ACLA 2020: Cancelled
It is with great regret that the Board of the American Comparative Literature Association has determined that it is no longer practical or ethical to continue with the conference as planned. We are, therefore, canceling the 2020 conference in Chicago. The Board has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus outbreak and weighing the risks of holding the 2020 conference as scheduled, March 19-22, in Chicago. Last week, with no official bans on travel or large gatherings imposed by municipal and state public health authorities, we issued a statement to the effect that under the circumstances, the conference would take place as planned. However, we extended the deadline for refunds of conference registration fees and encouraged those concerned about travel to change their plans.
Since then, an increasing number of universities around the country and abroad have either advised faculty, staff, and students to restrict travel or banned it altogether. Today, Monday March 9, 2020, the situation has escalated. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has issued a disaster proclamation. There is full expectation that further travel bans and/or quarantines are still to come.
Canceling the conference will represent a major financial loss to the ACLA, in view of contractual obligations to the conference venue and various vendors associated with a meeting of this size, in addition to the loss of conference revenue. The ACLA is prepared to refund the registration fees of all participants, although this may take a few weeks to process. Alternatively, we request that registered attendees, particularly those who are able, consider donating their registration fees to the ACLA as a tax-deductible gift. We would greatly appreciate this generous support and we will issue them the appropriate letters. Another option is for registered participants to apply this year’s conference registration fee to a future ACLA meeting. Please email email@example.com with your preference by April 1, 2020.