PAMLA 2021 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Due to the global pandemic, PAMLA 2020 was postponed to November 2021. As a result, many members have asked questions about 2021’s PAMLA conference at the Sahara Las Vegas, NV (Nov. 11-14th). Below we have answered the top FAQs, divided between conference specific and general questions. Of course, we must state that answers to these questions are based on the current situation, CDC Guidelines, and our own organization’s timeline, but as with all organizations enduring the effects of the pandemic, we promise that we will put our members’ well-being above all other considerations.

Please reach out to Executive Director Craig Svonkin (director@pamla.org) and/or Assistant Director David John Boyd (assistant@pamla.org) for any other questions or concerns.

PAMLA 2021 Conference Questions

1.) Will the PAMLA 2021 Conference be held in-person or virtually?

Both! This is a first for our organization; we are very excited to offer this hybrid option for our multinational and diverse community of students, scholars, educators, and artists. We are nicknaming this option The PAMLA 2021 Daily Double: The Best of Both Worlds! While all sessions will be either in-person or virtual (not both), we do hope that members participating in virtual sessions will consider joining us in-person in Las Vegas at the Sahara Las Vegas Hotel.

For our in-person attendees, more information can be found on our Accommodations page. Parking at the Sahara Las Vegas will be free! We currently expect that all in-person sessions will be scheduled on Thursday and Friday, November 11 and 12, and that all virtual sessions will be scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, November 13 and 14. For our virtual attendees, we will be offering more information about our virtual services and suggested virtual etiquette soon.

2.) If I already submitted a special session or abstract for the PAMLA 2020 conference, do I need to do so again? Have these sessions disappeared or changed?

You do not have to resubmit anything. We kept each session and paper proposal in our online platform so that they would not be affected by our postponement. These sessions remain the same. Simply log into our PAMLA Conference website to see your session or paper proposal.

3.) How do I propose an abstract for an in-person or virtual session? How do I know which one is which?

You may search our list of approved sessions at our CFP link. All sessions are marked as “In-Person” or “Virtual.” Use our search bar at the top right of the page to search for keywords like “virtual” or “online.”

4.) I missed the April 15 paper proposal deadline. Am I too late to propose a paper for the 2021 conference?

You are lucky–many sessions are still in need of one or two strong proposals! We are now beginning what we are calling the PAMLA Lightning Round: Proposals Welcome Until June 30 (Or Sessions Are Filled). This means that over one hundred sessions remain open to submissions. They will remain open until they fill, or June 30, whichever comes first. To see which panels remain open and welcoming to proposals, go to the CFP list here.

Do keep checking back to our CFP page as more and more sessions are becoming available.

5.) When is the conference? Are there different dates for the in-person and virtual sessions?

The in-person conference will take place between November 11-14, 2021, with all in-person sessions likely scheduled on Thursday and Friday, November 11 and 12. We are currently working with our virtual service providers to establish a firm date for the virtual sessions, but they are likely to be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 13-14, 2021.

6.) If I’m not giving a paper or chairing a session at this year’s conference, do I still need to pay to attend?

Yes, you do have to pay. But here is some exciting news. If you aren’t delivering a paper or presenting, and if you are not a presiding officer or chair, you may attend the conference at a much reduced rate: the Auditor rate. The Auditor conference option does not include PAMLA membership for the year, and will become available in August. It will cost just $40 per person, and will entitle you to attend the conference. Remember, however, that anyone scheduled to present, preside, or chair cannot use this Auditor payment option. Also, current University of Nevada Las Vegas students and faculty, and University of Texas, Austin and Metropolitan State University of Denver English students and faculty who wish to attend the conference but who are not on the conference program (not presenting or chairing) may do so for free, given the generous donations of UNLV and UTA English and MSU Denver English to help support the conference. Simply email Executive Director, Craig Svonkin, to let him know that you would like to attend and which university you are from: director@pamla.org.

PAMLA 2021 General Questions

1.) May I submit a paper proposal to multiple sessions?

Yes, you can! We suggest submitting to no more than two panels across our session list. If you are accepted, do note that you will be able to participate in just one traditional panel (and perhaps a roundtable or workshop). 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 (there are no limits on how many Workshops a person may register to take), or as part of a Creative Conversation or Special Event.

