Shakespeare Association of America

Frequently Asked Questions

SAA Membership

How much are dues?

Dues levels are based on annual income:
For income below $15,000, dues are $25.00
For income between $15,000 and $24,999, dues are $45.00
For income between $25,000 and $39,999, dues are $60.00
For income between $40,000 and $54,999, dues are $75.00
For income between $55,000 and $69,999, dues are $85.00
For income between $70,000 and $89,999, dues are $95.00
For income between $90,000 and $114,999, dues are $110.00
For income between $115,000 and $139,999, dues are $125.00
For income $140,000 and above, dues are $150.00

How do I know if I am a member in good standing?

Your membership status may be confirmed online by logging in on the SAA website.

If I paid my membership dues in February, why do they expire in June?

SAA membership runs on an academic calendar, with each new membership year commencing in June. Those who pay dues in February in order to attend an Annual Meeting in March or April will need to renew their membership in June if they wish to enroll in the next year’s seminars or workshops.

How do I use the SAA website if I’ve forgotten my password?

The SAA website will send a password link to your e-mail address if you click on the “Forgot Password” button. The link will include instructions to establish a new password. Please recognize that the “Forgot Password” button does not send a message to the SAA office.  We prefer that you email us or telephone 202.687.6315 with any problems. If you simply start a new account, for example, this creates a false duplicate in our database.

Once I join the SAA to attend the Annual Meeting, what else does membership involve?

As a member of the SAA you become part of a network of scholars, teachers, and students who are in active dialogue over the better part of the year. You are urged to contribute to SAA governance by voting for officers, by serving on SAA planning and awards committees, and by proposing programs for upcoming conferences. Member benefits include discounts with selected academic presses and journals.

The Annual Meeting

How do I learn about the annual meeting?

The SAA publishes two online bulletins each year. The June bulletin announces the program of the next year’s conference, including the seminars and workshops open for our 15 September enrollment deadline. The January bulletin gives conference registration information, hotel registration information, and a detailed conference schedule.

What is the registration process?

For most conference participants, there are two stages for engaging with the conference. The first, which takes place between 1 June and 15 September, involves enrolling in seminars and workshops. Enrollment placements are confirmed in early October. The second, which takes place between 1 January and the date of the Annual Meeting, involves registering to attend (whether or not you are enrolled in a seminar or workshop).

Can graduate students take part in the conference?

Participation in SAA seminars and workshops is reserved for students at the dissertation stage of their graduate work. This status must be confirmed by students’ dissertation directors. Graduate students at the dissertation stage are not eligible to lead seminars, but they are eligible to present papers in public sessions and the NextGenPlen, a plenary session of short papers by early-career presenters.

Do I have to be in a seminar and write a paper to come to the conference?

Many of our attendees choose to audit sessions. Newcomers to the SAA and students in the earlier stages of graduate work may wish to familiarize themselves with the Association’s proceedings by attending a meeting’s panel sessions and auditing seminars and workshops (when workshops are closed to auditors at the request of their leaders, this information is included in the conference program).

May I attend a seminar in which I am not enrolled?

Auditors are welcome in seminars and (with a few announced exceptions) workshops. Seminar leaders make paper abstracts available so that auditors can better follow the discussion. Auditors are  permitted to join in the conversation when invited to do so by seminar or workshop leaders, during the last twenty or so minutes of the session, at the discretion of the leaders.

When is the Annual Meeting registration fee due?

The conference registration fee is payable after 1 January of the conference year. Conference registration fees and annual membership dues are separate payments. Only members in good standing may register for the SAA Annual Meeting.

Is there a reduced fee if I can attend only part of the Meeting?

No, not at this time.

May I bring a guest to the Annual Meeting?

Guests of registered members are welcome at all panel sessions, film screenings, and coffee breaks at no cost. Guest tickets to the Annual Luncheon and special evening events may be purchased during the conference registration process. Guests may attend the Opening Reception only when wearing official name tags, which can also be requested during the registration process.

How much will the hotel room cost?

Each year, room-rate information is given in the June and January bulletins.

How do I reserve a room at the hotel?

Hotel reservation information is included in each January Bulletin and also available online after 1 January.

Can I apply for funding to attend the conference?

The SAA offers travel grants to dissertation candidates and to contingent faculty who are taking part in the program. For more on applications for travel grants, see Awards.  The SAA is not otherwise able to support conference travel for panelists, seminar and workshop leaders, or seminar and workshop members. The formal letters of invitation that are sent to all seminar and workshop participants are intended to help them secure funding at their home institutions, if any is available. The SAA is also committed to keeping hotel rates and conference registration fees as low as possible in order to make conference attendance affordable.

Seminars and Workshops

How do I enroll in a seminar or workshop?

The enrollment process for seminars and workshops begins in June and ends on 15 September. Members must make four choices during the enrollment process and are subsequently assigned to seminars and workshops on a first-received, first-enrolled basis.  Only members in good standing are admitted to seminars and workshops for SAA Annual Meetings.

If I change my mind about my seminar preferences, can I make a switch?

