Participation roles

The organizer is responsible for assembling the panel and confirming the participation of all panel participants, including the chair, the discussant and the presenters. Once the panel has been officially approved by the LASA program chairs, the panel organizer should confirm that all participants have received official notification from the LASA Secretariat and still plan to attend the congress. He or she should advise the LASA Secretariat promptly of any changes in the composition of the panel. The organizer should also communicate with panel participants in advance of the congress date and ensure that paper presenters deliver their written work to the designated discussant in timely fashion.

The chair (who may or may not be the organizer) calls the panel to order at the scheduled time and introduces the various participants. The chair is responsible for ensuring that speakers and the discussant respect agreed time limits, and he or she coordinates the question-and-answer session with the audience after panel members have concluded their presentations.

The discussant should summarize key conclusions and identify issues for further discussion in the various papers presented by panel members. He or she might wish to situate panelists’ work within larger academic debates, but the discussant should not use the occasion to present a separate paper of her or his own.