Participation Roles

The organizer is responsible for assembling the session and confirming the participation of all, including the chair, the discussant and the paper presenters or presenters without papers. Once the session has been officially approved by the LASA Program Chairs, the session organizer should confirm that all participants have received the official notification from the LASA Secretariat and still plan to attend the Congress. The organizer should advise the LASA Secretariat promptly of any changes in the composition of the session. The organizer should also communicate with session participants in advance of the Congress date and ensure that paper presenters deliver their written work to the designated discussant in a timely fashion.

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

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