SRN Executive Minutes – May

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 18.5.2020 at 10 pm GMT/UTC (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Alexandra Ksenofontova (AK), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

Agenda

1. Apologies for absence

AK, MM

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

Some minor phrasing/wording and a few typos amended.

Minutes Approved.

Action: PR to send final draft to RL for upload to website

3. Contingency Plan for SRN EC elections in light of COVID-19 (Cont’d from April meeting)

a. Proposal for special Call to Membership (CTM) to outline/consult on the following:

  • i. No AGM in 2020
    ii. No EC elections in 2020
    iii. Current EC members’ appointment extended by one year (next 3 up for election in September 2021 when usual rota will resume)
    iv. EC to issue Plan for 2020-21
    v. Next AGM (incl. 2-year Activities Report and Election of new EC) in September 2021 in Oxford

ACTION: PR to draft the CTM text to send to Membership. Will circulate to EC members later this week for approval, aiming to sending it out to Members next week.

This is in accordance to the SRN Constitution, which recommends appropriate consultation of Membership before making significant decisions. The CTM will include the main points of discussion from the April and May 2020 EC meetings and outline the legal framework of the SRN, the Articles of the SRN Constitution that apply to the current situation and any further guidance.

The CTM will outline two options:

  1. (recommended by the EC) Postpone AGM and EC elections by one year and mandate of current EC extended accordingly. But constitution requires consulting members before making decision.
  2. No AGM in 2020 but virtual elections held in September 2020.

The CTM must explain that Option 2 is not devoid of risks (e.g. secrecy of vote, polling apps, etc.). On RF’s suggestion, the deadline for expressing preferences will be by mid-June, so as to be able to ratify the result by the June meeting of the EC (the last one before the Summer recess). CSB suggests that if members should be able to propose ‘other ways’ provided they give reasoning
for it. If so, the EC will consider their feasibility before final ratification. RF thanks PR for the in-depth research conducted into the matter at hand.

PR advises to use all available outlets to inform members of CTM and related deadline for expressing preference between two options – i.e. mailing list, Facebook page, Newsletter, Website, Twitter. With regards to the extension of the mandate of the current members of the EC, RF asks: should Option 1 go through, what if current members need/choose to step down. The SRN Constitution specify clearly that a minimum of 5 members if needed; therefore, so as long as no more than one current member decides to leave, there is no need the replacing them. In case, two or more did, the plan is to go back to the Membership for an interim election (protocol TBD by the EC).

CSB notifies the EC of her decision to step down from her role in September 2020.

b. Update on COVID-19 emergency and potential timeline back to normality

Unfortunately, the situation is still unfolding and there is too much uncertainty at the moment for a realistic forecast.

ACTION: EC to assess again in September 2020 meeting.

c. Drafting Call for Expressions of Interest in ECR post for 2020-21 (June posting, and deadline for submission)

The Call for EoI’s in the role of ECR will go out in late June, after the last EC meeting. The role will be filled/renewed in September 2020, at the first EC meeting of the new academic year.

ACTION: EC to finalize and issue Call for ECR at/after the June 2020 meeting.

4. Newsletter (MM, RW)

ACTION: MM and RW will put out a call for more news to be included in the June 2020 issue. Suggestion/plan to add a section analysing how the CTM was received. Another suggestion for a section titled “What I’m Watching/What I’m Teaching?” in these difficult times, and how SRN colleagues can share/help each other with example of good practice. RF suggests drafting and posting a Call for diversity in membership to follow up on and keep building on the major strategy about inclusivity initiated by the EC this last year.

5. Website

a. Update on ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB, RL)

RF shared a spreadsheet on Google drive to collected information/history about the SRN conferences. This is already getting populated with facts and data – PR and Ian Macdonald have added substantial info. Suggestion/discussion re: RW and/or CSB to figure out how to approach past conference organizers to collect their info/experiences as well. CSB suggests short oral interviews – 5 questions, same for all – which can then be transcribed and slightly edited (if needed).

RW notes this would help create a sort of oral history that can then be posted on the website or bitesize on Facebook. Suggestion to set up a YouTube Channel to post/share this type of content. RL points out this would also allow us to stream the interviews live. PR also thought of implementing new initiatives in a similar way as a proposal in next year’s Action Plan. Given that the AGM is not going to be had this year, RF suggests EC members could record short videos to report on  achievement of last year and to lay out our vision for next year/rest of mandate.

ACTION: EC to discuss this further in next meeting (either June 2020 or September 2020). PR to include in proposals for Action Plan 2020-21 (to be finalized by September 2020)

ACTION: RF and CSB to start contacting other conference organizers for interviews.

b. Ideas for revamping website over Summer/Autumn (All)

PR praises RL for much good work put in updating the website so far. The EC will need to start considering (soon) how to ensure the website stays on once the agreement
with Leeds University hosting it is over – i.e. Summer 2021.

ACTION: PR to contact host contact at Leeds University to check their intention for the future. In case Leeds University won’t host the SRN website any further, the EC will need to consider an
alternative. RL and PR observe WordPress is probably the easiest solution to use but the EC will need to look into costs.

ACTION: EC to discuss as ongoing “urgent” item in 2020-21 academic year. When the above is sorted would be a good time to think about revamping the website design.

6. Social Media (AK, All)

Item postponed to next month.

7. Membership update?

RF reports subscription of 63 new Members since the Porto conference last September, against only 6 leavers. Which brings the total Membership up to 604! RF reports one issue with JISCMail not admitting one request to which the help desk has not responded.

ACTION: RF to try and add member manually.

RF observes that the new, simplified protocol for subscribing to the SRN is working very well, with 100% of new members now filling out the personal information form. RF also reports a broader range of countries now coming in, with most new joiners coming from Asia and South America, which can be taken as a clear sign that the push towards inclusivity of under-represented regions is starting to work.

RW observes that new peer-reviewers of the journal’s special issue are also joining thanks to RF’s
efforts.

ACTION: RF to include all stats about membership in Annual Report (during Summer 2020). PR thanks and praises RF for her work as Membership officer.

8. Any other business

RW suggestion to swap years of the Annual Conferences between Vienna and Missouri is not applicable. Therefore, the schedule for the forthcoming three years remains as is. PR suggest for EC next year to develop long-term strategy to elicit bids for conferences to be held in Asia and Africa in next call for conferences (due out in 2022-23).

Date of next meeting (last before Summer break): Monday 22 June (TBC), 10 pm UTC/GMT (consider DST)

The meeting ends at 11:10 pm.

Resolution re: 2020 AGM and Election of Executive Council

This Call to Membership (CTM) and Resolution is posted to all SRN Members via the SRN mailing list and is available on the SRN2020 Conference website as well as here on SRN’s website. It aims to consult and call all Members to take action by expressing their preference for one of two options re: this year’s AGM and related EC elections.

1)     Both AGM and elections to be delayed to September 2021 + Mandate of current EC members extended automatically by one year; or

2)     AGM (only) delayed to September 2021 + “virtual” EC elections to be held in September 2020

Members are invited to read the full details in the PDF document attached HERE (also available on the SRN website and on the Conference website) and to cast their preference by clicking by no later than THURSDAY 19 JUNE, 3 pm (UK time).

The CTM follows on from the announcement issued on 17 March re: the postponement of the SRN2020 Annual Conference and Awards due to the COVID-19 crisis. It outlines the legalities of the pending situation and reports about the decision/recommendation reached by the Executive Council re: this year’s AGM and related EC elections, which has been the most substantial item of discussion in the April and May meetings. You can find full details of these in the agendas and minutes available on the SRN website as usual.

Kind regards

 

Paolo Russo

SRN Acting Chairperson

on behalf of the SRN Executive Council

SRN Executive Minutes – April

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 20.4.2020 at 10 pm GMT/UTC (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Alexandra Ksenofontova (AK), Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

Agenda

1. Apologies for absence

All present. RL joins at 10.30.

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval (All)

Minutes Approved. PR to send final draft to RL for upload to website.

3. Contingency Plan for SRN EC elections in light of COVID-19 (All)

a. AGM
b. Alternative options or postponement to 2021

PR initiate discussion amongst the Executive Council (EC), which will be work in progress with a view to reach a decision by the May meeting so as to notify SRN membership in due course.
According to the SRN Constitution, elections of new EC members requires secret ballot which can only be ensured at the AGM.

The EC considers the feasibility of a “virtual AGM” for elections only. First of all, the elections are not meant to happen as a stand-alone event (i.e. not tied to an AGM). Moreover, a virtual AGM would prove very difficult to set up given that members are scattered all over the world in different time zones and would require some form of membership authentication before anyone could be admitted to vote. Similar issues would arise as well if using online polling tools/apps – these would possibly guarantee secrecy of ballot, but would need a separate system to check eligibility and would not comply with the required presence of impartial scrutineers. The SRN Constitution allows “postal” votes for those who wish to express their votes but cannot attend the AGM; but not as a replacement for the elections per se.

MM and AK point out that, from a strictly legal point of view, a virtual AGM does not equate to an in-person AGM; the same is true for “postal” and “email”. Unfortunately, the SRN Constitution does not include any special arrangements in case of extraordinary circumstances such as the current COVID-19 crisis; at the same time, there is no precedent to base a decision on. This vulnus can be addressed by amending the Constitution but any changes need approval by two thirds of members at an AGM; and therefore, while the SRN might consider adding alternative arrangements in case of any future unforeseen circumstances similar to the current one, this can only be done at the 2021 conference at the soonest, and at the moment these are not viable.

Given the above, it will be down to the EC to make a decision, bearing in mind that the Constitution also states that decisions made by the EC must benefit all members. The most sensible option at the moment seems to issue a Call to Members with a proposal to extend the mandate of the current EC by one extra year (one off, until 2021), including the three members who are due to step down this year (i.e. Carmen Sofia Brenes, Paolo Russo and Margaret McVeigh – pending individual availability) as well as the other three members due to step down in 2021 (i.e. their mandate will extend until September 2022) so as to ensure that the new members elected in 2021 are supported by the extant members with more experience of the roles and duties. This would ensure continuity for all the initiatives developed by the EC these past few months, whose visions and future plans (which were due to be reported at the SRN2020 Oxford conference) can be duly actualized. The EC would keep expanding membership, especially by promoting the SRN in underrepresented regions; revamp the website; draft proposed changes to the Constitution to be put to Membership in 2021.

ACTION – PR and All to draft Call to Membership for EC approval in May meeting before sending out to Membership. Point raised by AK, to which PR confirms that the Early Career Representative (ECR) is an exception to the above as it is not voted in by members but rather chosen and co-opted by the EC.

ACTION – EC to put out Call for Nomination for new ECR by June meeting (min. 60 days before deadline). Nominations to be collected over the Summer; decision to be made by EC in September.

4. Newsletter and social media updates (MM, RW, AK)

a. Updates on skipped March issue of newsletter and Facebook posts
b. Planning June issue of newsletter

PR and AK have planned the move of March news items to the Facebook page. MM wonders whether this would make the newsletter redundant but the general consensus is that the newsletter and Facebook complement each other rather than overlap.

In general, with regards to news items, we should keep using Facebook to tease members to read the full items in the newsletter. Moreover, even though some content will have been released on Facebook in April and May, nothing prevents us from including it in the June Newsletter for reference anyway. It is also noted that the Newsletter is then archived on the website and remains always accessible, not just at the time of the issue’s original release.

On the other hand, the Facebook address can also be a useful port of call for new members, especially from underrepresented regions who can find and connect with colleagues who have similar research interests.

The EC notes that – without the usual lead-up to annual conference – the Facebook page might not be as lively in the upcoming Summer months. MM suggests using it to share stories of transferring teaching online (and more) that most colleagues will be experiencing at this time.

RF congratulates AK on her excellent work on the Facebook page! AK thanks everyone for sourcing content for the Facebook posts.

5. Future conference dates (RW, All)

RW raises some uncertainty over the 2023 slotting of the Missouri conference due to the now much later date further into the future and her contractual position with Stephens College. She therefore wonders whether she could swap with the Vienna conference in 2022. The EC cannot make such a decision and advises RW to contact the Vienna organizer (Claus Tieber) directly. Should he agree on the swap, the EC would second the new plan.

6. Any other business

RF proposes to create content on the history of the SRN to put on the website.

The Facebook page can be used to attract contributions/stories from members and conference organizers that can then be collated and uploaded onto the website. All agree this is a good idea and PR notes this should/could be an ongoing task – not just one point in time – with the new website section kept open for any future contribution.

To this purpose, RL has prepared a shared folder in Google Drive that can be further customized and used as a template/work-in-progress document for members to add content. PR has lots of useful information about past conferences that he can share.

