SRN Executive Council Members

Here you can find information about the Executive Council and its activities (below). The current members of the Executive Council are:



Carmen Sofía Brenes
(Treasurer and Resources Officer), full professor of poetics and screenwriting at the School of Communication of Universidad de los Andes (Chile), Carmen is interested in the practical and professional current validity of Aristotle’s Poetics in screenwriting. Following Paul Ricoeur and Juan José García-Noblejas, she sees an analogy between the theory of human action and the theory of the audiovisual text. She has published two books on screenwriting, and has conducted screenwriting and film reception workshops in Latin America and Europe. She also works as a consultant on screenwriting projects in Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Ecuador, Italy, Spain and Belgium. She has a page at Academia.edu and tweets with @csbrenes


Rose Ferrell (Membership and Inclusion Officer) is an independent researcher and practitioner and an adjunct lecturer at one of Australia’s premier acting schools, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), within Edith Cowan University, in Perth. Rose has a background in film production as both a technician and creator of fiction and non-fiction, and as a leader / trainer in community arts film projects. As a screenwriter and researcher, Rose’s interests are in creative practice, screenwriter’s voice and cultural-national inflection in voice. Her writings have been published in the Journal of Screenwriting (Intellect, 2017), Transcultural Screenwriting: Telling Stories for a Global World (Cambridge Scholars 2017), and will appear in the forthcoming Palgrave-Macmillan Handbooks of Screen Production (in press) and of Script Development (expected to be available in 2020). Rose’s latest work is a stage musical, Her Latest Flame.


Ann Igelstrom (Early Career Representative) started her journey at Umeå University in Sweden where she completed a BA in Screenwriting, Drama, Theatre and Film. Screenwriting studies captured her interest and she dedicated her Masters to applying literary theories to screenplay texts. This focus on the screenplay text turned into a PhD at Bangor University supervised by Prof Stephen Price. The thesis argues for the screenplay to be regarded as a literary text and examines how specific traits of the screenplay text serve narrational ends. The PhD was completed in 2014 and since then she has published in the Journal of Screenwriting and in Screenwriters and Screenwriting: Putting Practice into Context (ed. by Craig Batty). She currently lives in Edinburgh where she continues on with her research independently while getting back to work after maternity leave.


Rafael Leal (Website Coordinator) is a screenwriter and executive producer based in Rio de Janeiro. Professor of Screenwriting at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and PhD Candidate in Film at Fluminense Federal University, Rafael researches how immersive narratives challenge linear screenwriting. His creations include the feature film Too Soon and TV shows Queenpin and Jungle Pilot, whose development was subject of the chapter Transcultural Collaboration in Screenwriting: Jungle Pilot’s Case Study, published in the book Transcultural Screenwriting: Telling Stories for a Global World (Cambridge Scholars). You can find him at Academia.edu, LinkedIn or IMDb.


 

Margaret McVeigh PhD (Newsletter Editor) is Senior Lecturer and Head of Screenwriting and Contextual Studies at Griffith Film School, Griffith University, Brisbane. She has an industry background in publishing, corporate communications and education and holds a PhD in Film and New Media Narrative. Margaret has worked in the Film and Television industries in Australia and the UK, including as Commissioning Editor for John Wiley & Sons Publishers and as a Writer and Education Reviewer for the ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Online Education Portal, ABC Splash. Margaret has researched, published and addressed conferences in Asia, Europe, the USA and Australia on Screenwriting and Creativity and the writing and making of Transnational film co-productions. She is co-editor with Carmen Sofia Brenes (Chile) and Patrick Cattryse (Belgium) of Transcultural Screenwriting: Telling Stories for a Global World  (Cambridge Scholars 2017).


Paolo Russo (Chairperson) is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University (UK) where he researches and teaches screenwriting, story development (feature, short, serial drama) and film history. He is on the editorial boards of Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (Intellect) and L’Avventura – International Journal of Italian Film and Media Landscapes (Il Mulino). He published a History of Italian Cinema (2008), an edited volume on screenwriting in Italy (2014), articles on the Journal of Screenwriting, and several chapters in edited books (see here).

A former script reader, ghostwriter and story editor for feature, and video-game localizer, he is also a professional screenwriter. He co-wrote the feature Three Days of Anarchy, which premiered at the 2006 Tokyo Film Festival and went on to 30+ festivals all over the world. More recently, he has been working on TV serial drama and animation projects, currently in development as Co-Creator and Head Writer of Burns with Cysa Productions and as Staff Writer on Topo Gigio – The Series.

You can email Paolo at paolo.russo@brookes.ac.uk, tweet him at @PaoloRu92465734, look him up on Academia.edu, and find him on Facebook at paolo.russo.583234.


