Save the Date for the 80th Annual Midwest Political Science Conference
Thursday, April 13 through Sunday, April 16, 2023
In-Person at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL
with an Option to Present Virtually

Learn more about the 80th Annual MPSA Conference.

2023 Session Times

Conference session dates and times are held in Central Daylight Time (CDT).

Each conference session is 90 minutes. There are 5 minutes for the chair’s introductions at the beginning of the full 90-minute session time. Please see the break down of session times for each format below. If there is any additional time remaining, it will be reserved for additional Q&A/Audience Discussion.

2023 Conference Session Formats

Session formats for 2023 include: Complete Panel/Paper Sessions, Lightning Talks, Posters, Standing ePanels, Roundtables, Junior Scholar Symposiums, Lectures, Working Groups/Conference-Within-a-Conference, and Meetings, Receptions and Networking Events. Each format is described in detail below. Author guidelines will be available in the spring.

Complete Panel/Paper Sessions

Four to five papers are represented on a panel, which also includes a Chair and discussant(s). The chair introduces the panel, each author, and the discussant(s), manages the time for each presentation, and ensures that the discussion is polite and productive. Each author presents an abbreviated version of their paper (e.g.  if 5 presenters, 10 minutes; if 4 presenters, 12 minutes; if 3 presenters, 15 minutes), followed by 20 minutes for comments from all discussants, and 15 minutes for audience discussion. The program will list the exact time for each paper to be presented, the times for discussants to speak, and the time for questions from the audience.

If you are presenting a paper on a panel, you must upload the paper to the MPSA website (.pdf, .doc, .docx) two weeks before the conference so the discussants may read it. You may also upload your PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx) or Slidecast presentation. More than half of the conference attendees report that they use these to decide which session to attend. Instructions for uploading your research and instructions for downloading a paper from the online conference program will be available in the spring.

Lightning Talks – Only Available in Sections 76-81. View Sections and Section Descriptions Here.

During a Lightning Talk, six to eight papers are presented using brief PowerPoint presentations (six-minute maximum). After each presentation, there will be two minutes of Q&A. At the conclusion of the presentations, there can be more extensive Q&A about any of the papers. The chair(s) will keep the presentations to the exact time limit, so presenters need to have their presentation rehearsed in advance. Each participant is expected to read the other papers on the session, and provide comments on one of them. The PowerPoint and paper needs to be provided to the chair(s) two weeks before the conference and the presenter should bring the PowerPoint on a thumbdrive.

If you are presenting on a Lightning Talk, please prepare the following to upload to the MPSA website: 1. Research Paper (.pdf, .doc, .docx), 2. PowerPoint file to be used during presentation (.ppt or .pptx).

More information on Lightning Talk guidelines and FAQs will be available in the spring.

Posters – Only Available in Undergraduate Sections. View Sections and Section Descriptions Here.

Up to eight posters are included in a poster session, which will also include a discussant. Poster sessions are held in the exhibit hall. Each presenter is assigned a space for a 2′ wide by 3′ high poster on a numbered display panel. Each display panel (8’x4’) will accommodate several 2’x3’ posters. Your poster must be printed within the 2’x3′ poster size specifications in order for all posters to be displayed in the exhibition area. Attendees have the opportunity to walk through and view the poster displays throughout the day.

If you are presenting a poster, please prepare the following to upload to the MPSA website: 1. Research Paper (.pdf, .doc, .docx); 2. Poster.

More information on Poster guidelines and FAQs will be available in the spring.

Standing ePanels – Only Available in Sections 76-87. View Sections and Section Descriptions Here.

Up to eight papers are included in a standing panel session, which also includes a chair and discussant(s). The chair introduces the panel, each author, and the discussant(s), manages the time for each presentation, and ensures that the discussion is polite and productive. The author presents an abbreviated version of his or her paper allowing adequate time for discussant feedback after all papers have been presented. The conference program will list the exact time for each paper to be presented, the times for discussants to speak, and time for questions from the audience. Standing ePanel sessions are held in the exhibit hall with research presented in a PowerPoint format on large shared monitors.

If you are presenting a paper on a Standing ePanel, please prepare the following to upload to the MPSA website: (1) Research Paper (.pdf, .doc, .docx); (2) PowerPoint file to be used during presentation (.ppt or .pptx).

More information on Standing ePanel guidelines and FAQs will be available in the spring.

Roundtables

Roundtables provide in-depth examinations of specific topics, projects, or books (e.g., author meets critics or book reviews). Four to eight panelists participate in a roundtable, which may include a chair who introduces the panelists and provides a substantive introduction to the topic. Chairs will also serve as participants on the roundtable, but will be listed in the program solely as chair. The focus is on the discussion and interaction among panelists. Examples would include: author-meets-critics sessions, professional development sessions, etc.

Participants do not need to prepare papers, though PowerPoint presentations are encouraged, and they can be uploaded to the MPSA website.

