition to being able to present a single traditional panel paper at the conference, a member may present in a roundtable, workshop, creative conversation, or special event. The Executive Director and presiding officers shall resolve any conflicts that may arise when it comes to multiple paper proposals.

When will I find out if I’m invited to join a session?

After our abstract submission deadline (June 10th) presiding officers will have until June 17 to mark all proposals as invited, declined, recommended for rerouting to another session, or as under consideration. Then, on June 18, emails will go out letting all proposers know if they’ve been invited, declined, or are still under consideration. As a proposer, you can then log into the site on June 19 to accept/confirm or withdraw any offers (if you’ve proposed to and been invited to more than one paper panel, accepting one invitation will automatically mark your other invitations as withdrawn, as you can only accept one spot in a traditional paper panel--you may, however, present a traditional paper in a traditional paper panel, and also participate in a creative format session, like a roundtable or special event). If you haven’t heard back from a presiding officer by June 19, it is fine to send them a polite email to see your chances of being invited.

Do I need to be a PAMLA member to propose an abstract?

No, you do not need to be a PAMLA member to propose to a session! But if you are accepted, you will need to join PAMLA for the 2019 year right away, and we encourage you to also pay the conference fee at the same time. You may become a current PAMLA member, pay the conference fee, and pay for the optional lunches and indicate your interest in other free events by clicking on the Registration and Membership tab at the top of the page.

When do I need to join PAMLA?

Conference presenters, presiding officers, and chairs must join PAMLA (pay their membership fees for 2019) by July 15. You may also pay your conference fees at the same time (there are separate or combined membership/conference fee options—but you will need to pay both PAMLA membership and the conference fee, or the COMBO option, in order to be listed on the conference program). To be listed on the conference program, you need to pay your conference fees by October 1. Those who do not pay will be removed from the program after October 15.

Do I need to pay membership to attend the conference, or can I pay just the conference fee?

You do need to pay for both.

Do I have to be a professor to attend the conference? To present a paper?

You do not need to be a professor to attend the conference, or to present a paper. We are committed to inclusivity in the academy, and we encourage all academics, intellectuals, and creatives at all stages of their careers to join us! If you wish to attend the conference just to attend and observe, that is also an option.

Is there a special PAMLA rate at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside? Can I make a hotel reservation now?

Yes, indeed! To receive the Special PAMLA room rate of $164 a night (plus tax) please use this link: here. For more information on hotel rooms, see

If I get invited to join a session, what do I do?

After you receive an indication that you’ve been invited through email, return to your homepage at and scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will be able to accept the invitation.

If I get invited to join more than one session, what do I do?

You should decide the session that you are most interested in presenting on first, and then, you should email the presiding officer of the session you are declining to let them know (cordially) that you will be accepting an invitation from a different session. When you accept the offer you wish to accept, the system will withdraw your other offers. You can, however, present one paper in a traditional panel session, and also present or participate as part of an alternative format session (a Roundtable, Creative Conversation, Special Event, or Workshop).

Presiding Officers and Chairs FAQs:

Am I the one who will receive proposals for this session?

You are the one to receive proposals, but through our online system. When you log onto and scroll down you will see your session. And when you click on Manage, you’ll see any proposals (none may be there yet). There you can read the proposals, and come June 11, invite or decline (or, if you have a proposal you like, but one you don’t have room for yet, mark them as under consideration. You will have until June 17 to mark all proposals as invited, declined, recommended for rerouting, or under consideration). If you receive any proposals via email, you’ll need to get the person to propose via our system. They’ll need to go to to create an account and then will need to go to your session on the CFP page and propose there.

Am I the one who decides which proposals will be accepted? If so, when is the deadline of acceptance?

Yes. As the presiding officer of the session, you can invite, decline, recommend for rerouting (if the proposal seems topically wrong for your session), or mark as “under review” (for backup proposals you might invite if some of your top choices say no to you—which does happen as people sometimes propose to more sessions than they are allowed to join, or sometimes cancel). You can start inviting and declining proposals on June 11, and you’ll need to do so fairly quickly, by June 17 at the latest. When you invite people to join your session using the online tool before June 17, they will receive an email on June 18, encouraging them to log in and confirm their participation. If you don’t hear back from them in a timely fashion, you can send them a polite email. Also, if you haven’t received sufficient proposals to form a session, we will have an extended deadline list of sessions still open to proposals (from June 11 until July 10—with proposals considered by you on a first-come, first-served basis).

How many are the minimum and maximum number of participants?

For a Roundtable you may have 6-10 panelists. For a regular paper panel session you may have 3 or 4 panelists. Should you receive so many strong proposals that you think a second (or even third) session is necessary, do let PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin know that you are requesting a split session right away. You may do so via the online system, or via an email or call to Craig at: or 626-354-7526.

What do I do if I haven’t received enough strong proposals to form a session by June 10?

If you haven’t received enough strong proposals to form a full panel of three or four panelists, please email or call Craig Svonkin right away to ask to be added to the extended deadline list of sessions still open to receiving proposals: or 626-354-7526.

What do I do if I received a lot of strong proposals—to many for just one session?

Should you receive so many strong proposals that you think a second (or even third) session is called for, let PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin know that you are requesting a split session right away. You may do so via the online system, or via an email or call to Craig at: or 626-354-7526.

Is there anything else that I need to be aware of?

It will be important for you to publicize your session so as to get proposals. So if you haven’t done so yet, please post CFPs on the main CFP pages and send emails out to possible panelists. Given the time, emails to people working in the field might be the best way to get more proposals. More information is also available here:

I have more questions. What should I do?

We love questions. So, send them our way:
Craig Svonkin, PAMLA Executive Director: or 626-354-7526 (feel free to call or text)

David John Boyd, PAMLA Assistant Director:

Russell McDermott, Communications Officer: