MINUTES of SRN EC Meeting
Monday 17.5.2021 at 10 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Zoom)
Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Ann Igelström (AI), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)
1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval
Approved as accurate. PR to send final version to RL for upload to website, as usual.
All pending Action Points have been either discharged or itemized below in the agenda.
3. Proposed amendments to SRN Constitution (PR, All)
PR circulated a memo (see attached) with the proposed amendments to the SRN Constitution: specifically, these would apply to articles 7.1 and 5.9 so as to formally allow holding AGMs and EC Elections by virtual means in cases of force majeure. External advice was also sought from other members of the SRN in good standing – i.e. Ian W. Macdonald, Eva Novrup Redvall and Claus Tieber – all of whom gave positive feedback.
CSB suggests seeking advice from a few more members as well: e.g. Kirsi Rinne and Ronald Geerts.
ACTION: PR to consult a few more members before finalising the draft with the proposed amendments.
It was noted that the proposed amendments are in line with the SRN Constitution anyway, especially with the existing provision of article 7.6 which allows the use of “technology” to consult the Membership on relevant issues. A key aspect to take into due account is to make sure that whatever the chosen technology it will give easy access to the Membership worldwide.
CSB asks whether there will still be a “confirmation vote” on the amendments (assuming the motion is carried) at the next AGM held in presentia. PR confirms this is the plan.
Regarding the clause requiring two thirds of the currently active Membership to pass the motion for the proposed amendments, CSB and MM raise concerns about the likelihood that as many members will reply via email or respond to the Call at all. PR clarifies that the Call to Membership will make it very clear that those who don’t cast their vote will be treated as giving “silent consent”. This is also the case at any AGM held in presentia, which is usually ever attended by a fraction of the membership.
PR stresses the importance of giving enough notice and time to the Membership to cast their vote: this could be 30 days (or 4 weeks) from the CTM, with a view to collect all votes and ratify the result by the June EC meeting.
The EC approves the draft of the proposed amendments as is, as well as the suggested action protocol to issue the Call to Membership and appoint an external scrutineer.
ACTION: PR, RW, RF and RL as per attached memo.
4. Update on SRN2021 Seminar Series Online (PR, All)
On the back of having attended about 20 online conferences/seminars in the past few months, PR will suggest that all paper presentations be pre-recorded to avoid technical issues. This will also allow for better use of the chosen video-conferencing tool. Once a schedule/format is finalized in the next few weeks, PR will send out guidelines to the delegates. Following the pre-recorded presentations, there will be live sessions for related discussion fora, for a maximum of 5-6 hours per day.
PR will redesign the SRN2021 website over the Summer to make it work as the main content navigation hub for the Seminar Series.
After surveying all shortlisted delegates intention to participate, at the moment PR reports expecting 93 papers. Live sessions will have to be planned by geographic areas due to the 20 different time zones involved. Within each geographic area, panels can then be formed according to themes/topics. PR suggests one-hour slots per panels of 3-4 speakers each who will each give 5-minute summaries of their paper, followed by up to 30 minutes questions/discussion. Questions can also be collected via asynchronous means in the hope to allow many points of access for fullest sharing of ideas.
“Plenary” sessions will still include two keynote speakers (Murray Smith and Elizabeth Kilgarriff have confirmed availability but PR will follow up with them anyway in the next few weeks); the AGM, including the EC elections (this session will be run twice so as to allow as many members as possible from different time zones to attend); and the SRN Awards, including the winners’ lectures.
Moreover, round tables and networking meetings with the Working Group are possible. PR is also planning to invite a few professionals from the industry as special guests (pending availability).
All live sessions will be recorded and will remain online via the SRN2021 website (until subscription expires).
MM congratulates PR on the planning work and observes it can be challenging to stay attentive to papers for longer than 20 minutes. RF agrees with MM on ‘short and sharp’ presentations.
MM suggests taking advantage of the switch to the online format and invite shorter presentations to allow for a more interactive conference, with abstracts on the website to contextualize the presentation. It also means that the overall time and, hopefully the organizational efforts, will be reduced, thus making for a leaner event in terms of scheduling.
PR welcomes the suggestions and will make sure that there is a degree of flexibility in the format of the presentations. The overall event format is still work in progress and any suggestions are welcome. For instance, PR suggests that the comments section of the video-presentations on YouTube could be enabled to allow speakers and members to comment asynchronously, regardless of when any live session is scheduled.
MM asks whether there will be a registration fee. PR confirms that, as things stand, the plan is for the whole event to be free: the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University has agreed to fund the few expenses to cover keynote speakers’ fee and the prize money for the SRN Awards. However, delegates will still be asked to register in order to receive the Zoom links/passwords etc.
MM asks whether there might be any copyright issues to consider regarding speakers’ papers being posted online. PR underlines that rights to whatever materials/content will be posted will be retained by the delegates in accordance with the laws of their respective countries. PR and RL will figure out a way to make sure that only registered delegates have access to those materials.
PR also confirms that, based on current laws (e.g. the Copyright License Agreement), it is possible to make fair use of clips or other copyrighted materials within the paper presentation as it is for education/research purposes, as long as sources are quoted.
PR outlines alternative scheduling options: e.g. two days weekly with no parallel sessions or one day weekly with two parallel sessions, for a total of four weeks; also possible, every other week or two consecutive weeks, a one-week break, then two more weeks.
RW would prefer a programme with parallel sessions so as to stick with one particular day a week, also in light of the fact the many colleagues will have started teaching at their respective universities; whereas, too many days might cause more timetabling clashes. RF also agrees that parallel sessions will keep the members more interested and focused.
The EC agrees tentatively on the following format: one day weekly with parallel live sessions whenever necessary/viable, beginning the week commencing on Monday 30 August 2021 for two weeks, then two more weeks after a one-week break.
ACTION: PR to work out format based on the above.
AI is also planning an ECR Symposium (see minutes from previous meetings). Assuming the SRN2021 Seminar Series Online will follow the format suggested above, this means that it will be over by the end of September. The ECR Symposium can therefore follow up in November as a separate, distinct but, at the same time, related event.
PR notes that at least one fourth of the shortlisted delegates for SRN2021 are ECRs anyway and therefore having the Symposium later in November will allow them to take part in both should they wish so.
MM hopes that PR will have people to help on this planning. PR confirms that a couple of colleagues from his department will be helping out as well as several other SRN members from other geographic areas who have offered to assist once the format is settled.
5. Other updates:
MM reports about the latest issue published in April, which attracted less submissions than usual. The next issue should come out in June/July and could be a special issue focused around the SRN2021 Seminar Series. PR will pass on relevant information as the organization progresses in the forthcoming weeks.
AI notes that posting has slowed down slightly in the last few weeks, perhaps due to everyone’s awaiting info on the conference.
ACTION: AI to post info on CTM re: the amendments to the SRN Constitution as soon as ready; then to focus on the Seminar Series and, finally, on the ECR Symposium (including a CfP) in the forthcoming weeks.
Items for June meeting agenda to include: Results of CTM (see above), EC Elections Call for Nominations, Membership update, planning of EC Annual report and Activities Plan for 2021-22
The EC approves the suggested agenda for the June meeting.
6. Any other business
There was no other business to discuss.
Date of next meeting: Monday 21 June 2021, 10 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)