MMLA Proposal Guidelines

Please Note: MMLA 2024 will be fully in person. No virtual or hybrid panels will be scheduled.

Submission Types

Permanent Section

Permanent Sections address a range of established topics of perennial concern to scholars in our discipline. Because the field is continuously evolving, the MMLA welcomes proposals to establish a new Permanent Section on an emerging topic. Inquiries may be sent to [email protected].

Each Permanent Section has a pre-selected organizer/chair who not only decides whether the panel will be tied to a version of the convention's theme or have an open topic but also drafts its call for papers by the March 15 deadline. The organizer then receives and vets individual paper proposals to build a full, three-paper panel, which may also include a paper of his/her own. 

Pre-Organized Panel

A Pre-Organized Panel is a three-paper presentation coordinated by an organizer based on a unifying subject, which may or may not be related to the convention theme. While not required, should the organizer be so inclined, a Pre-Organized Panel with three papers may include a respondent. The organizer also has the option to include a paper of his/her own on the panel.

The deadline for submitting a Pre-Organized Panel proposal has passed.


Unlike the formal presentation of papers that constitutes a panel, a workshop is an interactive forum that conveys information on a relevant topic and encourages open conversation among participants and attendees to help facilitate the learning process. The workshop's primary focus, structure, and number of speaker-presenters is up to the discretion of the organizer.

The deadline for submitting a Workshop proposal has passed.

Individual Paper

Faculty and graduate students may submit an individual proposal to present a paper on any topic at the MMLA's annual convention, but we particularly welcome those that engage with the convention's theme. The MMLA's staff and Program Committee will group the accepted proposals into panels that are unified by subject. Ahead of the convention, volunteers will be sought to chair each panel. Please see the MMLA's Call for Papers for more information about the convention's theme.

Undergraduate students are also welcome and strongly encouraged to submit an individual proposal for the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is an integral component of the MMLA's annual convention.

The deadline for submitting an Individual Paper proposal has passed.

Convention Roles and Responsibilities


An organizer is responsible for soliciting, reviewing, and selecting presenter proposals in order to build a full panel or workshop. It is the duty of the organizer to communicate deadlines, determine presentation order, and submit the official proposal with the requisite materials to the MMLA for consideration. In the event the proposal is accepted, an organizer is required to serve as the panel's chair at the annual convention or locate and put forward the name of another who is able to serve as the chair in his/her stead.


Prior to the annual convention, chairs are expected to communicate with presenters by relaying relevant information (such as presentation expectations and technology specifications), fielding questions, and collecting a bio from each of the presenters. During the convention, the chair is responsible for presiding over the panel by introducing the presenters, managing their speaking times to remain on schedule, and guiding discussion among the attendees. Post-convention, the chair is asked to report relevant details about the panel to the MMLA. 


Presenters communicate with their chair about necessary updates to the program book (i.e., paper title, presenter name, etc.), their audiovisual needs, and any queries they might have regarding the panel or their presentation. All presenters are expected to cooperate with their chair, ensure their presentation follows the specified guidelines, and conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism.


A respondent reads all three papers for a Permanent Section or Pre-Organized Panel in advance and helps to facilitate dialogue during discussion. Panels are not required to have a respondent, but if an organizer chooses to include one, either the chair, a presenter, or another individual not already participating in the panel may serve as the respondent.

Selection Process

For each annual convention, the MMLA solicits proposals for Pre-Organized Panels, Workshops, and Individual Papers that are reviewed and chosen by the Program Committee, which is composed of three Executive Committee members. Because Permanent Sections are coordinated by a pre-selected, qualified organizer, the individual proposals that are accepted by the organizer do not require a second round of approval. Please see our Policies and Restrictions pages for more information.