Information for Area Chairs

Please check back often as this page will be updated throughout the year. 


General Overview


Thank you for serving as an Area Chair. We appreciate your commitment to the academic community and to our Association. Below are the major Area Chair duties:

  • Send out Call for Papers (CFP) for your area
  • Require that all papers be submitted through the submissions database
  • Respond promptly to submissions
  • Create panels of four presenters per panel around topics; three is acceptable only if scheduling four is not feasible.
  • Submit your panels to the conference coordinator in the database
  • Stay in contact with your panelists (helps to ensure attendance)

NOTE: Ideally, panel moderators should get final copies in advance of the papers to be presented and they should interact with presenters about content in preparing for the conference (ideally once every four weeks).
While we welcome fresh approaches to subjects, we also appreciate serious commitment to scholarship and to presenting at the conference.

NOTE: Regarding PCA/ACA policy: An organization rule is that we do not read people’s papers at the conference, unless the author has registered and paid his/her dues for the conference, regardless of whether he/she actually attends. For each presenter listed on the program, the organization must pay for AV equipment and hotel space, which ,as you may know, is very expensive. When someone drops out, the time and space may be used for another paper; we ask Chairs to consolidate panels when they have drops that reduces their papers on that panel to fewer than 3 papers, so that we can schedule another panel in the room. If we don’t use a room for the whole or several days of the conference, we can give it back to the hotel and receive credit on our bill. .

registering and area chair discounts

Area Chairs must register for the conference and be paid members of the Association. 

Area Chair Discount Rates:

Area Chairs receive a discount based on the number of presentations in the Area. The discount amount is based on the current year’s conference rates. The discount tiers are:

  • at least 4 presentions  (1 panel of 4 presentations each)
  • at least 12 presentions (3 panels of 4 presentations each)
  • at least 20 presentations (5 panels of 4 presentations each)

posting calls for papers 

Places to Post your CFP

The best way to increase the number of good panel submissions is to send out a Call for Papers (CFP), describing the panel topic. 

Subject Area Chairs may wish to post a Call For Papers notice to the H-Net listserv site, an international source of information for scholars. For H-Net information, click on the H-PCAACA Discussion List at left in the blue margin area. Information about H-Net appears, along with a link for posting announcements.

Below are listservs that might suit your subject area. Some require signing up with the listserv. Follow the directions at the site for placing a CFP with the server.

Regardless of where Area CFPs are posted, please post CFPs as soon as possible.  We ask that all CFPs be updated on the PCA/ACA site by August 1 of the year prior to the conference. Please see below for templates. 

Undergraduate Submissions

You may choose if you want to receive submissions from undergraduates or not. However, if you do wish to accept undergraduate submissions, you must have an undergraduate submissions policy on file and approved by the VP for Area Chairs and Programming and the Executive Director. These policies must include items such as faculty sponsorship, preparation guidelines, and conference expectations. Please see Documents to Download for examples to use as a template.

If you do decide to accept undergraduate submissions, you will not know which submissions are undergraduates, as the submissions will be enabled on the back end by the webmaster. If your area does not accept undergraduate submissions, an undergraduate will not be able to submit to your area through the system. 

Responding to Submissions

To avoid double submissions, scheduling problems, and delays, we recommend the following:

  1. Respond to submissions within TWO weeks of receiving them;
  2. Notify the submitters that their submissions have been received; (this step is automated by the submission database, but many chairs reach out personally anyway)
  3. Tell them when they may expect a response;
  4. Read the submissions as quickly as possible;
  5. Notify the submitters of acceptance or rejection in a timely fashion (so they may submit to other areas if they desire).

If a submitter indicates to you that they have subverted the submission limitations (by, say, opening two accounts), please let them know this is not allowed, and have them reach out to us to fix the situation. Individuals may only present one paper (though they may additionally present a creative work, participate in a round table, and/or moderate panels). Presenting more than one paper or more than two presentations overall is a violation of the PCA Code of Conduct.

Please respond to all submissions by December 10, 2021.


Roundtable Policies (new for 2023)

Coming Soon


formatting and submitting panels

All panels must be submitted through the area chair dashboard on this site.

If you require the scholars in your area to submit through the database, you will find organizing their papers to be a breeze.  We ask that you do not accept proposals by email.  All presentations must be entered into the database.


Panels, Roundtables, and other Events:

Fully-formed panels: A panel is a coordinated session in which there are four individual papers scheduled around a common theme/topic. 

If you receive a full panel submission request, for membership and registration purposes, panelists must submit their papers individually to your area, and then you can assemble them into the single panel they have proposed.

Roundtables: A roundtable is an assembled conversation around a topic without formal, perpared presentations. A roundtable often has a discussant and/or respondent instead of a chair. 

You can submit roundtables and other events. Individual presenters cannot submit this type of meeting, so you will need to do it for them.


Need help?

Technical trouble: Individuals or Area Chairs having technical difficulties with the submissions database should contact Nicole Freim, Vice President for Area Chairs at nfreim@gmail.com if the trouble persists.

 Individuals requiring special accommodations should contact Lynn Bartholome (execdir@pcaaca.org) for alternate options.

following up with presenters

Experience shows that Area Chairs who keep in touch with their panelists have better attendance and fewer no-shows. Keeping in touch with your panel members encourages participation, enthusiasm, and readiness from them. Area Chairs should try to send periodic updates ( preferably every four weeks) to their presenters in the months preceding the conference.


We suggest that you…

1) Email your panelists periodically (once a month is best),

  • remind them to register, preferably by the early registration deadline.  Failure to register will result in them being removed from the program.
  • ask them to double-check their online information for accuracy
  • urge them to contact you if they find that they cannot attend the conference.

2) Let the Executive Director know of any panelists who cannot attend, as soon as you can.

3) Send final reminders to your panelists again 7-10 days before the conference.


Tips for Panel Moderators

Ideally, panel moderators should get final copies in advance of the meeting.

While we welcome fresh approaches to subjects, we also appreciate serious commitment to scholarship and to presenting at the conference.

Documents to download

Template for 2022 CFP

Checklist for Area Chairs

Acceptance Email Template

Check-in Email Template

Individual Check-In Email Template

Examples of Undergraduate Policies