2.) Do I have to be a PAMLA member to submit an abstract or special session proposal?

No, you do not. However, if your paper or session proposal is accepted, you will need to join PAMLA (pay membership) and pay the conference fees. Visit the membership page for more information about the benefits of joining our esteemed community. Deadlines for membership are also listed here.

3.) Do I have to pay both conference and membership fees (even if I am choosing a virtual session)?

If you are attending either/or both versions of our conference (in-person or virtual), you still need to pay both your membership and conference fees. Our dues breakdown can be found here.

You must pay your PAMLA membership by July 1.
Please pay your conference fees by September 1 at the latest.

Note: when registering for our conference through our online portal, click Registration at the top of the page. This is where payment options and dues amounts will appear.

4.) What are the most important deadlines to remember?

Members (or prospective members) may want to take a gander at our deadline list at the bottom of our conference page. Deadlines are subject to change, but will always be updated at the conference page.

5.) May I present a paper while chairing a session?

PAMLA rules allow members to present one paper in a traditional panel and chair a separate panel. Due to the special circumstances of 2021, we will allow members to chair two panels and present a paper this year. For more information, we suggest that you visit our general policies page.

6.) Do people attending only the virtual portions of the conference have to pay the same conference fees as those attending in person, and vice versa?

Yes, all attendees at this year’s PAMLA conference have to pay the same conference fees whether they are attending just the in-person portions of the conference, just the virtual portions, or both. PAMLA made the decision to charge one price for in-person or virtual, both, for a few reasons.

First, many participants will likely be moving from in-person to virtual sessions, or back, at least until late summer. Due to these potential changes, charging two different prices would have created logistical difficulties. Additionally, we are hopeful that many people delivering virtual presentations will still decide to attend the in-person conference.

Second, a recent survey of potential conference attendees, where approximately one third expressed a strong preference for in-person and another third for virtual sessions, it was decided that offering both in-person and virtual options, despite the dramatically increased amount of work that would entail, was what was best for all of PAMLA’s members, and for PAMLA. However, one of the largest expenses involved in conference planning and execution is always what amounts to unpaid or underpaid labor. David Boyd, PAMLA’s Assistant Director, and Craig Svonkin, PAMLA’s Executive Director, plus a number of graduate students and volunteers are putting in untold volunteer or pro bono hours to plan this year’s conference. Given the increased time involved in planning what will amount to two concurrent conferences, it was decided that offering a reduced rate for online participants just didn’t make financial sense for the association.

Third, it is our hope that the benefits to many who will be able to attend the conference virtually, but who could not attend in person this year, in addition to the very reasonable PAMLA membership and conference rates and the added savings the virtual-only-conference attendees will gain by not having any flight or hotel expenses, will make the virtual conference appealing for those who simply cannot attend in person. It is our hope that the virtual and the in-person attendees will focus on how reasonably-priced PAMLA’s conference actually is.

Finally, some of our normal in-person conference expenses, like snacks and luncheons, will likely not occur this year due to COVID-safety measures. PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin and the PAMLA board have decided, upon the advice of medical professionals, to forgo in-person maskless dining. Additionally, some of the remaining perks (a Thursday night outdoor Reception, for example), are actually funded in part by hotel room sales and host university donations, as well as by the conference fees paid by those attending the in-person portion of the conference. People may also not realize that hosting a large virtual conference requires significant financial and time obligations beyond planning a single Zoom talk or series of talks. For example, we have to pay Zoom, Whova (the company we are using to host our online conference app), our Ballast website partners, etc. There are added expenses as well, including support staff, live-streaming some events, etc.

So, while those attending in-person may receive a few perks that the virtual-only participants won’t, those are quite limited this year. And it is our hope that by doing what amounts to twice the work to produce two conferences in one, we will help more members to be able to attend our 2021 PAMLA conference, thereby helping PAMLA and its members to return to a bit of normalcy, while creating plenty of useful conferencing experiences for all our participants, the all-in-person, the all-virtual, and those who will present virtually but attend the in-person portions of the conference, as well.

I hope this helps to explain why we decided not to vary the prices for the conference attendees, whether they are participating in-person, virtually, or both.