Conference Rules & Guidelines

Before submitting a conference proposal or participating in a conference, participants should read the policies and guidelines outlined below. If you have any questions, please contact the CESS Society Administrator (

Conference Rules

Conference Code of Conduct

Conference Language Policy

Guidelines for:


Conference Rules

Please read through the four rules below before submitting a proposal for a CESS conference. Failure to comply with these rules may lead to you being withdrawn from the conference program.

1. Commitment to Participate

By submitting a proposal to participate in a CESS conference (or being included on someone else’s panel proposal), you commit yourself to following through with the steps necessary to participate. This includes: obtaining funding for the costs of participation as needed, applying for a visa on a timely basis if needed, keeping your schedule free of conflicting commitments, and fully preparing for the conference.

All presenters must register for the conference by the presenter registration deadline.

2. Requirement to be a CESS Member and Register for the Conference

All presenters are required to have or obtain current membership of CESS. Membership offers a range of benefits, including a discount on the conference registration fee. Without the support of our members, CESS could not exist.

If you are accepted to participate, you must register by the registration deadline in order to be included in the conference program. Presenters who have not registered for the conference by the registration deadline will be withdrawn from the program. All participants (and audience members) must also pay the registration fee. The fee may be paid in advance or upon arrival at the conference.

CESS membership and conference registration are two separate processes with two separate fees. Both are mandatory for presenters.

3. Withdrawal Policy

If you are accepted to participate in the conference program but then have to withdraw, you must email CESS as soon as possible. You should also notify the Chair, Discussant, and other members of your panel.

4. Limits on Participation

Each conference participant may appear on the program for up to three panels, including a strict limit on presenting only one paper at the conference. For the other two panels you may have a role such as Chair, Discussant, or Roundtable Panelist. You may submit two paper proposals, but only one will be accepted. If you are a co-author on another paper, that paper may be presented by the other author.

If we receive at the time of proposal submission, a request to avoid a certain day in scheduling a paper or panel, we will do our best to accommodate the request. However, no guarantees are made. Once the preliminary program has been set, there is very little chance of being able to make any scheduling changes. We ask that you respect the difficult work of the conference organization and make such requests only in exceptional circumstances.

You may not present the same paper at the Summer Conference and the Annual Conference in the same year. You may submit the same proposal to both conferences– you must note that you are doing so in your abstract– but it will only be accepted for one conference in a given year.

Presenters whose papers have been accepted for the program, but who find they are unable to attend, occasionally ask if a colleague can read their paper on their behalf. This is not permitted. Discussion of current work is an essential element of the conference, and it is impossible to discuss a paper as usefully if the author is not a participant in that discussion. In exceptional circumstances, if a presenter has made every effort to attend the conference but is prevented from doing so, and if the available technology permits, it may be possible (but it is not guaranteed) to arrange for video conferencing of a participant’s presentation.

Conference Code of Conduct

The Central Eurasian studies Society conference (CESS) is convened for the purposes of professional development and scholarly and educational interchange in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression. CESS is dedicated to providing a harassment-free convention experience for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, nationality, race, or religion. All participants are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct. Any violation of it will be considered a serious form of professional misconduct.

Conference Language Policy

Because no other language is so widely used across the Central Eurasian region, the default language for all CESS Annual and Summer Conferences is English. We aim to foster cross-regional comparisons, not to limit discussions to scholars within regional enclaves.

However, at our Summer Conferences, we do offer the option for panels (NOT individual paper submissions) to be submitted including other languages.

For Summer Conferences: If one or more Pre-organized panel presenters wishes to present in a language other than English, the convener should indicate the proposed language of presentation in the panel abstract. Abstracts submitted in another language should be accompanied by an English language translation or summary. Only panels may include presentations in languages other than English, and only in the case that this was stated in the panel proposal and approved by the CESS Conference Committee. Any panels that are approved in other languages will be marked accordingly in the conference program.

If your proposal is accepted for presentation in English, you must present in English and no other language. It is not acceptable to ask someone to provide translation at the panel, nor to have someone else read your paper for you. During the general discussion, if someone wants to intervene in a different language and if they are able to get someone to volunteer to help with translation, that is acceptable as we do want to maximize the possibilities for spontaneous discussion. However, such interventions should be especially brief, since sequential translation increases the time that is consumed.

