RSA Renaissance
News & Notes

Spring 2012

Volume XXIV.1

In This Issue

  1. Welcome Spring and our Annual Meeting

  2. Mellon Match 2012

  3. Focus on Research: Paul Oskar Kristeller Grants

  4. Washington 2012 Special Events

  5. Washington 2012 Conference Guidelines

  6. News from the RSA Publications Chair

  7. Book Exhibitors

  8. Washington 2012 Registration Desk

  9. Washington 2012 National Gallery and Folger Sessions

  10. Special RQ Session at Washington 2012

  11. San Diego 2013 Call for Papers

  12. Washington 2012 Childcare Info

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News from the RSA Publications Chair

RSA runs a reprint series with the University of Toronto Press. The continuation of this series depends on our members buying these books, for personal or class use. Please click this link for the e-flyer and consider ordering a copy for yourself and/or your library, and using one of these books in your classes. Each has been selected for its unusually broad appeal and enduring value.

RSA also publishes a texts and studies series. This series, which contains editions and reference works that would have trouble finding a home elsewhere, has been taken over by Brill Academic Publishers. There is a new editorial board and the first volume with Brill will be published in 2012. If you are working on something that would fit in the series, please contact Craig Kallendorf, RSA Publications Chair:

Book Exhibitors
Washington 2012

The book exhibition will be located on the Independence Level of the Grand Hyatt Washington.

Book exhibition hours:
Thursday and Friday, 22–23 March
9:00 am–6:00 pm

Saturday, 24 March
9:00 am–2:00 pm

The following publishers/booksellers will exhibit at the RSA Washington meeting:

  • Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS)
  • ARTStor
  • Ashgate Publishing Company
  • Brill
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto
  • David Brown Book Company
  • ISD
  • Edizioni ETS
  • Hackett Publishing Company
  • Institute of Jesuit Sources
  • John Wiley and Sons
  • The Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Leo Cadogan Rare Books
  • Penn State University Press
  • Scholar’s Choice
  • Truman State University Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • University of Toronto Press

Washington 2012
Registration Desk Hours

The registration desk will be open for participants to pick up badges and programs Wednesday, March 21 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm on the Constitution Level of the Grand Hyatt, the same level as the opening reception.

For the rest of the conference, the registration desk will be on the Independence Level and open during the following times:

Thursday, March 22: 7:45am to 5:00pm
Friday, March 23: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Saturday, March 24: 8:30am to 12:00pm

Washington 2012 Info

For information regarding transportation, attractions and hotel for the annual meeting in Washington, DC please visit the meeting webpage.

Columbia University’s new MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies:

Applications now being accepted. The deadline is March 15, 2012. For more information, visit

Washington 2012 National Gallery and Folger Sessions

For sessions at the National Gallery of Art (map), the entrance to the East Building is on Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Doors open at 10:00 am. The closest coat check is at the main entrance. The Small Auditorium is located downstairs on the concourse level. Maximum seating capacity is 65, and seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Please present RSA registration badge for entry to the Small Auditorium. Admission to the permanent collections and special exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art is free. Do not miss the current exhibitions: Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes (East Building, Ground Level); The Baroque Genius of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (West Building, Ground Floor); and Civic Pride: Group Portraits from Amsterdam (West Building, Main Floor). For refreshment, the Cascade Café and full-service cafeteria are open on the concourse level of the East Building; and the Garden Café offers a buffet lunch next to the ground floor galleries in the West Building.

Sessions in the Folger Shakespeare Library Board Room are accessible via the entrance at 2nd and East Capitol Streets (map). The Board Room is down one flight and to the left. Coffee breaks will be available in the Board Room. Metro directions to Folger Library from the Grand Hyatt Washington: From Metro Center station (a 3-minute walk from the Grand Hyatt), take the Blue Line (direction Largo) or the Orange Line (direction New Carrollton) to Capital South station. Walk to the Folger at 201 East Capitol Street Southeast (about 8 minutes).

Special RQ Session at Washington 2012


Grand Hyatt, Independence Level, Cherry Blossom
Saturday, 24 March 2012 3:45–5:15 pm
Chair and Organizer: Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto

Incoming articles editor Nicholas Terpstra will meet informally with RSA members to discuss the editorial review process and how to submit your work most effectively for review and publication in Renaissance Quarterly. While the discussion will focus primarily on publication in Renaissance Quarterly, it will also range to more general questions about publishing in academic journals.

