Thank you for sharing your research with us. This brief list of instructions will help to ensure your presentation goes smoothly. Please send questions or concerns about your presentation, the schedule, or the conference to or call (432) 837-8179. Thank you!

Conference Registration

We are truly grateful for the contributions of our presenters, but still require that you register and pay the attendance fee; this helps cover the costs of holding the conference. If you have not received a registration form by early October, please download one from our website, or call (432) 837-8179 to register by phone.

Presentation Requirements

Title, Abstract, Bio: All presentations must have a title and an abstract of two hundred words or less. We also request a brief bio to accompany the abstract in the conference program. Please send these to at your earliest convenience, but no later than the October 3 deadline.

Windows-Based Applications Recommended: Presentations should be created using a Windows-based application, such as PowerPoint. As the Conference Center is Windows-based, connectors/adapters for Mac-based files are not available. If your presentation is Mac-based, please do one of the following:

  1. Bring your laptop and a DVI-to-VGA connector to connect your laptop to the projector, OR
  2. Prior to the conference, export your Mac-based (e.g., Keynote) presentation into a Windows-compatible format, such as PDF or Microsoft PowerPoint, and verify that the exported presentation works as intended on a Windows-based system.

Internet Connectivity is NOT Guaranteed: Do not include links to the Internet or rely upon an Internet connection as part of your presentation. Any number of factors can interrupt an Internet connection, so it is best to make your presentation as “self-contained” as possible.

Arrive Early to Load and Verify your Presentation: Your Windows-based presentation should reside on a flash/USB drive, and its filename should be your Lastname_Firstname. To allow ample time to upload and verify that it displays as expected, morning presenters should arrive between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. and afternoon presenters between Noon and 1 p.m. on the day of your presentation. Computers and projectors will be set up and ready to use, and an A/V assistant will be available to help.

Instructions for Presenters

Presentations are allotted 30 minutes, and we recommend that the presentation itself last no more than 20 minutes, to leave time for questions. We use timekeepers to keep the conference running on schedule. They sit in the front row/table and hold up cards when you have 10, 5, 2, 1 and 0 minutes remaining. They are volunteers and should be respected. If you wish to discuss this system for any reason, please talk to Melanie Blackman or Bryon Schroeder. If you would like to present, please complete the Call for Papers form and send materials to the Center for Big Bend Studies. For detailed instructions for presenters, see the Format for Paper Submissions page.

Presentations should focus on prehistoric, historic and modern cultures of the Borderlands Region of the United States and Mexico, with emphasis on the area encompassed by the greater Big Bend region of Texas or adjacent areas of West Texas and northern Mexico. Please prepare a Powerpoint slideshow to accompany your talk.

All presenters are encouraged to write up their presentation as a formal paper after the conference and submit it for consideration in the next fall’s Journal of Big Bend Studies. Selected papers will be edited and published. It is not required that journal papers be presented at the conference, but all conference presenters may then write a paper on their presentation topic or another topic and submit it to the journal.

Abstracts for the 2021 conference are due October 3.

Journal Article

All Presenters are invited to submit a formal manuscript on the topic of their talk for publication in the next year’s Journal of Big Bend Studies. Archaeology papers must follow Society for American Archaeology style; historical and cultural papers must follow Turabian style for text citations and footnotes/endnotes; social sciences must follow the author-date method of parenthetical references and a references cited section. Papers are due in April following the conference, but we recommend contacting the editor prior to creating the manuscript to clarify requirements and ensure the best possible product. For more guidelines, see our website or contact the editor at

Vendor Tables

Vendor tables are available for the duration of the conference for $25.