SAA Policies

Members of the SAA Board of Trustees have adopted a number of statements of policy and best practices. Registration for the conference and participation in seminars and workshops are open only to those who observe these policies. Any member who is found to be in violation of the policies may be denied a place in a seminar or workshop; severe or repeated violation of policies may result in the revocation of membership. The policies are intended to preserve the SAA’s historic reputation for egalitarian, ethical, and collegial governance and behavior.

The Bylaws Committee

The Bylaws Committee has as its charge:
To develop Bylaws consolidating and clarifying operational policies and procedures.

To advise on changes to the Constitution necessary to accommodate the creation of Bylaws, including adjustments to governance structures in light of the organization’s growth and expansion.

Bylaws Committee Members

  • Erika Lin (Representative)
  • Kurt Daw
  • Katherine Eggert
  • Adam McKeown
  • Rebecca Bushnell

The Shakespeare Association of America thrives on the circulation of new and emerging ideas. The special atmosphere of its annual conference derives in part from its distinctive ways of bringing scholars of all ranks and many kinds of affiliation together for a free exchange of ideas. Unusual openness requires a high degree of academic trust. Given the circulation of work-in-progress that the conference fosters, it is important for all members to follow established citation and copyright guidelines in handling the intellectual property of others, including all abstracts, papers, and talks presented at the SAA.

Always obtain permission before citing unpublished work heard or read at the conference.

Never recirculate another’s work in your own scholarship or teaching without the author’s permission.

Treat seminar abstracts in the same way as papers read or circulated.

Follow the SAA’s Social Media Guidelines for digital distribution, in real time or in retrospect, of the content of panels or seminars.

Approved 26 December 2015

The SAA is committed to practices that allow all members of the association to participate in its panel, seminar and workshop sessions. We ask that all session organizers and presenters review the following information and take the necessary steps to make their sessions accessible to attendees with permanent or temporary disabilities.

Public Speaking

Speak clearly and distinctly, facing the audience. Avoid speaking from a darkened or shadowed area so that anyone reading lips can see you clearly. Speak at a reasonable speed, but remain aware that members of the audience, sign interpreters, and those using captioning may request that you slow down further.

Panel Chairs should always repeat questions or statements from members of the audience. In dialogues or discussions during seminars and workshops, leaders should remind participants that only one person should speak at a time.

Papers, Handouts, and Audiovisuals

Speakers should prepare shareable versions of their presentations, even in draft form, for the use of members for whom a written text is necessary. Speakers should indicate whether they want their documents returned.

Consider the possibility that persons in the audience may be visually impaired and describe all powerpoints fully, or provide easy-to-read printed versions of their slides that audience members may obtain before the panel begins.

Room Setups

Rooms will generally have space for and scooter users. Please do not move chairs into these spaces. If your seminar room does not have a clear space, please adjust seating to provide one or request the assistance of a hotel staff person to do so. Please keep seating areas and aisles clear for persons who may be using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized vehicles. Space should be left around the doors and aisles to allow access.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use sign language interpreters or read lips need to sit where they can see both the speakers and the interpreter. The interpreter may stand close to the speaker or within a direct line of sight to allow the audience to view both the speaker and the interpreter. Speakers and audience members should be aware of the location of interpreters and attempt to keep this line of vision clear. It is recommended that front row seating be made available to those who need interpreters upon request.

The SAA is committed to the accommodation of persons with disabilities. To this end, we outline the following considerations as best practices to which the organization will make every attempt to adhere:

Conference Hotels

SAA staff will confirm in advance that all meeting locations are in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including but not limited to:

  • Wheelchair accessible lobbies, meeting rooms, restrooms
  • Auxiliary aids such as: flashing fire alarm, doorbell, and telephone; vibrating alarm clock; closed-caption decoders; Braille signage; and TDD telephones.
  • Parking
  • Restaurants: All dining areas meet ADA requirements and staff are willing and able to make reasonable accommodations for guests’ needs.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome at all events, sessions, and venues. The ADA protects the right of people with disabilities to be accompanied by trained service animals in public places. Remember, not all disabilities are visible and service animals are not required to wear special equipment or tags. Service animals are working and should not be distracted without permission.