Rosanne Welch, PhD, (Secretary) serves as Executive Director of Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting where she created a set of History of Screenwriting courses (because ‘History of Film’ courses become History of Directors’ courses and thereby ‘History of Great Men’) and teaches courses in One-Hour Drama. Her television writing credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences, ABCNEWS: Nightline and Touched by an Angel. Welch edited When Women Wrote Hollywood (2018), named runner-up for the Susan Koppelman Award honoring the best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in feminist studies by the Popular Culture Association. She co-edited Women in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia (named to both the 2018 Outstanding References Sources List and to the list of Best Historical Materials, by the American Library Association) and wrote Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Popular Culture. In 2016 Welch gave the talk “The Importance of Having a Female Voice in the Room” at the TEDxCPP (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JFNsqKBRnA). She also serves as Book Reviews Editor of the Journal of Screenwriting.

SRN Executive Minutes – January 2021

SRN EC Meeting

Monday 18.1.2021 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Zoom)

MINUTES

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

 

Agenda

  • Apologies for absence

RL, MM

 

  • Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda.

The EC approves the minutes which will be uploaded to the website.

 

  • Website

  • Update on Call for Hosts (RL)

RL will repost the Call – deadline 31 January. Any received bids will be considered at the EC February meeting.

  • Update on design of and Call for translations for new slogan (RF, RL)

RF is drafting text and design of Call for translations to post on FB and JISCmail.

PR suggests to post the call the week after the Call for Hosts (website) is issued.

  • Newsletter (MM, RW)

RW reports that from now on MM alone will be in charge of the Newsletter so that RW can focus on Secretary duties. All appreciated the December end-of-year issue idea. The plan is to have 4 issue per year – one per season, likely in March, June, September, December.

RF observes that the Newsletter in different languages was a wonderful welcoming idea and the more of that we can do the better.

 

  • YouTube channel

PR asks whether RL will be the next to record a message: this could be about the renewal of the website.

RW asks whether the Channel could/should be used for posting lectures by members. PR observes this should be discussed at next AGN to see if the members agree: if that were to be the case, the EC will need a plan for how to upload – and how often. Meanwhile, it is good to stimulate more posts on Facebook.

  • Social Media 

  • Update on Facebook posts (AI)

Upcoming posts include the EC Minutes, the Welcome slogan translation request, the website Call for Hosts reminder, a reminder to submit nominations for the SRN Award, research-archive post.

AI is thinking about posting about small conferences and organizing a small event for early researchers.  

Also, the outreach has been good with the FB posts on publications by members. The latter this have been so many this last year that it will be difficult to award the prize at this year’s conference.

ACTION – Include update on early researcher symposium when ready.

  • Update on SRN2021 conference

  • Responses to December survey so far (PR)

PR shares data/stats of responses to survey, which is generally positive and shows most delegates are still hopeful and willing to participate in some form. The purpose of the survey was to make sure there was a quorum of members still planning to attend. If too few had said yes we would have had no reason to plan further. This is not the case.

The current lockdown in the UK could be lifted by the end of March and the mass vaccination program being rolled out will help to improve the situation in forthcoming months. However, uncertainties remain – e.g. will social distancing still be in place? If so, the capacity of the biggest lecture theatre at the conference venue (normally 250) would be capped to 50 people. This means that even if attendees are willing to travel it might be difficult to actually congregate.

RW asks when a decision can realistically be made. PR figures/hopes by end of March/early April.  Trends and forecasts seem to show the worst of the current 3rd wave should occur this coming month, then wane and, thanks to vaccination, finally abate. By Easter almost half of UK should have been vaccinated. But then we need to factor in the situation in other countries the delegates come from. Will there still be travel bans? What about budgets for travel from universities? Will the UK require vaccination proof to allowing in travellers?

RW asks whether the necessary information can be broken down by countries? PR confirms he should be able to do so but it’s not going to be easy to collate or find a common solution. 

ACTION – PR to respond individually to all 100 delegates who responded to survey. 

RW asks whether PR will incur in a monetary loss in case he had to cancel the venue. PR reassures that the venue (i.e. the Mathematical Institute) took the reservation with no deposit needed upfront last Autumn. This means there won’t be any financial risks at least until the Spring when a contract will have to be signed if the conference goes through. 

PR reminds the EC that he is still pursuing the option of bringing the conference back to Oxford Brookes because if that was viable we would have more rooms at our disposal, which may allow to deal with social distancing more easily.

CSB asks about the virtual conference option? PR reports that 77% of delegates responded they would attend if the conference were to switch to a virtual platform. This scenario could include a hybrid format TBD and we would have to organize the technology around such an event.

However, PR points out a large number of practical issues that makes this option not easy to adopt: how do run parallel sessions online, live or recorded, with delegates from 19 time zones? Should we pre-record in some geographic zones and go live in others? And what happens to the AGN for the full membership?  

RW asks whether delegates were asked about need for travel funds? PR reports that many responded they would attend anyway.