CSB offers to help RF with this ongoing project.

Date of next meeting: Monday 18 May, 10 pm UTC/GMT (consider DST)
Confirmed.

Meeting ends at 11.12 pm

SRN Executive Minutes – March

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 16.3.2020 at 9 pm GMT/UTC (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Alexandra Ksenofontova (AK),
Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

Agenda

1. Apologies for absence

  • MM

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

  • Minutes Approved. PR to send final draft to RL for upload to website.
  • Note: the agenda for the March meeting was modified in order to priorities decision re: SNR2020 in light of the COVID-19 emergency; PR has circulated a memo outlining possible scenarios and implications prior to the meeting (attached here for reference).

3. Contingency Plan for SRN2020 in light of COVID-19, and

4. SRN2020 Oxford Conference update (PR)

  • The EC agrees that given the circumstances SRN2020 can no longer be held in September 2020 and therefore postponement options are to be discussed. Given the exceptionality of the situation, there is no precedent to rely on; which means that the decision made by the EC will set such precedent although, hopefully, never to be needed again in the future. AK praises the level of detail outlined in the memo and suggests September 2021 as the best option. RW considers whether the EC should survey the membership about this. CB points out that the EC chooses the locales and dates without asking for a group vote from membership and therefore this too is a decision that pertains the EC.
  • The EC agrees that, should the conference be postponed by only a few months (i.e. January 2021), this would impact the Vienna conference negatively. Also, RL notes that if the pandemic is not over by the Summer we would have to postpone again anyway, leading to even more complications. Moreover, Claus Tieber having offered to move Vienna to 2022, and RW and RL agreeing to do the same for their conferences in 2023 and 2024, the EC agrees that postponing by one year to September 2021 is the best option (note: MM was consulted after the meeting and agreed as well). PR thanks CT, RW and RL for their help and availability.
  • PR thinks postponing to September 2021 should be feasible in terms of practicalities. Shortlisted delegates will be accepted for 2021 automatically, as long as they are still willing to attend. PR also assures that any PhD students who might become faculty or change their status in the meantime will still access discounted registration fee, although their access to travel and budget arrangements at their institutions may change by next year. PR will have to look into and iron out some financial concerns as a result of postponing – e.g. non-refundable deposit for the booking of the conference dinner, extension of website subscription fee for another year. AK asks for details re: the course of action if postponing by one year, what questions will come from the membership, and what issues need to clear with Oxford-Brookes.
  • ACTION: PR will email membership tomorrow with the EC’s decision and will deal internally re: all logistical issues at Oxford Brookes. Registration will be suspended and any payments made reimbursed. Once the September 2021 date can be fully confirmed, PR will set up the registration system and the website again. The information will then be posted on Facebook, on the SRN2020 website and on the SRN official website as well.
  • CB points out that since the responsibility for the decision ultimately lies with the EC, should anyone not be happy with it they can speak directly to the EC. RF wonders whether the postponement will cause issues/problems to the organizing committee of SRN2020. PR replies that, since a lot of work had already been put into it, the committee will simply have to pause preparation for now, then resume whenever possible. Anyone whose proposal had been accepted will roll over – those who can’t attend in 2021 will open it up to others and a new CfP can be posted in the Autumn of 2020 if needed. PR informs that, so far about 15 delegates had already registered and 3 already informed they could not come at all due to the pandemic.
  • SRN Awards: the prize money being funded by Oxford Brookes and the award ceremony being held during the AGM, the awards will be pushed to 2021 and nominations will cover a two-year time span. PR has liaised with the Jury members who agreed on this change. PR has also tried external funding/sponsors for the prize money but no luck so far.
  • ACTION: The newsletter and Facebook page should inform the members that the Awards will skip a year.
  • AGM and EC Elections in 2020: the question is raised about whether there can be elections without an in presentia AGM in 2020. Can elections be held online or should the current EC serve for another year ex officio? RL observes that Google just opened a platform for conference: could we use that to call a virtual AGM and hold the elections this way?
  • ACTION: to be discussed in the April meeting and that the platform could be tested before making a decision. If, eventually, the current EC members are to serve an additional year, the EC could seek Ian MacDonald’s advice about how to formally action this extension.
  • ACTION – PR to double check the SRN statute by the April meeting. Should this be the case, the EC could use the extra year to focus more systematically on the plan to reach out to underrepresented regions (as per RF’s memo).

