Should the AALS prefer programs with speakers making only a single AALS appearance? Stated another way, should there be a disincentive (or even a rule precluding) multiple conference appearances by the same faculty member?
Here’s what I observe in the Annual Meeting Program:
- There are 603 different “speakers” listed (although this list includes folks who are “moderating,” too).
- 44 of those speakers (roughly 7.3% of the total pool) are making more than one conference appearance. Of the 44 making multiple appearances, 24 are men and 20 are women.
- Of the same 44 making multiple appearances, 12 people are speaking more than two times. (Of those 12 speaking more than twice, 3 are members of the AALS Executive Committee and 2 are current or former AALS staff members.)
The AALS already gives scheduling preference for Annual Meeting programs that issue a call for papers (as well as co-sponsored programs and programs with papers that will be published). This opens up the meeting to more voices and helps combat a “clubby” atmosphere. I would support a similar preference for programs comprised entirely of “single-appearance” speakers. (In the same spirit, I’d also support a preference for programs comprised of those who have not spoken at any of the preceding three AALS annual meetings.)
Some conferences (like SEALS) strictly limit participant appearances. This further opens up a program to more voices. Other conferences (LSA) limit participants to one moderation/chair slot and one speaking slot.
Procedural preferences/rules can facilitate the inclusion of the maximum number of different voices as possible.