Appropriate Conduct at the Louisville Conference

The guidelines below are adapted from the MLA policy statement, “Appropriate Conduct at the MLA Convention.”


The Louisville Conference is committed to providing an inclusive and harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, or other group identity.

Attendees should be aware of the MLA's policies on discrimination and harassment and on professional ethics, which the Conference follows.


Behaviors that are unacceptable at the Louisville Conference include


  • Harassment or intimidation based on gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, religion, or other group identity

  • Sexual harassment or intimidation, including unwelcome sexual attention, stalking (physical or virtual), or unsolicited physical contact

  • Shouting down or threatening speakers


Speakers are asked to frame discussions as openly and inclusively as possible and to be aware of how language or images may be perceived by others. Attendees may exercise their option to leave a session or a conversation.


All attendees are expected to follow these guidelines in all conference venues and at conference social events. Attendees asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.


Adapted from the guidelines of the American Library Association and the Modern Language Association.


All conference sites and buses are in compliance with university and ADA accessibility guidelines. Support services for visually impaired and hearing-impaired participants are available on request via the registration process.

Chairing a Panel

This checklist is intended mainly for participants new or somewhat new to the chairing business, and designed to help you manage time and maintain an atmosphere of professional courtesy and productive scholarly exchange. If you’re a veteran and comfortable with what you’ll be doing, there’s no need to read further. 
There are four main areas of chair responsibility: informal tech support, introductions, time management, and discussion management. 
I. Tech 


1. Encourage your panelists to make sure their technology is working before the panel starts; that may involve them and you showing up to your meeting room a few minutes early. Contact registration in Humanities 300 with any problems. 


II. Introductions 


2. Please arrive at your session early to meet your panelists. Contact them in advance—see the email to which this checklist is attached—for any information that you will need (typically a brief biographical paragraph will suffice) to introduce them.  
3. It generally works better (it makes for fewer interruptions) to introduce everyone all at once at the beginning. 
4. Absent a compelling reason to do otherwise, please stick to the order of speakers as listed in the program. People do panel-hop . . . 


III. Time management 


5. As a rule of thumb, allow 20 minutes per paper for a 3-person panel and 15-17 minutes per paper / reading for a 4-person panel or creative session. While there’s no need to be extremely rigid about this guideline, you do want to leave at least 20 minutes for discussion at the end.  


6. Let your speakers know in advance that you’ll be signaling them somehow and asking them to conclude when their time is up—or you can agree on some kind of “2-minute warning” signal. You can invite them to use the timer on their phone, or, if you’re comfortable doing so, use the timer on your own phone. In a worst-case scenario, you may have to—politely but firmly—cut someone off in the interests of allowing the next speaker their due time or in the interests of allowing time for discussion. 


IV. Discussion management 


7. After the papers are concluded, open the floor to discussion but have one or two questions of your own prepared to kick off discussion in case you don’t get responses from the floor. 
8. The rules of thumb here are those that you would apply in a classroom setting: elicit comments from as diverse a range of respondents as possible, avoid having any one person or question thread dominate conversation. 


If you wish, you can purchase a conference parking pass for use in the university lot at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Shuttle transportation will be provided to and from the stadium and Belknap Campus on Thursday and Friday only. On Saturday, you are free to park in any blue or green University lot. A pass/permit is not required. Click here for a color-coded campus parking map


You will have the option to "print tickets" once you have completed your online registration. Be sure to print your parking "ticket" as it will serve as your permit. Just place it in your dash when parking at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
 You can catch the shuttle (TARC #94) every ten minutes from 6:40 am to 7:30 pm at the west side of the stadium (look for bus shelter). You can tell the bus driver that you are with the Louisville Lit Conference and show them your ID, and you'll be able to ride for free. Ride the shuttle to the 3rd and Brandeis stop (the first stop after getting on the shuttle). Walk south-east towards (and past) the Speed Art Museum until you enter the quad with Ekstrom Library on your right and Bingham Humanities (our conference building) on the left.

If you don't want to pay for a conference parking pass or if you are running late and want a closer option, the Speed Art Museum has parking at 2035 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40208  for $3 an hour up to $9 for the day. The Bingham Humanities Building is a short walk from the Speed Museum's parking lot.


The shuttle is wheel chair accessible. For more information, click here.