Call for Submissions: RSA Annual Meeting, San Diego, 4–6 April 2013

Submissions for the 2013 conference in San Diego will open shortly after the Washington conference. The deadline for submissions will be late May or early June. We will update our requirements a bit from last year, but we will expect them to be fairly similar. For those who want to plan now for that meeting, here are the basic guidelines:

The Program Committee will welcome submissions for individual papers or panels on any aspect of Renaissance studies, or the era ca. 1300–1650.

You need not be a member of RSA to submit a proposal, but if your paper is accepted you must become a member and register for the conference. Proposals will be evaluated by the Program Committee for their scholarly contribution to an aspect of the field.

Proposals may be submitted by individual scholars, by RSA Discipline Representatives, or by Representatives of Associate Organizations. Scholars who wish to organize sessions will have the opportunity to post CFPs on the RSA website. Only individuals may submit single papers, and they may submit one proposal; Disciplines and Associate Organizations submit complete sessions only. Any given Discipline Representative, Associate Organization, or individual scholar may submit up to five organized sessions. Most sessions are composed of three 20-minute papers, but other formats, including roundtable discussions, will be considered as well. While a given person may serve as organizer or chair of more than one session, any one conference participant may submit only one paper for consideration, and may present one time in a single session at any annual meeting. An individual may not chair a panel in which he or she is a presenter.

Each proposed paper must include: author’s contact information; title; abstract (150 words maximum); keywords; and a one-page curriculum vitae.

Childcare at Washington 2012

The RSA provides the names of the following childcare suppliers as a service to members who may be interested, but the RSA assumes no responsibility for their performance, licensing, insurance, and so on.
Companies note that they are fully insured, licensed, and bonded, and they will make arrangements to provide childcare in the client’s hotel room or elsewhere. Pay rates are generally based on a caregiver’s training and experience and the requirements of the particular engagement. Typical rates are $15 to $25 per hour. If plans must be made closer to the meeting dates, attendees can also call their selected hotel’s concierge desk for a list of childcare providers maintained by the hotel.

A free preview of available caregivers is available to families through a local neighborhood mapping technology. Once a registered member, individuals will be given immediate access to babysitters through text messaging, email, and phone. A free one-week trial is available.

888–748–2489, Monday—Friday, 7:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. CST

One of the largest online sources for childcare. They offer a four-step screening process, background checks, sitter reviews, detailed profiles, and more. A free one-week trial is available.

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Book Discounts

Members are offered a discount on books from the University of Chicago Press, publisher of Renaissance Quarterly. Visit the Member Subscriptions page (sign in required) for more information and discount codes.

Submit your News

Post your news, announcements, calls for papers and others events on the RSA website.
Calendar events

Renaissance News & Notes
The Renaissance Society of America
CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, rm 5400
New York, NY 10016–4309
Phone: 212–817–2130
Fax: 212–817–1544
RNN is published biannually (Winter and Autumn). Members receive it as part of their membership. Members will also find on the site an archive of past issues of RNN. RNN is produced by Maura Kenny and Erika Suffern.

Welcome Spring and our Annual Meeting

by Ann E. Moyer, Executive Director

We will arrive in Washington during the first days of the city’s famous Cherry Blossom Festival. Given the mildness of our winter this year, we may hope to see some blossoms. With flowers or without, Washington is a wonderful place in springtime, and the Grand Hyatt, the Folger, and the National Gallery of Art will be congenial hosts.

Most of our annual meeting will keep to the familiar outlines, but there are some changes as well. One is an experiment with our meeting schedule. As our conference grows year by year, it begins to outstrip our meeting space. Larger conferences have meant more concurrent sessions, since none of us can devote another day to a longer conference. This year, we will have a longer, five-session schedule on Thursday. Friday and Saturday will have the usual four. We will want to hear which you prefer: a longer day with slightly fewer concurrent sessions, or the traditional schedule. In future years we will do our best to follow member preferences, within the constraints or bounty of our chosen site.

Another change is our request for brief reports from session chairs; we will have a form available for you online. We want to hear about problems and concerns while they are fresh in your minds, and to plan better for the future. This will include basic information about how many people attended, whether all your speakers were present, any problems with facilities, and so on. Our interest in numbers is not to give preference to large (or small) sessions, but rather to match session size and room size in future years.