5. Any other business

  • AK informs that German colleagues including CT are planning to go ahead with a local German event in Hanover in November 2020 (expected attendance: 40 delegates). Anyone who speaks German can think of attending: the CfP will be posted by end of April to see how people react. Two diverging opinions emerged among the organizers: is it the right or wrong time to call for abstracts? And does everyone presume that by November this pandemic will be over?

Date of next meeting: Monday 20 April (TBC), 10 pm UTC/GMT (consider DST)

The meeting ended at 10:05 pm

SRN2020 postponing to September 2021

17 March 2020

 

Dear SRN Members and SRN2020 Delegates

I hope this finds you well despite everything that is going on. I am aware that you were awaiting this with some understandable trepidation, and given that there is no way of sugar-coating this, I’ll cut straight to the chase. Here’s the tagline version:

SRN2020 WILL BE POSTPONED TO SEPTEMBER 2021

And here are the (rather) lengthier but important details.

Yesterday the Executive Council of the SRN discussed as a matter of urgency the current emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. After careful evaluation of all possible scenarios, data and information available thus far, the EC has come to the conclusion that running SRN2020 in September 2020 as per plan is no longer a viable and safe option. 

Under no circumstance, even assuming the most optimistic outcome in the shortest period of time, we will put the safety and wellbeing of our members/colleagues/friends at risk; at the moment and for the foreseeable future, there is no way of guaranteeing that if we were to still run the conference next September.

The situation so far shows that:

  • All 35 countries the SRN2020 delegates come from have been affected, some in a very significant way;
  • Around 20 have now closed borders and/or banned flights from some/all countries, and this number is increasing daily;
  • Almost all 35 countries have introduced some form of lockdown, plus quarantining for incoming visitors, and self-isolation;
  • Universities from almost all 35 countries have suspended all travel abroad until at least end of April or indefinitely;
  • Insurances (both via university or private) are not guaranteeing cover anymore or refusing flat out at the moment.
  • According to most reliable data (which I have narrowed down to the WHO and the CSSE at Johns Hopkins University), the peak is yet to come in most countries and is to be expected between now and the early Summer, depending on the country. Other projections seem to indicate a risk in some countries (including the UK) for the outbreak to last until or have a double peak into the Autumn, or to subside by the Summer to then come back in the Winter;
  • Adding to that, the official position of UK authorities so far has caused no little extra uncertainty and the situation is still escalating pretty much everywhere.

In light of the above, the EC has considered other options but none seemed viable or offer any certainty. Postponing would only be possible by moving the Oxford dates to January 2021, but this would most certainly have a rather negative impact on the Vienna conference and delegates would still have to start making plans in the middle of the crisis; furthermore, should the more negative projections prove true, we would still have to cancel or postpone again with even less time to do so.

We also considered whether we could save SRN2020 by the bell by turning it into a virtual conference and still run it this year, but the resources, time and infrastructure will simply not be there. Most colleagues and universities all over the world (including Oxford Brookes) will spend the next few months having to deal with very serious circumstances and work hard at all sort of backup plans, with added pressure on already heavy workloads, and with all the resources available prioritized to this purpose. 

The good news is that all colleagues who were set to organize the Annual Conference in the 2021-23 cycle came to my help and generously agreed to push their events forward by one year in order to free up 2021 for Oxford. I therefore wish to express my deep gratitude to (in chronological order) Claus Tieber, Rosanne Welch, and Rafael Leal. I owe you. This means, to sum up, that our conference agenda for the forthcoming years will be:

  • September 2020 – No International conference (local conferences might still happen later in the year but will be discussed in their respective fora)
  • September 2021 – Oxford (possible dates: either 1-4 or, more likely, 8-11 September)
  • Early October 2022 – Vienna
  • 2023 – Missouri, US
  • 2024 – Rio de Janeiro

I also want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding, and for the many supportive messages and emails received in the past few days.

 

SO, WHAT NEXT?

