Information for Presenters

Welcome to the 30th Annual MEHAT Conference! We’re looking forward to hosting you. Below you’ll find everything you need to make sure you’re prepared to present at the conference. For more general information on how to get here, where to stay, how to get around, and where to go in Hyde Park and beyond, please see our MEHAT Guide to Chicago. Please feel free also to use our MEHAT Facebook page to get in touch with other participants about sharing rides or lodging.

Submitting the Paper

You will receive an email in early April with the names and contact information of your co-panelists and panel moderator, with whom you will share your conference papers. (There is no need to send the paper to the conference organizers.) The deadline for sharing your paper with your moderator and co-panelists is Friday, April 17, 2015. Please respect this deadline; the panel will be much better for it.

Preparing Your Presentation

Once the paper itself is submitted, the next step is to turn it into a compelling oral presentation. The length of time you’ll have to present depends on the number of co-panelists you’ll have, and on the guidelines you receive from your moderator. A useful rule of thumb is that 8 to 10 pages of prose, read straight through, generally takes 20 minutes to complete, although this varies based on the content — and on the reader! It’s best to aim for a clear presentation that steers clear of jargon and is easy for everyone to follow, even the listener in the back of the room. We recommend the following guides: “Everything You Need to Know about Presenting a Scholarly Paper in Public,” by the historian Linda K. Kerber; and “How to Give an Academic Talk” (PDF), by the technology historian Paul N. Edwards, “on behalf of bored audiences everywhere.”

Using a Projector

Each panel room will be equipped with a projector, allowing you to share audiovisual materials—maps, images, excerpts of a text, short video clips, and/or an outline of the talk itself—with your audience. If you decide to make use of the projector, please bring your own laptop or other compatible device equipped with a VGA port. A VGA port looks like this:

vga port

If your computer doesn’t have such a port, bring a “dongle” or adapter cord. Please also bring a copy of your files on a USB drive, so that you can use someone else’s device if necessary. Here is some helpful info about how to connect your computer or device to a projector with minimal difficulty.

At the Conference: Internet and Library Access

The University of Chicago offers free wireless internet access to visiting scholars through something called Eduroam. If your university is a participating institution, you can register at home using your .edu account, which should grant you automatic access. If you encounter any trouble, here are instructions on how to get onto the “eduroam” network during your visit to campus.

While you’re here, you may want to visit the Regenstein Library. You can get a pass at the ID and Privileges Office on the first floor of the library, in the glassed-in area. Just say that you are attending the MEHAT conference and they’ll get you set up.


MEHAT is committed to providing an accessible forum for all its presenters and participants. If you have difficulties with mobility, hearing, vision, speech, or any other disability that needs accommodation, please don’t hesitate to contact us in advance at