We will make efforts to accommodate attendees who are sensitive to fragrances by requesting in our program that attendees refrain from wearing scented products.

Sign Interpreting

Members with hearing impairment who will need sign-interpreting service at the SAA annual meeting should notify the SAA Office in advance, but no later than January of the conference year. The request should include a list of the sessions they plan to attend. The SAA will, with the assistance of the Registry of Interpreters, secure the services of appropriate interpreters. The SAA will assume the cost for sign language interpreting services.

An interpreter may also be provided upon request for the presidential address and the annual business meeting.

Your member information is collected by the SAA in order to e-mail you copies of the bi-annual Bulletin; to maintain aggregate data on current and historical membership trends; and to communicate with you regarding your membership. This information will not be shared with third parties.

The information you provide as part of your Membership Application or Renewal (name, e-mail address, websites, institutional affiliation, academic rank, and student status and advisor information for graduate students) may be shared with members of the Board of Trustees, staff and other parties internal to the organization for maintaining aggregate demographic information about the SAA membership; to compile its Annual Report; and to provide better services and tailored benefits to our members.

Information included on your Member Profile page (name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, websites, past participation in SAA conferences, descriptions of projects emerging from conference participation) will be visible to fellow members only with current login information. This information may be used by the SAA, its Board of Trustees, staff, and other parties internal to the organization for maintaining aggregate demographic information about the SAA membership; to compile its Annual Report; and to provide better services and tailored benefits to our members.

Completion of all requested information is optional.

Membership data will be held for a maximum of six (6) years. Members may remove information about themselves from the website at any time by contacting the SAA staff.

In case of data breach:

The procedures below will be followed by the SAA in the unlikely case of a data breach.

During a data breach, the following procedure should be followed to communicate with the SAA Executive Director (“Controller”) and Board of Trustees:

  • Inform the Board of Trustees and Executive Director about the data breach within seventy-two (72) hours.
  • Provide the contact details of all responsible parties.
  • Document all the facts related to the data breach and make them available for inspection by the Controller.
  • Notifications should include the following information. If not all data is available initially, it can be shared as it becomes available: nature of the data breach; categories of the data breach; approximate number of individual affected; approximate number of data records affected; consequences of the data breach; proposed measures to mitigate the data breach.
  • Individuals affected by a data breach should be contacted without delay, in clear and plain language.

Data Processors:

All Data Processors (entities other than the SAA who have access to member information) have been invited to establish their compliance with GDPR. The SAA will not use any Data Processor that does not respond satisfactorily or that is discovered to be noncompliant with GDPR practices.

Adopted May 2018

How They Work

Seminar and workshop participation is open only to SAA members in good standing who are college and university faculty, independent scholars, or graduate students in their second year onward of their doctoral study. If you are a student, your status must be verified by your advisor. Seminar and workshop leaders, as well as those appearing on panels and roundtables, are ineligible to enroll. If you are found to have violated SAA policies and guidelines, you may also be found ineligible to enroll in an SAA seminar or workshop.

To enroll, you should begin by reviewing the descriptions of seminars and workshops in the June Bulletin. The online enrollment form requires you to make four selections from the total list, in rank order of preference. If you make fewer choices than four, you will be bumped and your enrollment will be delayed. If you revise your choices, you lose your initial place in the enrollment queue, the date and time of revision serving as the date and time of enrollment. First-choice placements cannot be guaranteed, and spaces are filled on a first-received, first-enrolled basis. You may not take more than one seminar or workshop place, and panel presenters may not enroll for places. The closing deadline for seminar and workshop enrollments is 15 September, after which a no-switch policy obtains.

Placement notifications are issued in early October. You will receive your invitation via e-mail. We have found that formal letters of invitation help SAA members secure conference travel funds from their home universities.

The work of each seminar or workshop is set by its leader(s). By late October you will receive guidelines, directions, and deadlines for work to be completed in advance of the conference.