  • As of today, registration, on-campus accommodation booking and dinner booking are suspended
  • Delegates who have already registered or booked their on-campus accommodation via Brookes’s online facilities will be reimbursed – I will send out instructions and contact details soon
  • The conference theme (i.e. Pushing Boundaries) will remain the same – and, perhaps, now more than ever sounds appropriate
  • Delegates already shortlisted for this year’s original dates are automatically confirmed but will have to confirm their intention to attend in 2021; should any delegates decline for whatever reason, a new CfP will be issued later in the year and we will accept new submissions accordingly to add to the current shortlist
  • Delegates who qualified for the student rate this year will be automatically considered eligible next year too, regardless of whether their status will have changed by then
  • Keynotes will be re-invited with the awareness that they might not be able to confirm availability until nearer the new date next year
  • The SRN Awards 2020 will be pushed to 2021, which will cover a two-year time period with submissions extended until May 2021

New deadlines will be set up for all stages but I will have to rework and restart the whole planning machine all over again and this might take some time. My hope is to get everything geared up by the Summer so as to give everyone plenty of time to adjust their plans. So, please bear with me until then. I will be in touch every now and then anyway.

In the meantime, if you have queries or need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me either at info@srn2020.com or paolo.russo@brookes.ac.uk and I will do my best to help.

Finally, without a conference being held this year, it means that we don’t know yet whether the AGM (and therefore the EC elections) may take place anyway. The EC will discuss this next month and we will inform all Members once a decision has been made on this matter. One tough bite to swallow at a time!

So… I have managed to draft all this without a hint of irony and it’s been as tough as I had imagined it last night. Apologies for the unusually sombre tone of this announcement but given this is an unprecedented situation for everyone, clarity is paramount. You will allow me one last remark: for all the thinking, planning and energy I have been putting into this in the past few months, this is the one email I never thought I would have to send out.

May all of you be well and safe!

 

Paolo Russo

on behalf of

SRN Executive Council

SRN2020 Organizing Committee

SRN Executive Minutes – January

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 27.1.2020 at 9 pm GMT/UTC (via Skype)

Circulation list: Carmen Sofia Brenes (CSB), Rose Ferrell (RF), Alexandra Ksenofontova (AK),
Rafael Leal (RL), Margaret McVeigh (MM), Paolo Russo (PR), Rosanne Welch (RW)

Agenda

1. Apologies for absence

RW and MM.

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

  • Minutes Approved. PR to send final draft to RL for upload to website.
  • Note: the date of the January meeting was postponed to today (27th) from the date scheduled originally (20th) due to availability of most EC members.

3. Membership: quarterly update

  • RF reports healthy numbers and steady increase in the number of new members since last September with only a few members having signed off the network. Currently, membership
    stands at around 590.
  • RF suggests to establish stronger contacts with other networks in underrepresented regions – e.g. India (where she has a good contact) or Singapore, both English-speaking countries and therefore potentially good places to start with. The EC agrees this is a good idea.
  • ACTION – RF to proceed.
  • RF also points out that the procedure/protocol to join the SRN seems to be confusing for some people, due to the double-step process (i.e. joining the JISCMail mailing list and filling in the
    registration form separately). RF suggests to simplify instructions on the website as follows: 1) Keep only the link to JISCMail on the website; 2) As soon as a new member joins, RF receives a
    notification anyway; 3) At that point, RF follows up by welcoming the new members and invites them to fill in the form via email, which also makes the process more “personal”. The EC agrees this is a good idea.
  • ACTION – PR and RL to update the relevant section on the website.

4. News/update re:

a. SRN2020 Oxford Conference (PR)

  • PR reports that the shortlisting process should be completed by the end of this week (31 January) at which point he will notify all delegates via email. Although numbers are not final yet, SRN2020 has received 124 submissions, 112 papers have been shortlisted, with 120+ delegates from 36 countries from all continents (including some new countries: e.g. Paraguay, Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Georgia, Greece, Estonia, Mexico, South Africa). PR also reports that the keynotes should hopefully be secured and confirmed soon.
  • ACTION: PR to send JISCMAIL update to all members re: shortlisted papers before individual notifications are sent out + another update on keynotes as soon as available.
  • ACTION: AK to post updates of the above (i.e. shortlisting and keynotes) on FB as soon as available.

b. Newsletter

  • This item was postponed to the February meeting.