PR puts to the EC whether a new Call for Papers should be issued. RF remarks that, rather than getting up hopes, it might be better to wait until we know when/how the conference will be held. If by April we are in a clearer place and a more realistic number can be assessed, we can still post a late Call for Papers. Therefore no action required here at present.

ACTION – PR to email update to Membership in early February.

 

  • Any other business

CSB notes that when members change universities their email addresses change too and they cease to receive emails. They should be reminded to connect with the Membership officer to change their addresses. 

PR reminds EC that there will be a Membership update at the February meeting at which point we could issue such a reminder to the Membership.

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 15, 2021 TBD, 9pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

Announcing Issue 11.3 of the Journal of Screenwriting, focusing on Women in Screenwriting

This video announces the publication of a special issue of the Journal of Screenwriting focused on “Women in Screenwriting” co-edited by Rosanne Welch, SRN Secretary, and Rose Ferrell, SRN Membership Officer. While focusing on female screenwriters Issue 11.3 seeks to be as international as possible including articles covering five continents including countries: Japan, China, Syria, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Zimbabwe and Canada.

 

SRN Executive Minutes – December 2020

Minute of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 14.12.2020 at 9 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)

 

MINUTES

 

1. Apologies for absence

 MM

 

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

Approved by all.

 

3. Newsletter (MM)

MM emailed an update confirming she and RW have collated the contributions and that next issue should be finalized by the Christmas break, including a parallel text in-text version

RW will meet MM again next week to revise the Newsletter yearly schedule as follows: March/June/Sept/Dec.

 

4. Website

PR relays he has had no further news from Ian Macdonalds re: Leeds University. Given the unlikelihood that Leeds will renew, the EC moves to proceed with the Call for Hosts.

RL asks whether the EC should talk informally first with members who might be interested and in case of no takers, then issue a public CfH.

PR observes that the best practice would be to release the CfH publicly anyway so as to avoid wasting useful and precious time in case informal links don’t end in agreements.

RL notes that all universities in Brazil will closed down for holidays soon and up until mid- February so we should send out the Call now.

All agree to post the CfH before Christmas with a deadline of end of January 2021 to receive Expressions of interest.

ACTION – RL to revise and circulates draft of CfH. All to approve, so that PR can finalize by Monday 21 December 2021 and RL to send out mid-next week. If no response by end of January we can extend deadline and send out again.

 

5. SRN Content (YouTube channel, history of SRN, banner)

a. Videomessages for YouTube channel (RW, RF, RL)

RW thanks RF and RL for doing the tech/editing to complete the announcement of the upcoming JoS special issue on “Women in Screenwriting” edited by RF and RW. The EC takes note that JoS was created by early SRN members as a way to share research beyond the annual conferences and therefore it seems appropriate to have a videomessage on that.

RL has already posted the video on the YT channel and will share the link with AI for announcing on the FB page.

b. Ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB)

RF is currently training on Zoom to prep to record these histories. These will be itemized in future agendas when further news become available.

PR suggest that, should SRN2021 Oxford have to be moved online, we could hold a virtual round table interview with former organizers in the lead-up to the conference. To be discussed, if any, at future EC meetings.

c. Design of new slogan (RF)

PR has liaised with RF and RL and proposed to keep “We Welcome All” as opposed to just a generic “Welcome”, pointing out the importance of using “We” (standing for SRN as a whole). PR also points out that issues regarding gender declination in adjectives and other words in some languages cannot easily be sorted out and we should leave it to the Members to suggest the best options in their own languages.

RF and RL have prepared a form to collect responses from Members.

ACTION – RL to share form with all EC for feedback so it can be sent out to Membership by end of year or ASAP in January. If, after collecting responses, we are still short on specific languages we can use an automatic translator.

The EC thanks RF and RL for the work done so far in regard to this activity.

d. Use of JISCmail list (All)

PR sums up recent exchanges on JISCmail and reiterates that, overall, no members have breached the netiquette. RW has enjoyed the recent threads and reports that one of his Graduate Students who is studying the pedagogy of screenwriting has gained much insight from it. RL found those email conversations were very useful as an ECR and he is happy that such information is available to and sharable with other new academics in the network. RF too found the conversation extremely useful, with arguments around different topics by experts who have had such long experience.

PR thanks RL for posting info on how to filter posts. RL – who now sits once again in the council of the Brazilian Screenwriters’ Association – reports of a similar question they faced about the use of their mailing list. Sometimes the list became too busy and people overused contacts to send Instagram links. Subjects can be combined into digests and groups.

e. Facebook (AI)

AI was asked by Members whether we could start a forum to deal with the kinds of questions raised in the recent JISCmail exchange. PR reiterates that the email he sent out recently reminded all members that they can use the FB page as well to initiate discussions on relevant topics.

ACTION – AI to remind members that they can post questions and topics for debate on FB publicly and then follow up privately with the actual discussion thread.

