IAUPE Conference Guidelines

Once every three years, in July, IAUPE members meet for a conference that lasts for a full working week, attracting hundreds of members from all over the world. Conferences normally alternate between English- and non-English-speaking countries. IAUPE conferences have a number of distinctive features.

First, the academic programme is unusually comprehensive, ranging from the early medieval period to the 21st century.

Second, the conference builds community among scholars who, while all belonging to “English,” would not ordinarily come together. Owing to the broad international representation and the collegial atmosphere, IAUPE conferences provide opportunities for like-minded colleagues to meet. IAUPE meetings have an excellent record of sowing the seeds of cooperative projects.

Third, IAUPE conferences always include special cultural and social events—concerts, excursions, and so on—intended to provide conference participants and their partners with opportunities to become acquainted with the best that the venue can offer.

Programme Structure

The structure of the programme is based primarily on chronological blocks. This structure is comprehensive in that it covers all periods and allows for various topics within periods, thus enabling many colleagues to participate.

Each period is represented by a “Section,” and each Section will typically include several “Sessions.”

The Chair is free, within the limits of periodization, to determine the content of the Sessions, and within the limits of the time allotted, to determine the length and number of papers. Three papers per Session is the norm, but the Chair can vary this, as needed.

Special Sessions

Most special topics can be folded into Sections, but for areas that do not fit neatly into chronological blocks (or that encompass several), members can submit a proposal for a Special Session to the President. The number of Special Sessions will be limited. Some Sessions, like digital methods, might be offered on a test basis. These new areas could apply for permanent “Section” status if successful, especially if they come in response to a massive new trend in the “Fields of Interest” specified in the Association’s database.

Applications for Participation of Papers

The “Call for Papers” with deadlines and the names (and e-mail addresses) of Section Chairs will be included with other conference information on the website prepared by the host (in 2013, Tsinghua and Beijing Universities). The Committee suggests that Chairs ask for abstracts and titles from the general membership.

Round Tables

Round Tables (panel of five ten-minute papers, followed by discussion) may be organized on special topics. If a Round Table is requested, the President will invite a member to chair, and said Chairs will have discretion to structure the event. Round Tables (with topics, deadlines, and names of Chairs) will be announced on the triennial host’s website.

IAUPE would like for all interested members to participate by giving a paper, chairing a session, or participating in a Round Table. The names of members participating in Round Tables will appear in the printed conference programme.

Plenary Speakers

IAUPE generally has two major plenary speakers who address topics of broad interest to the membership. The Committee suggests that one speaker should be a literary scholar and the other a linguist. While both speakers should be highly distinguished, it would be preferable for one to be in the mid-to-late stages of a career (instead of emeritus).

The above  guidelines for the IAUPE triennial conferences incorporate suggestions of the Ad Hoc Programme Committee assembled following the 2010 conference in Malta. The Committee members:  

Frederic Regard (Chair), Li Cao, Michael Lofaro, Helen Ostovich, Ray Siemens, Sabine Volk-Birke (general membership), Ian Kirby (advisory)
Date: 13 June 2011

Guidelines for Section Chairs

Frederic Regard (Chair), Li Cao, Michael Lofaro, Helen Ostovich, Ray Siemens, Sabine Volk-Birke (general membership), Ian Kirby (advisory)
Date: 13 June 2011

The President will invite members to serve as Chairs of the various Sections, and the Chairs will solicit papers and determine the number and structure of their respective Sections.

The Chair should keep the following points in mind:

  • The norm for the number of Sessions for each Section (chronological block) is three.
  • The norm for participation by members is one paper per conference, with the possibility of also participating in a Round Table and/or chairing a Session. To assist IAUPE in including all members in the programme, members submitting abstracts should indicate whether or not they are applying to other Sections.
  • Titles of abstracts which cannot be included in a Session should be sent to the President for inclusion on a waiting list to be used in the event of cancellation or withdrawals.
  • All speakers should be given the courtesy of suitably brief, but decent introductions.
  • All speakers should be limited to their allotted time in the schedule. The Chair should stress this in advance and enforce it at the conference itself.
  • Chairs should encourage broad participation within their fields, with special attention to inviting different members, including new members, to chair individual Sessions.
  • Section Chairs should rotate every three or six years, in order to allow broader participation.

Book Exhibit

If there is to be a Book Exhibit, relevant information will be posted on the triennial website. In any case, the host will provide space for the orderly display of brochures, order forms, and any other material related to members’ books.


The question of whether to publish a selection of conference proceedings is under review. This review includes a debate on the viability of print publication and the possibility of refereed electronic publishing.