c. Website

  • RL confirms that a plugin has been added to the website which automatizes Newsletter alerts. This is now ready to be tested with the next issue.
  • Google Analytics has also been installed and RL has emailed some interesting data about the users of the website in the past few months. He will keep checking every few months, so we can
    have an overview by the end of the academic year.
  • ACTION: The SARP section should be nested under Resources, to make room for the upcoming SRN Awards section.
  • ACTION: Also under Resources, RL will add a section for “Local Initiatives” as per discussion in the December meeting. In order to start populating it: 1) AK will send one short para re: the German network plus link to website, which can then be used as a (flexible) template; 2) RL will then contact John Finnegan asking him to write a similar paragraph re: his initiatives.

d. Social media

  • Facebook page: PR has sent past membership statistics those to AK who posted them.
  • AK also shared her posting schedule for the upcoming weeks. The EC commends AK for her excellent work on the SRN Facebook page which shows some really good stats, with interactions
    growing from previous months.
  • ACTION (linked to 4a): PR to send AK some stats about SRN2020 once the shortlisting is complete.
  • ACTION (for future months’ meetings): when the EC posts the Call for nominations for the next election round, it would be good to include a description of the role of the ECR so as to attract
    interest for next year’s nominees to replace AK. AK can also suggest names of potential ECRs.
  • The Twitter account has been revived. The EC acknowledges that it will become more useful when SRN2020 will be approaching and that for now, it can be used to retweet basic info about
    FB postings and similar.

5. SRN Awards (PR, All)

  • PR reports he has contacted and liaised with the new Jury members with the suggestion of adding Book chapters from edited volumes as a new award category and to set up a subcommittee who
    could screen submissions to avoid excessive workload for the jurors. All three Jurors welcomed the idea but agreed to include the book chapters in the same category as journal articles. The EC agrees.
  • Also, the Jurors don’t think a subcommittee is necessary as they envisage that the book chapters should not add too much work; moreover, they’d prefer to assess the submissions as they are sent in to them, whereas with a subcommittee in place they should wait until the deadline and until the initial screening process is completed. The EC welcomes the suggestion and decides to keep the idea of the subcommitte only as a backup in case the submissions do eventually end up being too many in number, and following consultation with the Jury anyway.
  • The Jurors also confirmed that they did not use a specific template or rubric to guide last year’s proceedings. Instead, they designed a spreadsheet used by each jury member to vote the quality of each publication (1-5), then tallied up the votes to determine the winners. They confirm they are happy to do the same this year too.
  • The Jurors also agreed that the website should contain clear information and a Call for submissions.
  • All Jurors gave expressed permission to provide their contact details for submissions.
  • Finally, the Jurors agreed to revise the yearly time frame (and related deadline) for acceptable publications to 1 June/31 May to better accommodate their other commitments.
  • ACTION – PR to draft text with info about SRN Awards, categories, submission protocol, jurors’ email and mail addresses, and revised deadline. This will be run by the Jury first, and then sent to RL for upload on the website. Once this is done, AK will publicize the Call on the FB page. This should be done within a couple of weeks.

6. Suggested items for February EC meeting

  • a. Diversity and awareness
    b. Address membership in underrepresented regions
    c. Initiatives in specific regions (visibility, liaising, etc.)
    d. Elections: Call for nominations
  • Approved.

7. Any other business

  • There was no other business.

Date of next meeting: Monday 17 February, 9 pm UTC/GMT
Confirmed.
The meeting ended at 9:48 pm

SRN Awards 2020 – Call for Nominations

The SRN AWARDS will celebrate their 2nd edition at the 2020 Conference at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK next September.

We invite all members and colleagues to submit Nominations for the best publications of 2019/2020 by the deadline of 31 May 2020. Both nominations and self-nominations are welcome.

The Awards this year will be again in two categories: 

 

Best Monograph (£400) – for single-authored or co-authored volumes (any format)

Best Journal Article/Book Chapter (£100) – this category now also includes chapters from edited books, thus welcoming the suggestion of SRN Members. Both articles and chapters normally range around 6-8,000 words but the format may vary.

 

While no ratings of journals/publishers will be a factor in the evaluation of submissions, all publications should be scholarly, fully peer-reviewed work underpinned by substantial research specifically in the area of Screenwriting Studies.

Submitted titles must have been published between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020.

All submissions will be evaluated independently by our Jury of distinguished academics: Professor Emerita Janet Staiger, Professor Emeritus Tom Stempel and Associate Professor Eva Novrup Redvall.