Perhaps the biggest innovation is the addition of a general membership meeting (often referred to as an AGM, an annual general meeting), Saturday March 24, 2012, in the Grand Hyatt Hotel Independence Ballroom at 5:30 pm. We hope you will be able to attend. It will include a presentation of the annual financial report of the Society. Next, we will want to affirm and approve important changes to the Society’s governing documents. If you cannot attend the meeting, and to expedite the agenda for all even if you plan to attend, we encourage everyone to participate with an online proxy vote. We worked with specialists in New York non-profit law on our amended constitution; in order to present these issues to you clearly, I’ve consulted with one of the partners to present the issues now. Apologies in advance for the legal language.

After some months of discussion, the Executive Board (the "Board”) determined that it would be in the best interests for the growth of the Society, and in compliance with the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of the State of New York (the "N-PCL”), to amend the Constitution of the Society to introduce this annual meeting of members. In addition, the Constitution Committee and the Board have also similarly determined that the process for meetings and of the other constituencies should be clarified in the Constitution and that the certificate of incorporation of the Society dating from 1954 should be updated. In the latter case, we must update information on file relating to the names and number of Board members.

Accordingly, upon the recommendation of the Constitution Committee and pursuant to its authority under Section 602 of the N-PCL, the Board expects to adopt the New Constitution on March 22, 2012, effective as of such date. At such time, the Board also approves the submission of the New Constitution for the additional approval of the Council and the members at the annual meeting and for the submission of the Certificate of Incorporation for approval of the members at the annual meeting.

The most important sections of the New Constitution fall into the following categories.

  1. Membership. The new Article III sets forth the process for notice, proxies, quorum and voting at the annual meeting. Notice may be sent to the electronic address provided by the Member for all communications. The quorum for the annual meeting is set at the minimum required by the N-PCL, the lower of 10% of the members or one hundred members in person or by proxy, and for action by members by a majority of votes cast unless otherwise required by law.
  2. Elected Directors. The prior Constitution had been unclear as to whether or not the members needed to vote at the annual meeting for the elected directors serving on the Executive Board whose terms were expiring. The Board has determined that such election would be more consistent with the requirements of the N-PCL and more in keeping with the Society’s goal of an inclusive scholarly community and accordingly the New Constitution provides for the election by the members of the Counselors and Committee Chairs (other than the Chair of Publication who is an officer). The Constitution also provides that individuals currently those positions stay in office through July 1, 2013 (one year additional term) as part of a transition (thus, no election of Directors at this year’s meeting).
  3. Officers. The Constitution clarifies the terms and duties of the ex officio officers who serve on the Board. It reduces the number of ex officio officers from 11 to 7. The individuals serving as RQ associate editors shall finish their current term on the Board but then the positions will no longer be ex officio positions on the Board. Officers shall be nominated by a Selection Committee comprised of three members of the Council and two members of the Board, and confirmed by the Board. New officers so confirmed shall be announced at the annual meeting.
  4. Executive Board. The Constitution clarifies that the Society shall be governed by the Board.
  5. Council. The Constitution clarifies the role of the Council in setting the academic agenda of the Society in an advisory capacity only. The clarification is important as Council is not a structure that is technically recognized by the N-PCL as having a formal governance role as it is neither a board of directors nor a class of members. Because the Council has historically taken such a role in certain cases, the Council’s affirmation vote on the New Constitution will be sought at the annual meeting.
  6. Indemnification and Insurance. The Constitution sets forth the provision of indemnification and expenses of, and insurance for, the Board and staff in accordance with, and to the extent permitted by the N-PCL. The Board has obtained insurance for its directors and officers this year.
  7. Amendments. The Society provides that either the Members or the Board may approve amendments and changes to the Constitution at a duly constituted meeting. New article VII sets forth a process for proposals to be evaluated by the Constitution Committee and then presented to either the Board or Members. If the Board implements any changes, a concise description of changes shall be provided to Members and any changes may be repealed by the Members at their next meeting.