AI updates the EC on the schedule for the upcoming posts: next up is the YouTube new video.

AI asks whether the post advertising the upcoming slogan/banner should specify that we are asking to offer up translations. RF confirms that the new form (see above) will allow members to offer them up so they are appropriate.

ACTION – RF to post call for translations to JISCmail first, AI to follow up with blurb post on FB.

f. Twitter (RL, AI)

RL reports that the developer’s account set up recently is working well – i.e. whatever posts on WordPress website is added on Twitter so they feed each other.

AI observes that Twitter is still much underused as there isn’t much traffic there. She will work on trying to gain followers.

PR remarks that Twitter tends to be busy before/during/after a conference. After all, our social media outlet are made available to the Membership but it is up to individual members to make use of them.

 

6. Update on SRN2021 conference

ACTION – PR to email shortlisted delegates soon to assess availability for SRN2021 at present.

PR suggests he will draft a new memo outlining alternative scenarios next month.

 

7. Any other business

The EC approved the use of Zoom (preferred over Skype) for all future meetings.

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 18 January 2021 TBD, 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

SRN Executive Minutes – November

Monday 16.11.2020 at 9 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Skype)

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 

CSB

 

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda.

The minutes are approved without changes.

 

3. Newsletter

    1. Update re: latest issue (MM)

MM has received some responses on international meetings held this year in own language. Will have pieces from RL, RW, Claus Tieber, Paul Wells. MM to connect with previous ECR rep John Finnegan re: an event he planned/attended – and also looking to connect with Maxine Gee to see what her news is.

RW mentions three book publications to be noted in the Newsletter.

MM asks whether we shall remind people about the deadline for SRN Awards. PR has recently been in touch with the jurists for an update.

ACTION – PR to liaise with RL to update info on the SRN Website.

ACTION – PR to write a short update for the next Newsletter issue. 

MM suggests coverage of publication of the Special Issue of Jos? All agreed.

PR observes the latest Newsletter issue looks a positively dense, end-of-year issue.

 

4. Website

PR reports a request to mention members’ publications on the website but points out that the website as an institutional platform should be about achievements of the SRN as  a whole rather than individual members. The latter are best publicized via the Newsletter, JISCmail list and Facebook page.

All EC members in agreement.

Re: the future hosting plans for the website, PR reports back about his chat with Ian Macdonald re: the current situation at Leeds University: the new faculty members might no longer be fully invested/interested in continuing to host but Ian will ask formally by December. The EC will await response from Leeds on this before circulating the agreed Call for Hosting to members.

RW observes that, even in case Leeds Uni renews availability to host website, we will still face the current limitations so we might have to look for alternative hosts anyway. PR confirms that in such a case we would have to negotiate with Leeds Uni about availability of plugins and website design.

ACTION – RL to share current draft of Call for Hosts looking at formal approval at December EC meeting. 

ACTION – EC to circulate Call ASAP in January so as to collect responses, possibly, for discussion/approval at the end-of-January EC meeting.

 

5. YouTube channel

ACTION – RW plans to have her video message ready by the end of November. Happy to talk about how the issue brought in more members.

RF comments on the good outreach of RL’s recent event in terms of recruiting in South America and that this could be made into a video as well to push for even more.

Work on the history of SRN by CSB/RF is ongoing and an update will be in the agenda for the December meeting. 

 

6. Update on design of new slogan (RF)

Adjourned to December meeting. 

 

7. Social Media 

AI reports an increase of interest in the FB posts once again. Scheduled posts in the forthcoming weeks will include this meeting, the newsletter, the JoS special issue, Calls for Papers, etc.

PR/AI share receipt of yet another CfP for another issue of JoS which will be publicized as well.

PR suggests posting reminders re: nominations for the SRN Awards every six weeks until May. Also to avoid the jury from receiving ALL the materials at once near the deadline.

ACTION – AI to schedule regular SRN Awards reminders.

RW suggests introducing posts about archives around the world. PR notes that some archives also have Fellowships available ECRs and there are valuable digital archives for all researchers.

ACTION – AI to implement archive posts on Facebook and to hashtag them as SRN Resources via Twitter.

RL/AI report that an application for a Twitter developer’s account has been made. No response received yet, so AI will double-check and update.

 

8. Update on SRN2021 conference (PR, All)

PR has updated Delegates/Membership about new/current plans for 2021.

The EC will have to monitor how the situation evolves over the coming months and consider alternative scenarios and related implications in terms of costs, technology, formats. For each scenario, the EC will need to weigh pros and cons and feasibility. 

Also, should SRN2021 be run in hybrid or virtual format, the EC will once again need to consider how to run the AGM. A virtual AGM might require amendment to the SRN Constitution.