You can revise your enrollment preferences any time between 1 June and 15 September. Please note, though, that you will lose your place in the enrollment queue, the date of revision becoming the date of enrollment. After seminar enrollments have been processed in late September, a no-switch policy obtains.

When will I learn my assigned seminar?

Formal letters of invitation are e-mailed to all participants in early October. This letter will state the name of the session in which you are enrolled and will identify the session leader(s).

How large are SAA seminars?

Each seminar is strictly capped at 16 participants. This policy is designed so that every seminar member has a chance to take part in seminar discussion and so that discussion is focused by a reasonable load of advance reading.

You have a first-received, first-enrolled seminar policy. If I am going to be placed in my first-choice seminar, why must I wait until early October to be notified of it?

For two reasons. First, all seminar and workshop leaders are entitled to invite up to four people to take part. They have until 1 September to notify us of their invitational list. Some invitees do not know before then whether they can accept the invitation. That means that until September we do not know whether a seminar or workshop has 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 spaces to be filled by open enrollment. Second, some seminars and workshops are so heavily oversubscribed that we ask their leaders whether we might schedule two sessions. Until the enrollment deadline, we do not know which seminars and workshops will be the most popular. That means that before 15 September we do not know whether a seminar or workshop has 16 spaces or 32.

If the seminar enrollment deadline is 15 September, why don’t I hear before early October?

In late September, the enrollment process is briefly on hold as we contact selected seminar and workshop leaders about running double sessions of their popular programs. It then takes at least a week to generate enrollment lists for the seminar and workshop leaders and also personalized letters of notification to between 900 and 1,000 seminar and workshop participants.

When I receive my letter of invitation should I contact my leader?

In addition to sending out individual letters of invitation to each seminar or workshop participant, we also send enrollment lists to seminar and workshop leaders. Your leader(s) will contact you and your fellow participants by the end of October.

When is my seminar paper due and how long should it be?

All seminar proceedings are established by the seminar leader. By the end of October you should hear from your leader(s) concerning the requirements for your seminar.

Why are there double sessions for some seminars?

Let’s say that 31 people make Seminar A their first choice. Just 5 people choose Seminar B, and 11 choose Seminar C. You might think that all we need do is bump 11 people from A to B, and 4 more from A to C. The problem is that the 15 extra people in Seminar A have not expressed any interest in Seminars B or C. Their second, third, and fourth choices may be for Seminars D, E, and F, each of which which already has 16 people or more. If we have just one session of Seminar A, that means that besides the 15 people who don’t get their first choice for Seminar A, there are 15 more who get bumped out of their first choices for Seminars D, E, and F, if the dates of enrollment so dictate. And those 15 may bump 15 others. When we don’t take demand into account, the ripple effects are long. Our working assumption is that it is better for each SAA member, and for each SAA seminar, if as many people as possible are placed in their first seminar choices. Double sessions ensure this not only for those in the double sessions, but also for those in many other seminars.

How do two-session seminars work?

We ask those leading two sessions to treat each one as independently as possible. This is in keeping with our firm enrollment cap of sixteen per seminar. No one (outside the seminar leader) should be required to read more than fifteen other papers. If the reading load is manageable, there is no excuse for you not to complete it, and thoughtful advanced reading is what fuels each seminar discussion.

Program Planning

How is the SAA program assembled?

The vast majority of panels, round-tables, seminars, and workshops are proposed by SAA members. Each year one member of the Board of Trustees serves as Chair of the Program Planning Committee, and s/he composes a committee from the membership at large. The work of the committee is reviewed by the Board of Trustees, who make all final decisions regarding programming. Occasionally, if the trustees recognize a gap in the program, they will invite a scholar to address the missing subject. They attempt to create a program that makes room for all the many interests of Shakespearean scholars.

How do I get on the program at the SAA?

In the year leading up to a conference, you can enroll in a seminar or workshop or submit a proposal to the NextGenPlen, a plenary session of short papers by early-career presenters. With more advance planning, you can also submit a program proposal, which may be for a panel session or for a seminar or workshop. All SAA members are welcome to submit proposals. Dissertation candidates are eligible to speak in panel sessions but not to lead seminars. The members of the Program Committee for any given year will accept proposals up to an announced deadline the previous year. During each Annual Meeting, the Board of Trustees set the program for the next Annual Meeting.

Why do we always hear from the same people?

It is an SAA policy that members are eligible to present a paper in a panel or to participate in a round-table discussion only once in any three-year period.  The SAA maintains careful records of conference participation that are reviewed by the Trustees annually. Often, names seem familiar not because they have appeared regularly on the SAA schedule but because they also appear on the schedules of other academic conferences, as well. The most constructive way to contribute to the freshness and vitality of the SAA program is to propose a panel, seminar, or workshop yourself.

How do I submit a program proposal for a future Annual Meeting?

See the dedicated page on the SAA website. Proposals are accepted online, but you are encouraged first to consult with members of the year’s Program Committee. They are happy to advise you about submitting a competitive proposal.