80th Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference
Thursday, April 13 through Sunday, April 16, 2023
In-Person at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL

All Panels, Roundtables, Lightning Talks and Working Groups will Feature a Hybrid Format (for In-Person or Virtual Participation). Poster Sessions will be In-Person Only.

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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: Panel/Paper sessions, Lightning Talks, Poster sessions*, Roundtables, Working Groups/Conference-Within-a-Conference, and Meetings, Receptions and Networking Events*. Each format is described in detail below.

With the exception of Poster sessions and Meetings, Receptions and Networking Events, all session formats are hybrid, which allows for either in-person or online participation. Sessions will be broadcast online in real time.

*Limited to in-person participation only. There is no virtual participation option for this session format.

Author guidelines will be available in the spring.

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 75-80. 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.

Poster Sessions – 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.

Posters are limited to in-person participation only. There is no virtual participation option for this session format.

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.

Working Groups/Conference-Within-a-Conference

Working group participants agree to attend, as audience members, a small group of related sessions at the conference. A volunteer coordinator for each working group proposes a topic or theme, selects the sessions for the group to attend, promotes the working group, recruits participants, and facilitates communication among participants. A working group may also organize sessions of their own and/or hold a meeting for additional discussion and interaction. MPSA staff handles scheduling logistics (i.e., ensuring that participants are free during those sessions which the working group is attending) and maintaining rosters.

Individuals holding a Ph.D. may submit a proposal to convene a conference-within-a-conference, or multiple organized sessions related to a single theme, topic, or area of study. Proposals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The convenor(s) are responsible for recruiting participants, organizing them into sessions, and facilitating communication and cooperation within the group. MPSA staff will assign meeting space, provide for the logistical needs of the group, maintain a roster of participants, and help to promote the event.

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.

Meetings, Receptions and Networking Events are limited to in-person participation only. There is no virtual participation option for this session format.

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 a 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 a 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 a 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 a Poster Discussant – One or two discussants are assigned to Poster session. The poster discussant 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.