PR suggests that, should SRN2021 be run in-person in Oxford after all, we should discuss and approve an amendment to the SRN Constitution at the AGM to include alternative provision(s) to be used in the future when force majeure applies.

All EC members agree.

ACTION – PR to draft memo of alternative scenarios and EC members to send notes about personal experience of attending hybrid conferences this year. To be discussed in January.

PR noticed that recorded papers followed by live discussion would minimize technical issues.

RL reports about recent event he organized in Brazil. Many questioned the decision to pre-record the speakers, but it protected against tech issues well.

Also, PR observes, live presentations require full-time technical assistance from Brookes or by the venue (at an additional cost) which is hard to acquire.

MM did attend a live virtual conference that used the registration fee (which stayed the same as in person) to invest in tech and requested pre-recorded papers as back up. MM emailed her PPT to the host and everything seemed to have worked well. The conference was in Europe but the hosts accommodated time zone changes. Every session sent a live link via email for access. There were longer breaks between presentations to allow everyone to move in and out of sessions.

This seems like a very good approach but PR notes that, should all the delegates initially shortlisted for SRN2020 attend, we would have participants from 21 different time zones, and a programme of 4 parallel panel sessions over 3 days which would be massive to handle. 

PR will keep contacting all shortlisted delegates to get confirmation of attendance. Only when we have a better idea of numbers we will be able to come up with a more precise, viable format. 

Re: the possibility of a new CfP, MM asks whether a reminder should be sent out about deadlines because no matter the format there will still be a presentation opportunity. PR will make sure that all reminders are sent out promptly and in due course.

PR confirms that the conference theme will remain the same so hopefully the shortlisted delegates will still be conducting the relevant research.  

 

9. Any other business

PR is awaiting info from Hospitality team at Oxford Brookes University to confirm whether on-campus accommodation will be available for SRN2021 delegates.

RL suggests using Zoom for the December EC meeting to see if it works better than Skype

ACTION – PR to set up Zoom link for December EC meeting.

 

Date of next meeting agreed to be Monday 14 December at 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

SRN Executive Minutes – October

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting

Monday 19.10.2020 at 10 pm BST/GMT/UTC+1 (via Skype)

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

The meeting begins at 10.05 pm BST

Apologies for absence

RF

Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

All pending Action Points have been itemized below in the agenda. The minutes are approved without changes.

Welcoming new ECR

All EC members welcome AI who officially starts this month in her ECR role and look forward to working with her in the new academic year.

Update on SRN2021 conference (PR, All)

  • Status update re: venue, suppliers and costs

PR has secured new venue – i.e. Andrew Wiles Building available on Aug 30-Sept 1, 2021. The change of venue became necessary as, sadly, Oxford Brookes University is all booked for graduations next Summer. The Andrew Wiles Building is part of the Mathematical Institute in Oxford City Centre and offered better facilities at less cost compared to more historic colleges, whose hospitality team insisted on SRN members renting all their on-campus rooms.

The main lecture theatre in the new venue accommodates up to 250 people and offers state-of-the-art AV. PR has revised the conference budget thoroughly (which stood at around £17,000 for SRN2020). The move to the new venue meant a significant increase due to the hiring cost of the spaces – now forecasting between £26,600 and £33,300 depending on the number of delegates. In order to keep the registration fee around £100 baseline early bird rate, some budget item had to be revised for savings: e.g. the conference materials will be entirely paperless, and there might not be room in the budget for a pre-conference wine reception. However, these can be added back in later based on numbers of attendees and final budget. PR’s plan to break even is also viable thanks to the financial support he has secured from Oxford Brookes’s School of Arts, who has pledged £5000 in funding. In the last two months, PR has also secured substantial additional support of up to £12,000 through Brookes’ Research & Development funding.

One other consequence of the move to the new venue and revised budget, is that SRN2021 will revert back to the 3-day format and, as a result, the maximum number of papers is estimated at around 108, which means the organizing committee might have to withdraw acceptance of a few (from the 118 initially shortlisted).

  • Uncertainties due to COVID-19 and reaching out to delegates
  • Planning alternative scenarios
  • Updating Membership and delegates

The EC will have to keep monitoring the situation caused by pandemic globally. Realistically, and optimistically, we won’t be able to confirm that the conference will in fact go ahead until Spring 2021. Should this be the case, PR will have to revise the phasing of the various registration rates/deadlines.

ACTION – PR will reach out to the Membership and to this year’s shortlisted delegates to start gauging their ability to attend. A new Call for Papers will be issued, if necessary (i.e. if too many delegates decide not to attend anymore).

CSB asks about the viability of going virtual, should the pandemic persist for longer than hoped?

PR confirms this scenario is on the table. This will of course be an issue for the EC to discuss thoroughly in the forthcoming months, taking into account all the possible drawbacks: e.g. time zones make it impossible to have all delegates join online sessions simultaneously.

ACTION – The EC to discuss possible scenarios and alternative options.

