ACIS Logo Hosting the National Meeting

Thank you for your interest in hosting the national meeting!

General Principles

  • The annual international meeting is the flagship program of ACIS, with academic panels serving as the organization’s chief means of ensuring the collegial presentation and discussion of members’ Irish Studies scholarship.
  • A single college/university or a small group of colleges/universities should host the meeting, with one institution serving as the responsible party for financial arrangements (hotel and AV contracts, catering, collection of registration fees, etc.).
  • The program should have a broad general theme that is neither prescriptive nor limiting.
  • Each program should feature plenary addresses by invited scholars of note. The conference host alone has the privilege of selecting the plenary speakers.
  • Irish Studies is by definition interdisciplinary; a wide range of academic areas should be represented in the program.
  • ACIS has historically taken a welcoming attitude toward conference paper acceptance, and specifically strives to be supportive of graduate students by offering them a reduced registration fee. Organizers may, however, refuse papers that are not appropriate or do not meet academic standards.
  • All persons who present papers and participate in roundtables or readings must be dues-paying members of ACIS at the time of the conference. Similarly, all attendees are expected to be dues-paying members, although conference hosts may make occasional exceptions for family members of presenters.  All attendees are expected to pay conference registration fees.
  • ACIS values sociability and opportunities for informal professional contacts. Events such as the AGM luncheon, coffee breaks, and receptions are essential to the success of the conference.

Financial Support

The host university is the primary responsible party for all financial arrangements. ACIS is an independent non-profit organization staffed only by volunteers who are also academic faculty members; thus ACIS does not sign hotel or catering contracts, nor any other financial agreement.

The ACIS national treasurer provides a grant of $5,000, generated by annual membership dues, to the host institution to be used toward any applicable conference costs. Otherwise the conference is expected to be funded through the collection of participants’ registration fees, as well as any financial support from the host university or outside parties that the conference organizers are able to secure.

Organizers are encouraged to seek additional support from their local Irish consulate, local or regional Irish cultural organizations, and local businesses.

Hosting Duties

The host committee’s primary duties are to:

  1. Supervise all financial arrangements for the conference.
  2. Assure that the CFP and other publicity are disseminated well in advance of the conference, by August 1 of the preceding year.
  3. Attend the prior year’s ACIS meeting to promote the event at the prior year’s AGM.
  4. Invite plenary speakers and arrange their travel and accommodation.
  5. Identify an appropriate hotel or hotels, and secure a discounted block of guest rooms if possible for conference attendees.
  6. Arrange to have a conference website developed either through the host institution or in coordination with the ACIS Web Editor.
  7. Receive all individual paper proposals and give timely notice that they have been accepted or declined.
  8. Set the full schedule of the meeting, including plenary addresses, panel sessions, receptions, and any other events, for example, a reading by ACIS member poets, as has been tradition in recent years.
  9. Coordinate exhibitor tables for publishers and Irish Studies programs, as appropriate, with support from the ACIS national treasurer. Coffee breaks should, if possible, be served in the same space as the book exhibit, or as nearby as possible, to maximize foot traffic and book sales. Publishers and vendors should be contacted early in the planning process to facilitate their participation. The book exhibit space should be secured at night so that vendors do not have to pack and unpack each day. This space should have ample plugs and power outlets for laptops, screens, and electronic equipment, as required by vendors and publishers.
  10. Recommend or reserve space at a local restaurant for a breakfast or lunchtime gathering of past ACIS presidents attending the conference.
  11. Be present throughout the conference to facilitate proceedings and troubleshoot as needed.


ACIS strongly prefers that its national meetings in the US be held in March or April, while meetings abroad are held in June or July.  American meetings usually open with a reception on a Wednesday night, followed by three full days of concurrent panels, plenary sessions, and a closing reception or banquet. In addition to breakout meeting rooms for panel sessions, organizers will need to schedule a meeting room for the Executive Committee prior to the Annual General Meeting, in consultation with the ACIS President and Vice President. The Annual General Meeting should take place on the Friday or Saturday, over the lunch hour, and the cost of lunch should be included in participants’ conference fees.

Most sessions at ACIS comprise three to four papers of no more than 20 minutes each, facilitated by a chair who is responsible for timekeeping, introducing each speaker, and generating discussion. Other formats are welcome, e.g., roundtable discussions or readings of creative writing. Sessions should always include time for discussion and Q & A.

Traditionally, a few scholars of recognized merit are invited to give a plenary lecture, during which other panels are not scheduled.  Typically, conferences have 3-4 keynote speakers: one of whom is a senior expert in the field of Irish Studies, one of whom is a young or emerging scholar, and one of whom is a creative writer or artist. The keynotes should represent a diversity of disciplines, genders, and other characteristics. No more than one keynote speaker should be from the host university, and keynote speakers cannot repeat from previous years.

Plenary events play an important part in giving the conference coherence and shared experience. Often, interdisciplinarity can be highlighted by selecting plenary speakers from disciplines that are less commonly heard from in Irish Studies. Plenary speakers should be formally introduced by a figure of some stature within ACIS or the host institution.

Further Information

If you are interested in hosting an ACIS national meeting, please email for further information, including reports and budgets from prior years.