These are all important changes in terms of law; but they are also important for making RSA’s governance more responsive to member interests and participation. Please come to our meeting, and let us know what you’d like RSA to be doing. I hope that this intrusion of legal language does not lead you to neglect either the quick task of going to our site to cast a vote, or the blossoms in whatever state of bloom we soon will find them. A presto--

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Mellon Match 2012

by Edward Muir, Vice President

The RSA has received a matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It will allow us to expand our Paul Oskar Kristeller research grants, and provide a permanent source of funding for them. Please see the Focus on Research column below to read about Mark Aloisio’s research, which he undertook with the support of a 2011 Paul Oskar Kristeller grant.

That will allow us in turn to establish a new set of research grants, one each at the Folger, Newberry, and Huntington Libraries and one at the University of Toronto’s Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies. We plan to have these new grants available with the Autumn 2012 grant application cycle.

A major grant from the Ambrosiana Foundation brought us partway to our goal. The rest will need to come from member support, some $60,000 in 2012.

We’re now asking for your help. Please consider a gift of $60 or more to the Paul Oskar Kristeller Fund. You can make a single donation at that amount, a recurring monthly donation at your choice ($10 per month yields double that amount), or a fixed sum split into monthly payments ($25 per month yields considerably more).

Donate online

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Focus on Research: Paul Oskar Kristeller Grants

by Mark Aloisio, Colorado State University

In February 2011 I was fortunate to receive a Paul Oskar Kristeller Grant from the Renaissance Society of America in support of my book project Land, Community and State in Late Medieval Sicily: Sciacca and its Hinterland, 1392–1458. Based on my doctoral research written at the University of Minnesota, this project entails a detailed study of one locality that explores the connections between political and social structures and economic change in late medieval Sicily. A broader goal of this project is to offer a new contribution to a longstanding debate in Italian historiography concerning the historical origins of the socioeconomic disparities between Northern and Southern Italy.

The principal focus of the project is the town of Sciacca, located on Sicily’s southern coast, which functioned as a major center for the redistribution of grain and other agricultural products from the surrounding region in late medieval and early modern times. The goal of my study is to reconstruct both the physical features of this environment as well as patterns of economic behavior, changes in social hierarchies, and the evolving relationship between local society and the state in the course of the fifteenth century. In doing so, I argue that the region — and by extension late medieval Sicily — showed considerable economic vitality but that long-term development was ultimately constrained by the existing social and property relations. While in part a response to local physical and environmental conditions, those relations were ultimately the outcome of the political balance between the state, the feudal aristocracy, and urban communities. The temporal parameters chosen for the project — starting with the restoration of Aragonese rule over Sicily in 1392 and terminating in 1458 with the death of king Alfonso V of Aragon after an eventful 42-year reign — coincide with a period of profound political, social, and institutional transformation on the island. The community of Sciacca is therefore examined from various perspectives: relations between the state and urban elites; the economic and social patterns of behavior of the landowning aristocracy; the agrarian economy and its links to overseas markets; trade and manufacturing activity; and the role of the Jewish community in the local economy.

Thanks to a Paul Oskar Kristeller Grant I was able to fund a final research trip to the Archivio di Stato in Palermo during May and June 2011, where I consulted documents pertaining to Sciacca during Alfonso V’s reign (1416–58). During my stay in Palermo I also conducted a brief visit to the Archivio di Stato in Sciacca to consult some notarial registers that I was unable to examine on previous visits to this archive. Finally, this visit to Sciacca also enabled me to identify and study various locations and buildings that were part of the urban landscape of the town during the fifteenth century. Over the past few years I have been engaged in a careful study of hundreds of notarial contracts from Sciacca, many of which included specific topographical references. I had not visited Sciacca since the early stages of my research and it was extremely helpful to superimpose the picture of medieval Sciacca that I had formed in my mind onto the actual physical layout of Sciacca’s medieval core as it survives today. I would like to thank the Renaissance Society of America for its generous support of my project and the society’s continuing efforts to provide financial support for its members.

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Special Events for Washington 2012

Wednesday, 21 March
6:30–7:30 pm
Opening Reception
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Constitutional Level, Constitution Ballroom
Sponsor: The Renaissance Society of America
Thursday, 22 March


Friday, 23 March
12:30 pm–1:30 pm
Medici Archive Project (MAP) presents live demos of its online interactive platform
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Level, Farragut Square

Beginning this summer, scholars of early modern Europe will be able to conduct research on the over four million documents in the Medici Archive over a broad range of historical topics—political, diplomatic, gastronomic, economic, artistic, scientific, military, and medical—from any location in the world, using an innovative new software platform. With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MAP will provide high resolution digitized images of original documents from the Medici Archive on the worldwide web. In addition to the original language transcription and English-language synopsis, each document will be accompanied by an online community forum, creating unprecedented opportunities for exchange of scholarly ideas.