Junior Scholar Symposiums (JSS)

Attendance is by invitation only.

The Junior Scholar Symposium (JSS) is a unique opportunity for graduate students to discuss and get detailed feedback on their research and participants rate these sessions the highest.  Each JSS has four or five advanced graduate students, and one or two senior scholars. There is no audience and everyone on the panel will have read the papers in advance, so each presentation is brief (two minutes) and the bulk of the time is spent discussing the research. Up to eight JSS will take place at the same time in a large ballroom.

Participants for a Junior Scholar Symposium, must upload their Research Paper (.pdf, .doc, .docx) to the MPSA website about two weeks before the conference so the other people on their session can provide feedback.

More information on Junior Scholar Symposium guidelines and FAQs will be available in the spring.

Lectures

These are talks given by a single individual, and two will take place during a regular session. Each talk will be about 20 minutes long, followed by 10 minutes of question and answer. The selection of lectures is at the discretion of the section head. You will need to bring your PowerPoint on a thumbdrive.

If you are presenting a lecture, please upload: 1. Research Paper (.pdf), 2. the PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx).

Working Groups/Conference-Within-a-Conference

A working group is a conference within a conference. Participants commit to attend a small group of related or organized sessions. A volunteer coordinator for each working group proposes a theme, selects and/or organizes sessions for the group to attend, promotes the working group, and facilitates communication among participants. A working group consists of up to 15 participants. A working group may meet before and after a session(s) or during lunch for additional discussion and interaction.

Meetings, Receptions and Networking Events

Throughout the conference, there will be structured and unstructured opportunities to meet with colleagues to discuss research. Participants may also propose innovative networking opportunities through the relevant section chairs. MPSA is also calling on individuals to propose meetings, receptions, and creative networking ideas in order to facilitate the sessions you want (on the topics you want), that are the most beneficial and pertinent to you. Creative thematic networking opportunities are very welcome! You will be asked for an event title, length of your event, a description of your event and audience, specific time/day requests, estimated number of attendees, and for organizer/co-organizer contact information. If a person proposes a reception or networking event, that person will serve as a networking event host (or co-host) for the event. If the sessions are large, the networking event host(s) will organize the attendees into smaller groups so they can have better conversations. The host(s) will also be able to troubleshoot basic IT challenges.

2023 Conference Session Roles

Only section heads, chairs and discussants may recommend papers to the MPSA office for research awards. Chair and discussant guidelines will also be available in the spring.

The Role of Complete Panel/Paper Session Chair – The chair is responsible for introducing each paper and the authors as well as the discussant(s). The chair is also responsible for managing the time for each presentation, making sure no author exceeds his or her assigned time slot on the program and ensures that the discussion is polite and productive. Please allow an equal amount of time for each presenter (if 5 presenters, 10 minutes; if 4 presenters, 12 minutes; if 3 presenters, 15 minutes), followed by 20 minutes for comments from all discussants, and 15 minutes for audience discussion. Panels created by the section heads will assign one of the discussants on the panel to also fill the role of the chair during the session. Chairs for paper sessions will be assigned in the spring.

The Role of Panel Discussant – One or two discussants are assigned to each panel, and the paper authors will provide a copy of the paper in advance for the discussants to read. If there are two discussants and more than four papers, they may want to divide the papers each paper receives comments from only one discussant. Discussants provide feedback pointing out both the strengths and areas of improvement. Discussants also may place the research in a broader context and discuss trends and themes.

The Role of Lightning Talk Chair – During a Lightning Talk, six to eight papers are presented using brief PowerPoint presentations (six-minute maximum). It is very important for the chairs to keep all of the papers on time. After each presentation, there will be two minutes of Q&A. At the conclusion of the presentations, there can be more extensive Q&A about any of the papers.

The Role of JSS Discussant – One or two discussants are assigned to each Junior Scholar Symposium and the paper authors will provide a copy of the paper in advance for the discussants and other authors on that JSS session so they are familiar with the research. All attendees will have read each paper in advance, each presenter will provide only a two-minute overview before it opens up to a broader conversation about their specific paper and research agenda.  Because there is no general audience, the discussants play a crucial role in providing the authors with feedback. In addition to the comments typical in a panel, JSS Discussants may want to discuss publication outlets for this type of research and ways to expand the line of research. Serving as a JSS Discussant requires more preparation than serving as a Panel Discussant. Attendance is by invitation only to allow for detailed and productive conversations with the junior scholars. As discussant, if you have a colleague who you might wish to invite because of his or her expertise and interest in the topic, and their skill in providing productive feedback, please feel free to do so.

The Role of Poster Discussant – One or two discussants are assigned to Poster Session. The Poster Discussants should receive the paper in advance. They will walk through their assigned poster session, asking questions, providing feedback, and making suggestions. Because of the more relaxed nature, serving as a Poster Discussant is often seen as a bit easier than serving as a Panel Discussant.

Information subject to change.