How (Not) to Chair a Section at a Conference


Last year’s ETS and SBL annual meetings are now behind us, and with them some great memories are fading, but some very unpleasant memories of poor chairing of sessions still linger. You know the ones we mean—where the chair didn’t keep speakers to time so your paper had to be shortened, or the question time got out of control, or, the most dreadful of thoughts, the chair wasn’t very chair-like (or even very professional) and dominated the Q&A.

In light of this, and with regional ETS and SBL meetings ensuing in the next couple of months, we thought it would be appropriate to discuss how to successfully chair a session at a scholarly conference. As many of you know, many of these conference meetings have parallel sessions, in which three to four papers are presented, each allowing anywhere from 25-40 minutes for presenting a paper and answering any questions. Chairing…

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