What to Expect at NUCL

The Shape of the Day

We have structured the day this way:

  • All conference participants and attendees will convene on the morning of the conference at Seattle University’s campus to sign in and for a welcoming address.
  • Following this brief opening session, participants will proceed to the first session.
  • Participants will be able to sit in on any of the panels presenting--to hear the papers and, we hope and expect, to enter into the "critical conversation" after the three or four papers have been read.
  • If you are presenting you will be at the head table in the room, and will present your work as well as listen to others present theirs. Of course, you, too, can ask questions afterward.
  • The same pattern holds for each session. You can attend those panels that look interesting to you in the sessions in which you yourself are not presenting.
  • We expect that each panel will have an audience of 10 to 20 people.
  • High school students will have the opportunity to tour the Seattle U campus.
  • Midway through the day, we will all proceed to lunch and the NUCL Awards presentation.
  • We will then reconvene for the keynote address.
  • The sessions will continue after the keynote address.
  • There will be a closing event at the library, which will include the opportunity to explore Seattle U’s rare books collection.

What to Expect in Panel Sessions

  • Intellectual stimulation and fun, first of all. It is really cool to hear what others have been thinking, even if you are unfamiliar with some of the texts being studied. We have tried to create panels in which the papers have some link — literary theory, historical era, genre, texts, etc. – there should be at least some commonality in the papers.
  • Each panel has three or four members, plus one Seattle University student or faculty member as panel chair. You will sit with the other panelists and the chair at a table in front of a classroom. The chair will introduce each panelist before he or she presents. The chair will remind you to take no more than 18 minutes, and then give you a gentle warning as you approach that time limit. If you go over a minute or two, you will be fine, but you will be stopped at 20 minutes, even if you have not finished, allowing time for the rest of the panel, and for discussion.
  • At most literary meetings, panelists read their papers, but have practiced reading them with feeling and emphasis, thus making them easy on the ears and easy to follow just by listening. So consider your audience's needs as you prepare your presentation.
  • Once the three or four papers have been read, the chair will open up discussion with friendly questions they will have prepared ahead of time to prime the pump of the "critical conversations" we hope will ensue. Questions and comments from the audience will also be invited (what could be more fun?) Some panels may last the entire allotted time, while others may end a few minutes early.