By mid-February or the deadline assigned by seminar and workshop leaders, you should send your work to other members of your group and receive theirs in return. You should assimilate this work thoroughly so that discussion at the conference can take place at an advanced level. The seminar enrollment cap of sixteen is designed to make this manageable. If you happen to be enrolled in a double-session seminar, you are responsible only for the work of one session. (You are of course welcome to audit the companion session.)

Seminar and workshop leader(s) confirm to the SAA office the names of those who have completed all advance assignments by 15 February. Only with this confirmation are you eligible to be listed in the printed conference program. The schedule of seminars and workshops is announced in the SAA’s January Bulletin. Unfortunately, it is not possible to take into account the scheduling requests of individual seminar and workshop members.

Accepting a place in a seminar or workshop, you agree to produce original work, to engage directly with the topic and scholarly objectives announced by the seminar or workshop leader(s), to attend the seminar or workshop meeting at the annual conference, and to engage with other seminar or workshop members in a professional and respectful way both in advance correspondence and during the meeting.



Each seminar and workshop is designed to serve as a forum for fresh research, mutual criticism, and pedagogical experimentation among members with specialized academic interests.


The work of each seminar or workshop is to be determined and directed by a Leader or Leaders who are responsible to the Shakespeare Association’s Trustees and Executive Director. A Leader who has accepted a place on the program has undertaken a responsibility to attend the Association’s Annual Meeting. If attendance is in question, the Leader should contact the Executive Director immediately.


Membership of the Shakespeare Association of America is required for participation in any SAA seminar or workshop. Enrollment in seminars and workshops is open only to postdoctoral academics and graduate students who are in the second year onward of their doctoral study. The Leader(s) of each seminar and workshop may invite up to four participants to join in the work of the group. Remaining places in each seminar are filled through the Association’s open enrollment process. No one may participate in more than one seminar or workshop. No paper presenter may participate also in a seminar or workshop.

Advance Work:

As director(s) of the seminar or workshop, Leader(s) determine the extent and nature of work to be done in preparation for these sessions. This may involve common readings, papers (on either a voluntary or an assigned basis), critiques, bibliographies, or any other exercise or project devised by the Leader(s). All written materials used in a session are to be circulated to the full membership of the session and read in advance of the Meeting.

Protocols for Seminar and Workshop Members:

Acceptance of a place in a seminar or workshop represents a commitment to complete the work of the seminar or workshop and to attend the Annual Meeting. No member, even if registered in the seminar or workshop, may participate in the session at the Annual Meeting without completing the advance preparation set by the Leader(s). Seminar or workshop members should follow procedures established by their Leader(s), particularly regarding paper length and circulation deadlines. Any seminar or workshop member who has not completed the assigned work by the deadlines specified by the Leader(s) will not be listed as a seminar or workshop member in the Conference Program and may not join in discussion at the meeting. A seminar or workshop member who will not be in attendance should notify the Leader(s) immediately.

Seminar and Workshop Sessions:

Seminar and workshop meetings should be devoted to a discussion of major issues raised by work already completed. The sessions are not to involve either reading or summarizing papers. It is assumed that all participants are already familiar with one another’s work by the time the meeting begins. The Leader(s) assume responsibility for the direction and content of the discussion. Workshop sessions may be devoted to exercises organized by the Leader(s) as well as to discussion of major issues.


In advance of the Meeting, Seminar Leaders should submit abstracts for seminar papers to the SAA office, for posting on the SAA website. On the day of their session, they should also make available to auditors hard copies of abstracts. At the discretion of the session’s Leader(s), auditors will be permitted to join in the discussion during the final portion of the seminar or workshop.

Academic Integrity:

It is assumed that each paper or project submitted to a Shakespeare Association seminar or workshop represents original work that addresses the topic and agenda set out by the Leader(s). Work-in-progress is to be treated with the utmost respect, and members should follow established citation and copyright guidelines in handling the intellectual property of others, including all abstracts, papers, and talks presented at the SAA. No paper should be recirculated in any form or any venue without the author’s permission, and seminar abstracts should be treated in the same way as papers read or circulated. Permission must be obtained before citing unpublished work heard or read at the conference. Also to be observed are the SAA’s Social Media Guidelines for digital distribution, in real time or in retrospect, of the content of panels or seminars.