Please contact Lisa Kaborycha ( if you have any questions about MAP or the demonstrations.

Thursday, 22 March
7:00–8:30 pm
Margaret Mann Phillips Lecture
Sponsor: Erasmus of Rotterdam Society
Location: Folger Shakespeare Library Theater

John Monfasani, State University of New York, Albany
Erasmus and the Philosophers

Erasmus was famously allergic to the philosophic theology of the medieval scholastics and what he considered their confusion of Christianity with Aristotelian philosophy. But he himself edited the opera omnia of Aristotle in Greek, just as he produced an edition of the philosophically rich opera omnia of St. Augustine. Paul Oskar Kristeller and Michael Screech have noted the Platonic influences in Erasmus’s Praise of Folly. Martin Luther accused Erasmus of following in the traces of the ancient Skeptics. Indeed, Erasmus avowed a certain tenderness towards the Academic skeptics. Nor is it difficult to find references in his writings to philosophers and the ancient schools of philosophy. So the question is: what exactly was Erasmus’s attitude toward philosophy and the philosophical tradition from antiquity to his own day? And what philosophical positions did he appropriate, dispute, or show an interest in? Could one consider Erasmus a philosopher malgré lui?

Seating is limited. Advance registration for this event is required. Click here to register. If reservations are full, your name will be added to a wait list.

Friday, 23 March
12:00–1:30 pm
Reception for The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
Sponsor: CASVA
Location: National Gallery of Art, East Building Reception Room (first floor)
by invitation
Friday, 23 March
5:30–7:00 pm
Plenary Session: The Global Renaissance
Sponsor:The Renaissance Society of America
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Level, Independence Ballroom

Organizer: Alison K. Frazier, University of Texas, Austin
Chair: Hannah Wojciehowski, University of Texas, Austin
Respondent: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Notre Dame University

Ann Blair, Harvard University
Information Flows in a Global Renaissance: Through Orality, Manuscript, and Print

The European Renaissance witnessed information explosion due both to increased travel to different parts of the world and to the rediscovery of ancient texts. In addition to these external factors, however, new conceptions of proper information management caused the explosion - notably the idea of taking and saving notes on texts and direct experiences. Information flows based on this note-taking were neither uniform nor one-directional. In particular, information was treated differently depending on the form in which it traveled: in manuscript (whether meant to be secret or for more-or-less broad diffusion), in print (in different genres to reach different audiences), and/or through direct human transmission. What difference did it make when texts traveled with people rather than by themselves as unaccompanied objects, especially when those people were themselves "documents” of other worlds?

Natalie Rothman, University of Toronto
Mediating a Global Mediterranean: Translation, Commensuration, and Articulation

This paper draws out some of the methodological and conceptual implications of the recent resurgence of the Mediterranean as a historical object for our understanding of the so-called global Renaissance. It considers shifts in the historiography of early modern Mediterranean empires, focusing on the growing scholarship on ethnolinguistic, religious, and juridical boundary-crossing. The paper highlights the importance of processes of mediation, commensuration, and translation in their myriad transimperial settings, and explores how the global Renaissance was articulated from the vantage point of self-proclaimed cultural intermediaries and the variety of genres and state institutions they engaged. These intermediaries, and their role in enabling the circulation of texts, ideas, and objects, has all too often been assumed, or rendered transparent. This paper suggests that attending to sites of mediation can bring to light the very conditions for envisioning a global Mediterranean, both then and now.

Ken Albala, University of the Pacific
The Renaissance of Food in Global Perspective

While historians have long traced the many global exchanges in ingredients, peoples, and pathogens that took place in the wake of the age of encounters, few have looked closely at actual culinary traditions. What traditions of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European kitchens were adapted to local conditions, ingredients, and available technologies and why do they survive long after disappearing from European cuisine? There are surprising culinary rudiments dating back to the Renaissance, stretching from the kasutera of Japan to the capirotada of Mexico. This talk will discuss European cookbooks and cooking traditions and the fascinating ways they influenced cooking around the world, long before the era of transnational conglomerate food corporations.

