PAMLA 2023 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

PAMLA 2023 will be held in Portland, Oregon at the Hilton Portland Downtown between Wednesday evening, October 25 and Sunday, October 29, 2023.

Below we have answered the top fifteen Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact Executive Director Craig Svonkin ([email protected]) and/or Assistant Director Sonia Christensen ([email protected]) for any other questions.

PAMLA 2023 Conference Questions

1.) Will the PAMLA 2023 Conference be held in-person or virtually?

We are conducting this year’s conference entirely in-person at the Hilton Portland Downtown. So papers may not be delivered via Zoom or in absentia.

The PAMLA Board voted against hybrid sessions, and against allowing someone to read their papers via Zoom or in absentia, due to a few concerns. First, that doing so would weaken in-person attendance, thus making it more difficult to continue to conduct in-person conferences (and more difficult to make our in-person conference financially feasible). Second, due to the unreliability and inordinate expense of contracting for strong wifi. And finally, due to the benefits of in-person interactions: namely, greater opportunities for conference discussions, networking, and intellectual exchange.

However, we have increasingly seen how an all-online conference can be a great service, and we are looking into the possibility of an entirely virtual PAMLA event for the future.

2.) Does PAMLA have a Code of Conduct?

Before, during, and after our PAMLA conference, we strive to be a kind, polite, and collegial association. We expect our members, in all of their communications, to strive to be friendly and polite, even when disagreeing. We expect politeness and collegiality in all of our members’ interactions, whether via email, online, or in person.

Please read our PAMLA Statement on kindness and collegiality expectations.

3.) Does PAMLA have a special room rate at the Hilton Portland Downtown?

Yes, we do! Check out our Accommodations for more information.

The Hilton Portland Downtown reservation window is closed, but we do have rooms at our overflow hotel, The Moxy Portland, still available.

4.) Is there an app for the conference?

Yes, there is!

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Note: after downloading the Whova app, use the email address you use for PAMLA to sign up on Whova’s mobile app or web portal. Make sure you choose a strong password. You can also sign up using a social media account. Once you have signed up, you should be taken directly to the PAMLA 2023 event.

5.) When and where is the conference?

The conference will be held in Portland, Oregon at the Hilton Portland Downtown between Wednesday evening, October 25 and Sunday afternoon, October 29, 2023.

We do not accept scheduling requests for conference panelists, except for religious reasons (please send religious schedule requests to Craig Svonkin far in advance of the conference).

Should you wish to attend the conference, if you are not on the conference schedule (not presenting or chairing), you may join as a conference Auditor for a low fee.

See the conference schedule here:

Because we have to order food and buy nametags, conference programs, etc., no refunds will be given, for the most part, after October 1.

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

Yes, you do have to pay (the only exceptions are for those who are from universities that are sponsoring the conference–they may attend for free as long as they aren’t presenting or chairing). 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. It will cost less than $100, 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 students and faculty of university sponsors 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 from the University of Washington, Portland State University, the University of Portland, Reed College, and Willamette University.

So, if you are affiliated with one of our university sponsors, simply email Executive Director, Craig Svonkin, to let him know that you would like to attend and which university you are from: [email protected].

8.) If I want to show images, what kind of A/V equipment should I bring?

If you want to use the conference LCD projectors or sound, please bring your laptop, ideally with a dongle to HDMI inputs; we will provide LCD projectors in A/V friendly rooms. Those who have an Apple laptop may want to bring their own HDMI-adapter/dongle for the projector, as well. All rooms will have LCD projectors, except for the Directors Suite and Skyline IV, which will not have any AV equipment.

Given limited time in sessions, it is always wise if you wish to use audiovisual elements in your talk to arrive a few minutes early to test things out. We’d also advise the presenter to have a backup plan just in case of technological problems (a verbal description of a film clip, ten or fifteen handouts for text that you want people to see, etc.). Everything should work, but there are times when it won’t. Planning for and adapting to those rare circumstances is important.

9.) I’m new to PAMLA or conferencing. Do you have any advice?

Yes. We have some valuable advice in our three guides:

10.) Are there any workshops or special events at the conference I should make a reservation for?

Yes, there are! Log into and click on the Registration button at the top of the page to sign up for one of our Workshops or Events. A reservation will guarantee you a spot in that workshop or event. A few events (the Thursday B Corp Lunch, the tour of the Portland Japanese Garden, the Mary Beard Lecture on Thursday, October 26, from 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall) require a reservation and pre-payment, which you can do via the Registration page at:

11.) How long are conference sessions?

Conference sessions at PAMLA are generally 90 minutes. There is one 80-minute session on Friday afternoon: Track 7 beginning at 12:20 pm.

12.) What is the difference between a special session, a standing session, and an allied session?

Standing sessions are general sessions that take place at every PAMLA conference. For standing sessions, presiding officers need to conduct an election at the end of that general session for a presiding officer for the next year’s PAMLA conference. Special sessions, on the other hand, need to be proposed anew every year (and thus no election for presiding officer need take place). Allied sessions are sessions planned by allied associations, such as the Robert Lowell Society, the Gertrude Stein Society, Women in French, and ASLE.

13.) How do Panels differ from Roundtables, Seminars, Workshops, and Creative sessions?

Panels are traditional sessions with three to four panelists either reading papers or presenting their paper. We also have Seminars (sessions with participants per-sharing their papers, and then delivering just a brief summary of their paper, thereby leaving time for more discussion). In contrast, we also have creative format sessions, like Roundtables (sessions with six to ten panelists giving brief talks and then participating in discussion), Workshops (sessions with participants involved in a significant amount of interaction with the workshop leaders or moderators), and Creative sessions (sessions that involve creative formats, such as poetry readings, discussions with writers or artists, film screenings, and museum tours).

14.) May I present in two panels? In one panel and one roundtable or creative session? May I deliver the same paper twice at the conference?

You typically may not present in two traditional paper panels.

You may, however, present in a traditional Panel and also a creative format session, like a Roundtable, Creative session, or Workshop.

One may not present the same or a largely similar paper twice at the conference (once in a traditional panel, and once in a roundtable, for example). One also should generally not present a paper already presented at another conference.

Conference participants may typically present twice, at most, at the conference (once in a traditional panel, and once in a creative format session; or twice in creative format sessions).

For more information go to:

If you have any questions about these rules, please contact PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin: [email protected].

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

Members (or prospective members) may want to take a gander at our deadline page. Deadlines are subject to change.

16.) What are the conference dates, and may I request that I be scheduled on a particular day?

The PAMLA conference this year begins on Wednesday evening, October 25, and will end on Sunday afternoon, October 29. We do not accept scheduling requests except for religious reasons. Please send those religious requests to Craig Svonkin as soon as possible: [email protected].

See the conference schedule here:

17.) Do I need to be vaccinated to attend the conference?

You must be fully vaccinated and should have proof of vaccination available; or you must be able to show a negative COVID-19 test result (taken within 72 hours of the conference). Those who cannot do one or the other of these should not attend the conference. So, please plan on your vaccination ahead of time. If you have any questions, please contact PAMLA Executive Director Craig Svonkin: 626-354-7526 or [email protected].