PR confirms that the two Keynotes (i.e. Murray Smith and Liz Kilgarriff) and a “surprise” guest are still on tap to attend 2021, although TBC nearer the conference date when the situation is clearer.

Website and YouTube channel

RL confirms all new EC roles have been updated.

Update on accessibility requirement (PR, RL)

PR confirms that new UK law only applies to public bodies – the SRN’s website is not. However, the EC note that it will be a good idea to discuss ways to improve and enhance accessibility once the renewal of the website is sorted out.

Action plan for renewal of host/domain of SRN web-page:

RL confirms contacts at University of Leeds have changed and that the current agreement expires in July 2021. PR observes that with Ian Macdonald not at the department in Leeds anymore, we do need a new contact there. Moreover, the current website design at Leeds Uni is not very flexible as it does not allow many plug-ins. RL remarks that if we were to move to WordPress, the subscription would be free, but we’d still need host server fees paid. RL’s production company would offer use of their server for free. In short, we would be able to keep domain while the website would be hosted on RL’s server. RL adds that he could ask his university in Rio for institutional support as a host. PR suggests we should post a public call for hosts first (to which Rio as well could respond). CSB observes that hosts do not necessarily have to be universities. Also individual members should be considered. Nonetheless, we should offer first look option to Leeds as they were foundational to the birth of the SRN.

ACTION – PR to contact Ian Macdonald and, subsequently, new contacts at University of Leeds for good practice before moving on to Call.

ACTION – RL to draft Call for Hosts with relevant guidelines and specs to be discussed and approved by the EC by December 2020.

Update on EC’s YouTube videomessages (All)

PR has posted the first YouTube message and calls for other EC members to do the next few. Short videos can be sent to PR who can then add logo and copyright-free music track.

ACTION – RW offers to do one in November to announce special issue of JOS – perhaps together with RF?

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

CSB reports that Ian Macdonald is still working on writing a history of the origin of the SRN. RF’s update on oral histories is adjourned.

Update on design of new slogan (RF)

This item too is adjourned to the next meeting.

Social Media (AI)

AI praises Alexandra Ksenofontova for a thorough handoff re: the use of our Facebook page. AI plans to revamp the use of the SRN’s Twitter account, i.e. more activity by retweeting members’ tweets and post on updates on research/industry to start with. RL can install the WordPress plug-in on Twitter – this allows automatic posting of links from WordPress to Twitter.

ACTION – AI and RL to add WordPress plug-in and test it

Any other business

PR reports a recent exchange in JISCMail where a member complained about potential misuse and for the EC to moderate/intervene. Having assessed the content of the exchange, PR does not believe this to constitute a breach of netiquette.

RW observes that, in this case, the message happened to promote books about screenwriting. Others in the past did the same, which helped her find new titles to review for JOS and therefore ended up being helpful and useful.

RL announces an upcoming event called “Screenwriting Dialogues”, i.e. a series of talks he has organized in Brazil with screenwriters and producers. PR suggests this to be posted on our Facebook page and on the website under Local Initiatives.

MM will issue the Call for next Newsletter issue in a few weeks’ time. MM wonders – given new modes of communication we are adding to our interactions with our Membership – what are the philosophies/rationale behind each new form introduced. Is the Newsletter old hat? Can we do book reviews from other languages even printed in other languages?

MM reports that previous issues have also included reflections from the last conference that were very personal and can serve as archival material in the future; another article covered all the EC’s members work for the Network.

PR observes that while format and technology might need us to adapt and update/upgrade from time to time, it is still vital to collect valuable information in one place. For instance, the new YouTube videos were introduced as a surrogate for the EC to communicate with the

Membership in the absence of an AGM this year but will not replace the information contained in the Newsletter. MM also wonders whether the fact that she uses a Page template might pose an issue. RL suggests we might be able to use a WordPress template which allows for better posting on the website once we move to a new hosts. This would allow to embed all Newsletter issues as PDF, or as a file for download (like we currently do for minutes), by converting from pdg to html. PR appreciates that while suggestions for improvement are always welcome, the current look of the template seems well designed, simple and effective.

MM adds that the theme for the next Newsletter issue will be inspired by the “From my window” post during the pandemic. But it will also build off RL’s “Screenwriting Dialogues” and similar SRN-style events in other countries and will feature the languages of those countries. RW and RL praise the idea!

Date of next meeting: Monday 16 November 2020, 9 pm BST/UTC/GMT (consider DST; refer to shared DOC for each country’s time zone)

We Welcome All!

