Mid-Atlantic Popular &
American Culture Association

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Code of Conduct

MAPACA is open to individuals who share an interest in gathering to discuss issues and events that relate to cultural construction and production, including in ways that connect and collide across disciplinary boundaries. MAPACA is committed to providing and fostering an inclusive and harassment-free environment for all and does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor.

We acknowledge that concepts, theories, and terminology remain in constant flux. As scholars, we attempt to inspire conversation, experiment with new ideas, and wrestle with complicated topics. Exchange plays an important role when approaching our research agendas. MAPACA works to provide scholars with forums dedicated to promoting the exchange of ideas and the ability to build upon each other’s work. We strive to ensure scholars have room both to succeed and, sometimes, to stumble as they grapple with complicated subject matter. Consequently, MAPACA will not tolerate presentations contrary to the spirit of collaboration and constructive, thoughtful criticism.

MAPACA requires its participants and their guests to adhere to a Code of Conduct that supports our values as an inclusive organization.

  1. Academic Honesty

    A. Conference participants should approach their own work honestly.

    B. Work presented at the conference should be original to the presenter and tailored for the conference. MAPACA will not tolerate plagiarism in any form.

  2. Civil Discourse

Our conference provides an opportunity for those interested in American culture and popular culture to present ideas and build upon their knowledge through feedback. For this conference and for our work to thrive, we must be willing to engage in discussion about ideas that might be new, different, and provocative. Exchange can easily turn into debate but should not escalate into unproductive argumentation. To maintain the open and supportive environment that makes MAPACA an enriching and enjoyable experience for all attendees, we must work together to create a respectful space to share and work through ideas.

  1. Language

    A. As a conference dedicated to issues of cultural construction and production, MAPACA attendees often tackle complicated and contentious concepts. Such presentations or discussions at times include provocative language and challenging or possibly triggering examples. We must take care, however, to ensure that our language choices do not disrupt the free exchange of ideas so integral to scholarship.

    B. Presenters should make every effort to refrain from language that may cause offense, especially language that traffics in stereotypes, unless it is relevant to the presenter’s subject (e.g. a paper on the changing nature of expletives or one on gender stereotypes). In such a case, the presenter should provide necessary context at the beginning of the presentation. Presenters should also consider including a graphic language warning at the beginning of the presentation and/or immediately before the inclusion of such language.

    i. Presenters may not name-call, harass, or use fighting words.

    ii. Presenters and other attendees are prohibited from all predatory language, including threats and language aimed at harming others.

    iii. Presenters should consult with their Area Chair if they feel their topics warrant the use of inflammatory language.

  2. Behavior

Presenters and other attendees are prohibited from predatory non-verbal behavior, including acts of intimidation or physical attacks. These will be immediately reported to the proper authorities.

  1. Reporting and Due Process
    *Because MAPACA cannot observe all interactions occurring throughout the conference, we encourage participants to respond to instances of improper conduct in the following ways:

    A. If you are witness to behavior that violates this Code of Conduct, express your concern, and, if appropriate or comfortable, ask your colleague to modify their language or actions. If the situation escalates to a point that makes you feel unsafe, please call 911.

    B. If offensive language or behavior is particularly egregious or is repeated over the course of the conference, report to your Area Chair (either in person or writing) or to anyone wearing a board member badge (representatives can be found at the registration table).

    C. The Area Chair or board member will bring the conflict to the VP of Areas, who will determine the severity of the complaint and the next course of action. Steps the VP of Areas may take include:

    i. VP of Areas determines the severity of the complaint by listening to those affected by the violating behavior. The VP of Areas may also talk to the person or persons accused of the violation and/or those present, including the panel moderator.

    ii. VP of Areas may be able to resolve the issue by working with the reporting board member or AC, the relevant AC, and any others involved.

    iii. VP of Areas may consult with the President and other members of the board to determine the appropriate sanctions.

    D. Possible sanctions in response to violating the Code of Conduct are:

    i. A formal written warning on behalf of the president and board detailing how the individual violated the Code of Conduct and what actions will be taken if behavior continues.

    ii. In extreme circumstances, MAPACA reserves the right to ask the person to leave the conference. In this instance, MAPACA will remove the presenter’s name and presentation from the program.

    iii. MAPACA also reserves the right to terminate a person’s access to the organization, including the conference, permanently in extreme circumstances.

MAPACA appreciates its participants’ willingness to honor this Code of Conduct. We look forward to working together to ensure the conference provides a venue for the lively exchange of groundbreaking ideas and the development of professional friendships that foster collaboration. Thank you for your help in furthering this important goal.

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