Guidelines for…


The role of Chair involves three functions:

The role of Chair involves three functions:

  1. Briefly introduce the panel and the panelists. You may wish to contact the panelists and ask them to provide 2-3 sentences about themselves to use for the introduction, in addition to the titles of the paper. You may request papers from the panelists if you have not received them. Keep introductory remarks brief (2-3 minutes) to allow maximum time for the presentations.
  2. Keep the presenters to the allotted time. It is critical that presenters take no more time than the time than allotted as this cuts into other presenters’ time and time for audience discussion. In most cases, the panel will have 3-4 presenters, plus a discussant. With three presenters, the norm is 20-minute presentations, while with four, it is 15 minutes. The Discussant is given 10-12 minutes, leaving at least 30 minutes for audience participation in the closing discussion (for a total running time of 1 hour and 45 minutes). Do not allow any questions before all panelists and the discussants have had time to speak. If fewer speakers appear for the panel, the Chair should decide how to divide the additional time among the speakers and inform them before beginning the panel. The Chair should pass a note to presenters to notify them when 3 minutes and 1 minute remain, and again when they should “stop.” The Chair should cut off the presenter when the time is exceeded by more than a minute and move on to the next speaker. This is a difficult job, but it is essential, given the tight time constraints which ensure everyone a chance to benefit equally from the panel.
  3. Moderate the audience discussion. You should recognize audience members to address questions or comments to the panelists. Move directly from the Discussant’s comments to the first round of questions (you can take questions 2-4 at a time), and then invite members of the panel to answer those comments or questions posed by the Discussant or audience (alternately, you may ask them to respond to the Discussant’s remarks in brief closing comments). When recognizing questioners from the audience, please ask them to state their name and institution, and ask them to be concise in their questions or comments. Unless there is a great abundance of time, gather several questions before asking panelists to respond. If an audience member speaks for more than about 1-2 minutes, the Chair should not hesitate to interrupt them and move on to the next question or ask the panelist(s) to respond. Again, the Chair is the one who saves the panel and audience from long interventions that drain time from the general discussion. When there is little time, the Chair can also encourage panelists to respond only to the questions that are most interesting for general discussion.


The role of Discussant is to read the papers in advance of the panel (assuming they are provided—if not they will need to respond “on the fly”) and to prepare comments or questions which will stimulate discussion about papers individually and/or in relation to each other. These comments or questions will set the stage for the general discussion involving the audience. Paper Presenters are required to submit their papers to you as an e-mail attachment by the set deadline.

The requirement to submit the working paper in advance is an important one. We do not remove from the panel persons who don’t submit this but it will affect the quality of the feedback given. If you do not receive a paper with enough time in advance of the conference for you to read it and prepare a response, you are entitled to inform the audience that you did not receive the paper and therefore will only be able to comment on the oral presentation. We will send reminders to presenters to adhere to the deadline, but it is also fine if you want to contact the authors in order to “nudge” them or perhaps to identify cases where there has been a technical problem and the paper needs to be resent.

Discussants typically do not have time to orally present all their comments on the papers and are encouraged to convey additional comments to the presenters either verbally or in writing after the panel.


You must send your working paper via email to the Chair and Discussant by the set deadline. Send the version of the paper that you will present—if you are sending a longer paper, highlight the parts that you will speak on at the conference. The contact information of your Discussant and Chair will be provided in the preliminary program, and you are encouraged to send your paper to all panelists on your panel as well.

During your presentation, you must adhere to the allotted time. If there are 4 or more presenters on the panel, then you have 15 minutes for your presentation. If there are 3 presenters, you have 20 minutes. The Chair is asked simply to cut off the presenter if they exceed the time by more than one minute.

You may use powerpoint and/or audiovisual aids during your presentation. We do not recommend simply to read the text of your paper. The purpose of the conference presentation is to convey the thesis/ subject of your investigation in an engaging manner. At an interdisciplinary conference, papers and presentations will vary; the important thing is that you present your research findings in a way that is conducive to a robust discussion.

Typically, conference papers are working versions of a paper being prepared for publication, a dissertation chapter, or a similar purpose. You may send a longer draft to the Discussant, but if you do this you must let the Discussant know what you will focus on in your presentation, so that they may tailor discussion points accordingly.



Briefly introduce the roundtable/forum and its participants. You may wish to contact the participants and ask them to provide 2-3 sentences about themselves to use for the introduction, in addition to the titles of the paper. You may request papers from the panelists if you have not received them.  Keep introductory remarks brief (2-3 minutes) to allow maximum time for the participants.  The chair will also moderate discussion after initial participant remarks (please see guidelines for audience interaction in the section on panels, above.). After the opening presentations, we advise to move directly to audience questions and then to allow participants a chance to engage each other.


In a forum/roundtable, participants will generally keep their opening comments brief (about 10 minutes) to allow for maximum engagement with the audience (and each other).  If a book panel, the author should consider introducing the book first so audience members who have not read it can follow along.  In other cases, opening context from the chair, convenor, etc. will be helpful.  After your remarks, please allow the Chair to engage the audience directly—after a round or two of questions, the chair should allow the participants to engage each other’s comments also.