In the past few months most of us have been following news and developments of Black Lives Matter and the renewed discussion this has precipitated regarding – amongst other things –
the decolonisation of curricula, the dismantling of current systems of oppression within organizations and our responsibilities as scholars within our respective HEIs and countries
to keep looking inward and outward in order to enable individuals to take action, ensure positive change and, last but not least, remain accountable. Many of us have seen and received institutional statements against racism, discrimination and violence, some of which were very heartfelt, others more matter-of-factly or oddly worded. To the extent that, in some cases, they were seen as rather self-serving; others, paradoxically, led to vehement criticism of (in all likelihood unintended and yet telling) added insult to injury.

The SRN Executive Council has been paying close attention to the current situation and pondered whether we should issue our own formal statement as well. As we all reflect on many personal and much broader issues in these unprecedented trying times, we would like instead to reiterate two founding tenets of our Constitution that outline, amongst the principle aims of the SRN, “to promote policies which encourage full participation in screenwriting studies by all sections of society; and which address issues of gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability” and “to establish, maintain links with, and encourage dialogue with similar Associations and other appropriate bodies, both nationally and internationally.”

First of all then, rather than simply showing off how good we are, we felt we wanted to renew our support to all colleagues who might be experiencing difficult work and/or life situations, wherever they are and for whatever reason.

When the C19 crisis is over and we are finally able to officially confirm SRN2021, the plan is to make our next Annual Conference into a champion of inclusivity: the theme is “Pushing boundaries” – let’s push them! The following year in Vienna, it will be about “Global” issues; in Missouri in 2023 the conference will tackle “Gender inequality”; and as for Rio de Janeiro in 2024 we’d like to borrow Stuart Hall’s words to consider “colonization as part of an essentially transnational and transcultural global process”. In other words, we have already set a four-year path that calls out to submit bold papers to advance and establish our field at the forefront of the challenges of our times.

What about now? In the last academic year, one of the long-term actions introduced and pursued by the Executive Council has been to reach out and encourage more and more active participation from members from so far underrepresented regions. This is an ongoing, systematic commitment, also reflected in the new role of Membership and Inclusion Officer (currently, Rose Ferrell). We invite all members to participate in and contribute to this effort: any suggestions to take down barriers and make our members feel “at home” and valued in the SRN will be most welcome.

SRN Executive Minutes – June

Minutes — SRN EC Meeting

Monday 22.6.2020 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: MM

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval

  • a. All pending Action Points have been itemized in the agenda.
    Minutes approved.

3. Ratification of results of online voting to CTM/Resolution re: AGM and EC elections 2020 (PR, All)

Data collected shows 22 respondents, 100% of which in favour of Option 1 as per EC recommendation (i.e. both AGM and EC elections postponed to SRN2021 and mandate of current EC members extended by one year). The EC ratifies the result.

ACTION – PR to notify Membership within a few days via mailing list and Facebook.

4. Discussion re: institutional statement in light of recent events (Black Lives Matter, etc.) (All)

The EC has initiated discussion on this issue via email in the past few weeks. Today’s discussion focused on whether it is advisable, timely and necessary to issue a formal statement as SRN. A necessary premise is that the EC is (as defined in the Constitution) the body elected to make such decisions on behalf of the Association and in the interests of the Membership. The discussion continued to consider other statements issued by other institutions that have attracted some criticism. The EC agrees about the need to avoid sounding self-serving or making a statement
that simply joins the bandwagon.

It also needs to be clear that making a statement of social standing, while also a political act (in the civic sense of taking a stand), is not necessarily political in content. At the same time, deciding not to make a statement would itself amount to a political act. CSB shared memories of EC meetings in the first years of the SRN to point out that the opportunity of making such statements – about inclusivity, gender balance etc. – has been a sensitive topic since the inception of the Network so as to define its very nature.

RL added that it is also in the best interest of our members to stand up for scholars and screenwriters from underprivileged areas or other “problematic” regions. The EC also weighed pros and cons and whether making any statement could be a cause of concern for or make any Members uncomfortable. The EC carefully revised the wording of the current working draft of the statement and observes that only two short passages make reference to specific issues (e.g. racism, oppression) or express a judgment value on recent events (using the adjectives sad and contemptible) but they are not overtly political in their essence. The core message of the statement is, and has to be, that the SRN and the EC will continue the work initiated in the last year by increasing our efforts towards being more inclusive in line with the core aim of the association, which is to bring scholars together to exchange ideas (any ideas). This also reflects the feeling of countless members and conference delegates who over the years have expressed the sincere joy we all share in being an inclusive group.

ACTION – The EC approves the implementation of the slogan/banner suggested by RF “We Welcome All” on our website and other materials in future communications.

The EC also considers the timeliness of issuing a statement which should not necessarily depend on specific episodes happening in a given country, especially since issues such as racism are widespread and transcend national boundaries. At the same time, it is simply not realistic to release a statement every time any such episodes occur. It goes without saying, the EC is not so naïve as to believe one statement will end racism.