Winners will be announced at the 2020 SRN Conference in Oxford.

The prize money this year is kindly funded by the School of Arts of Oxford Brookes University.

 

Guidelines for the submission of nominations

All submissions in both categories should be made directly to all three members of the Jury (see contact details below) by 31 May 2020. However, early submissions are most welcome and encouraged.

MONOGRAPHS – Nominees and self-nominees should send hard copies of their monographs directly to each Juror via regular mail/courier. Publishers are usually happy to supply complimentary evaluation/inspection copies: only where this is really not possible (including, for instance, volumes due out very close to the deadline), authors can send a PDF copy of the approved preprint manuscript (in this case via email) as a last resort/backup option.

ARTICLES/CHAPTERS – Individual journal articles (i.e. not the whole journal) or chapters (i.e. not the whole book) should be sent as PDF (as per preprint approved draft) directly to the Jurors via email.

 

Contact details for all submissions:

Janet Staiger, 125 Granite Lane, Austin, TX 78737, USA – Email: jstaiger@utexas.edu

Tom Stempel, 2711 Coolidge Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90064, USA – Email: kestrs@ca.rr.com

Eva Novrup Redvall, Dept. of Communication, University of Copenhagen, Southern Campus, Karen Blixens Vej 8, 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark – Email: eva@hum.ku.dk

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If you have any enquiries, please contact Paolo Russo at paolo.russo@brookes.ac.uk

First ever SRN Awards at SRN Conference 2019

The 12 th SRN Conference held in Porto in September 2019 saw the launch of the first ever SRN AWARDS. The idea of the Awards was approved by SRN members at the 2018 AGM to acknowledge the importance of screenwriting research and publications within this field.

The Awards were in two categories (Best Monograph $500; and Best Journal Article $100).

A Call for Nominations was circulated during the course of the last academic year; by the deadline of 15 June 2019 we had received several nominations in both categories and copies of each were sent to the Jury members consisting of esteemed colleagues Jill Nelmes, Janet Staiger and Tom Stempel.

They Jury was unanimous in their evaluation. Here are the winners and the jury’s comments:

BEST MONOGRAPH – J.J. Murphy, Rewriting Indie Movies: Improvisation, Psychodrama, and the Screenplay, Columbia University Press, 2019

“A wide ranging, very perceptive analysis of how improvisation and psychodrama are used in contemporary American independent films. Murphy is observant about how those techniques are combined with scriptwriting to enrich important but lesser known US films. His work here expands on his previous book, Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work.”

You can find further details on JJ’s book here.

BEST ARTICLE – “Writing from the Margins of Media: Screenwriting Practice and Discourse During the First Indian Talkies”, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 9:2, 2018

“An excellent overview that goes beyond what little research has been done in the area: thetransition to sound films in India. Sengupta is particularly good at showing the connections between Indian theatre and the early talkies, and he provides detailed accounts of scripting protocols of the period.”

You can find Rakesh’s article here.

 

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Congratulations to JJ Murphy and Rakesh Sengupta!

The SRN Awards will come back at the 2020 SRN Conference in Oxford for publicationswith a release date comprised between 1 June 2019 and 31 May 2020.

A Call for Nominations and submission guidelines will be posted on the website.

Call for Scripts for The Script Department Podcast

The Script Department is a scripted podcast – as well as John Finnegan’s post-doc research project – that has been showcasing lots of great screenplays from writers over the last 12 months and we’d love to hear from practice-led researchers who have academic screenplays they’d like to share with the world.
The objective of this podcast is to showcase the work of screenwriters in a way that is removed from the filmmaking process so that writers can tell the stories they want to tell without concern for industry trends, marketplace demands or production logistics. To show the creative skills of screenwriters in a way that doesn’t depend on the all the outside influences which can determine whether or not a script gets adapted to the screen.
We have a small but consistent listenership right now and we are hoping to build on this in our second year and to do this, we need your help!
We are currently looking for short screenplays of any genre. We will be opening it up to features later in the year but for now we want to concentrate on shorts.
If you’d like to see what we have produced so far, you can visit our website, www.thescriptdepartment.net or search for ‘The Script Department’ where-ever you get your podcasts.
If you like what you hear, you can send a premise or synopsis to contact@thescriptdepartment.net and we will get back to you in due course.