Friday, 23 March
6:00–8:00 pm
Society of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome Reception
Sponsor: Society of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Constitution Level, Wilson Room

All AAR fellows, affiliated fellows, and residents are invited.

RSVP by March 18 to

Saturday, 24 March
5:30–6:30 pm
RSA Members Business Meeting
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Level, Independence Ballroom
All RSA members are invited
Saturday, 24 March
6:30–7:00 pm
Awards Ceremony
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Level, Independence Ballroom

Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award
Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Book Prize
William Nelson Prize
Saturday, 24 March
7:00–8:00 pm
Josephine Waters Bennett Lecture
Sponsor: Renaissance Society of America
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Independence Level, Independence Ballroom

Paula Findlen, Stanford University
The Eighteenth-Century Invention of the Renaissance: Lessons from the Uffizi

It is a canonical fact of Renaissance studies that Jules Michelet, Jacob Burckhardt, and a number of other influential nineteenth-century scholars wrote the Renaissance into existence, which they most certainly did, since no historian before the mid-nineteenth century offered a comprehensive and synthetic account of this era as a well-defined period of history. But what inspired and preceded their vision of the Renaissance? This talk explores the eighteenth-century landscape of antiquarianism, historicism, collecting, and art history from which the idea of the Renaissance emerged. It moves away from scholarly encounters in Paris and Basel to the society and culture of Italy in the age of the Grand Tour as the site where this conversation began. Its focal point is the activities surrounding the multiple reinventions of the Uffizi Gallery in the age of the Grand Tour. How did Vasari’s building come to house Vasari’s Renaissance?

Saturday, 24 March
8:00–10:00 pm
Closing Reception
Sponsor: The Renaissance Society of America
Location: Grand Hyatt Washington, Constitutional Level, Constitution Ballroom

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Some Guidelines for Speakers, Chairs, and Respondents at the RSA Annual Meeting

For complete guidelines please see the website

As you prepare for your session in Washington, it might be helpful to keep in mind some standards of good academic etiquette as well as the practices of this particular conference.


  • Commitment to attend; no third-party readers. Should illness or other emergency leave you unable to attend the meeting, please notify both the RSA office and your session chair. Please do not ask a session chair or other substitute to read your paper for you. RSA conference policies do not allow that. A third party cannot answer questions or contribute to the discussion in your stead. If you must cancel, the presentation of your paper is canceled as well. Scholars who fail to appear at their session without giving notice may expect not to be included as participants in annual meetings for several years in the future.
  • Adherence to time limits. Please be mindful of the time constraints and the fair allocation of time to all as you plan your talk and your session. Most sessions have three 20-minute papers. Presentation time per session should total one hour to allow for discussion. You may expect your chair to give you notice as you approach your time limit in presenting your paper, or to ask you to wrap up quickly if you have exceeded it. All presenters need equal time; sessions need time for discussion; and the room needs to be readied for the next session in a timely manner.
  • Advance copy of your paper for chair and/or respondent. Please send a copy of your paper to your chair well in advance, even if there is no respondent or commentator. Your chair needs to know about the length of your presentation; more importantly, they need to put some questions together to ensure a good discussion. If there is a respondent, it is doubly important that they receive a copy in time to compose thoughtful comments. Please do not send them a longer copy and then cut it down at the last minute; too many respondents have labored over their remarks only to discover as the paper is delivered that the section on which they focused has inexplicably failed to appear in the presentation.


At the session:

  • Be sure all speakers are in agreement about the order in which they speak, how you plan to introduce them, and whether the discussion of all papers will occur after all presentations (as is more common), or whether you will take questions at the end of each paper separately.
  • Have a plan in place for keeping speakers to time limits, and inform your speakers about it before the session begins. If you must enforce it, you will want to be both professional and firm.
  • Moderate the discussion and question-and-answer session.

After the session:

  • Please report to us via email any problems or difficulties, including (but not restricted to) malfunctioning equipment, overcrowded (or cavernous) rooms, and above all the failure of a participant to appear. We would like to know approximately how many attended your session; this request is simply to help us assign rooms more accurately in future years.


  • Your session organizer or chair should be ensuring that both you and the presenters are clear about when you want and need to see copies of their papers. But you should certainly feel free to contact them all yourself if need be. Be sure you know how much time is to be allotted to your remarks, so that you can keep to that limit.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington!

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