For Presiders

Presiders of individual sessions should ensure that presentations begin and end on time and transpire in a manner that promotes meaningful academic exchange. To this end, presiders should…

  • Ensure that the room is arranged in a way that features the speakers on the panel
  • Confirm that all audio/visual aspects of the session are operational
  • Provide a brief introduction of each presenter
  • Guarantee that speakers end their paper with enough time for discussion
  • Moderate the question and answer time in such a way that discussion occurs
  • End the discussion portion of each presentation before the next speaker (or session) is scheduled to begin

The most critical role of the presider is often item four. Do not be surprised if speakers prepare more than they can share in the allotted time. When this happens, the presider must conclude the paper’s presentation and help transition the room to a discussion of what was covered.

Occasionally, scheduled speakers will be unable to attend the meeting. When this occurs, presiders should ensure that the presenters that are in the room begin their presentation at their scheduled times. For instance, assume that the panel is described in the program as follows:

Presentation by Marina Warner at 1:00

Presentation by Guy Watt at 1:15

Presentation by Eddie Muir at 1:30

Presentation by Linda Bristow at 1:45

If both Marina and Eddie are absent unexpectedly, do not move up the times for Guy and Linda. They should still present at the times announced in the program. Presiders can decide to let presentations or discussions of those presentations run into “empty” slots, so long as everyone begins their paper on time.


For Presenters

All presenters must register at least one month prior to the conference.

Presenters should prepare and deliver papers in such a way that they provoke meaningful thought and discussion. To this end, presenters should…

  • Organize the paper around a clear question or argument
  • Establish the significance of this question or argument from a religious studies perspective
  • Craft papers that can be presented in the allotted time
  • Consider presentation alternatives to merely reading the paper
  • Expect to discuss the ideas the paper addresses during a Question and Answer time after the paper
  • Consider supporting the paper with some visual component (handout, visual presentation, etc)
  • Be attentive to the passing of your allotted presentation time: conclude your presentation within that time, do not request additional time, do not continue reading/speaking past the conclusion of your allotted time, respect the presider’s obligations to the other presenters and the audience

Should you discover that you will be unable to attend the conference, please alert via e-mail the panel’s presider and/or the person who accepted your proposal as soon as possible. If you are going to be absent but have completed your paper/presentation, please consider submitting your paper through email. The presider may, with your permission, elect to have someone present your paper in your absence.