Professional Behavior:

All seminar and workshop members are entitled to be treated with respect and are expected themselves to engage with their fellow enrollees in a respectful manner. This applies to correspondence exchanged in advance of the conference and to participation in the seminar or workshop session. Unprofessional conduct may include disrespectful, dismissive, bullying, patronizing, and harassing behavior.

The SAA strives to be an inclusive and welcoming point of contact for our diverse membership of scholars, teachers, and students from around the world. We take instances of disrespectful, dismissive, patronizing, or harassing behavior—whether in speech or act, whether in formal or informal settings, and whether based on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, ability, status, or age—seriously. Those who are the targets of harassment should not feel unheard or unassisted.


Sexual harassment is behavior that demeans, humiliates, or threatens an individual on the basis of their sex. It is unwanted attention that a recipient experiences as offensive or disruptive to personal well-being. Sexual harassment can include crude behavior (such as offensive statements, jokes, or gestures); dismissive or insulting modes or address (such as referring to a woman not by her name but as “honey”); unwelcome sexual attention (such as unwanted touching or repeated requests for dates); and coercion.

Sex-based harassment also takes nonsexual forms when an individual is targeted because of gender or gender expression. It singles out some members of the community as acceptable targets and as unworthy of respect. Harassment never occurs in a vacuum. Frequently, alienating behaviors including race- and religion-based harassments intertwine with sexual harassment. Working to discern, for instance, whether a comment about appearance is aimed primarily at someone’s gender, sexuality, religion, or race mistakes how harassment can leave its impact on multiple levels.

The SAA emphasizes the importance of adopting a fully intersectional understanding of sex-based harassment. Harassment not only sabotages the individual; it also damages the Shakespeare Association community by discouraging participation in the Association and compromising the free exchange of ideas that is at the center of our mission as an organization.


All of the spaces into which our professional meetings extend are professional, and the values of respect, equity, and nondiscrimination should inform conduct in the seminar room and on the dance floor, over coffee, and over drinks. All members should aspire to treat each member as having an equally valuable contribution to make.

What to Do if You Have Been Harassed

The SAA seeks to provide meaningful support to members who have experienced sexual harassment at the annual meeting or related events. If you have experienced any unwelcome behaviors, please contact the executive director or any trustee of the Association. These officially designated contacts can serve as sounding boards, confidantes, and informal advisers; they can also confer with you confidentially about possible next steps. Reporting an incident of sexual harassment does not obligate the reporter to pursue any further action. The SAA’s goal above all is to support vulnerable members of the community and to strategize to end the harassment in question. As a voluntary professional organization with a small staff, the SAA is unfortunately limited in its ability to respond formally to charges of sexual harassment. Nonetheless, within these constraints the SAA will follow its professional and ethical responsibility to respond to reports of sexual harassment among its membership.

Adopted 10 December 2015

Amended 15 May 2017

List of helpful resources

In recent years, Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media have become a rich resource for scholarly discourse, opening up the conversation to those outside of the conference’s physical space. That said, many of us are new to social media, and the conventions around its use are still forming. Here are three basic principles for using Twitter and other social media.


Recording devices and Twitter broadcast work and comments that have traditionally been relatively closely held. Audio and video recordings of sessions should not be made or posted without the permission of all panelists or seminar members, ideally secured through the moderator or seminar leader in advance of the session. Any speaker has the right to request that his or her work and comments not be tweeted. Please ask subjects involved before posting and tagging photos.

Professional Tone

Twitter feeds represent an extension of the conference online. As such, we encourage participants to consider their comments to be public, avoiding remarks that would be inappropriate in other professional spaces.

Fair Quotation

Live-tweeting often represents itself as a transcript of spoken words. Tweeters should be aware of the potential for misrepresentation, appropriation, and removal of context. It is important to attribute tweets with a speaker’s handle or full name (for example, @handle:xxx). Retweeting and favoriting remove tweets from temporal sequence, so it is best to attribute individual tweets, rather than just the first in a sequence.


For the 2018 Annual Meeting the hashtag is #Shax2018.

Approved 26 November 2015

Amended 15 May 2017