The EC also pointed out that even in case a formal statement was made by the EC on behalf of the SRN, any member agreeing with it would do so by expressing their own individual views, which
would not be representative of their respective affiliations, and that individual members will always be entitled to their own opinions regardless of any statement issued. Having said that, it is also important to point out that when members subscribe to the SRN they also subscribe to what the SRN stands for, as per the articles of the Constitution.

In light of the above, CSB suggests the following:

  •  The discussion and the decision about the statement will be adjourned to the next EC meeting in September. As this will be at a time when the Membership will be informed about the new
    Executive Council, the Annual Report, the Action Plan for next year and the introduction of the role of the Inclusivity Officer, it would be the best time to release the statement as drafted
    by PR, minor amendments pending and to be discussed and agreed upon, as part of our ongoing business rather than due to contingent events.
  • The themes of the upcoming conferences also show our work towards bridging rather than dividing. We will remind the Membership of those, without waiting for the Calls for Papers to be issued in the forthcoming years.
  • We will introduce the slogan mentioned above.

The EC seconds the suggestion.

ACTION – As per above at September 2020 EC meeting.

5. EC roles (All)

  • a. Rota for Chairperson, Secretary/Acting Chairperson following CSB standing down as of September 2020
    i. Updating profiles on website
    This is now the first point of order in the agenda for the September 2020 meeting of the EC. Based on the result of CTM, all current members of the EC will be in attendance for this, minus CSB as noted. However, CSB has given her conditional availability to stay in post, should the need raise.
    The entire EC expresses their gratitude to CBS for her wonderful leadership.
  • b. Membership Officer to become Membership and Inclusivity Officer
    Approved.
  • c. Call for Expressions of Interest in ECR post for 2020-21 (AK, All)
    The EC discussed the text of the current draft of the CfE; it is relevant to keep AK’s description (it gives a more real/personal feel of the role, rather than a utilitarian one). But the text can be streamlined a little and made more to the point.
    AK makes herself available to any potential nominees who would like an informal chat with the current ECR.
    ACTION – AK to revise her quotation. PR to finalize draft and issue Call to Membership by the end of June. Deadlines are fine as stated in draft.
    AK thanks the EC for the “amazing year”. PR asks the EC to include in the minutes that AK has done an amazing job in reviving and managing the network’s social media outlet; the EC thanks AK especially for all her contributions to our discussions!

6. Newsletter (MM, RW)

  • RW confirms the June issue is being finalized for publication in July. She suggests that a more flexible template could eventually be more useful in the future. CSB observes that this is fine as long as the Newsletter format as a whole maintains its typical brevity.

7. Website

  • a. Update on ongoing history(ies) of SRN (RF, CSB, RL)
  • b. Analytics/data
    RL reports that the data are the same as last sent. He is working on ways to convert data into useful strategies to recruit other people. So far he has tried to contact and attract new members from Paraguay and Argentina.
    RW suggests that, following RF’s work in the past months, we should be asking more peer reviewers to join.
    RF points out that it is important that invites are “personal” to make them more engaging.
    RF and RW also suggest more and better use of the information we collect on subscription form – e.g. welcoming new members on our social media. PR reminds the EC that this would be possible only if we get expressed permission from members due to Data Protection laws.
    AK also notes that data analysis on Facebook page show that posts dedicated to individuals evoke the least interest whereas book suggestions gain the most, as do Calls for Papers.

8. Social Media (AK, All)

  • a. Planning use of Facebook over Summer months
    AK provides a status update. Currently, the SRN has 1,200 followers on Facebook – i.e. double the
    Membership. AK will keep the Facebook page alive during the Summer months.
    ACTION – AK to draft summary of activity on Facebook for last year.

9. Planning EC Activities Report and Action Plan for next year (All)

  • a. Brainstorm items to include (in addition to AP from previous meetings)
  • b. Assign sections to draft by September
    ACTION – PR to draft Report and Plan over the Summer and share with EC members who will then
    add their own paragraph/information (e.g. data re: Membership, Website etc.). Ready to share with
    Membership in September.
  • c. Further discussion on short videos to report on achievement of last year and to lay out
    our vision for next year/rest of mandate
    Carried forward to September to be started in new academic year.

i. Updates (if any) from RF and CBS on contacting previous conference organizers for interviews
RF explains proposal of collating interviews for gaining histories of previous conference organizers. There will not be a specific time line for doing this, but we will kick it off ASAP in the forthcoming months.
CSB will host the pilot episode with the founders of the SRN, which will then work as a sample to share with Membership and future Interviewees for subsequent episodes.
RL offers to help with the technology during production of interviews.

10. Update on Membership (RF)

  • a. To be included in Annual report
    RF reports current membership standing at 604 members.
    ACTION – RF and PR to weed out a few duplicate records over Summer.

11. Any other business

PR is networking with Romanian National Film School about potential future collaborations.

Date of next meeting (after Summer break): Monday 7 September 2020 (TBC), 10 pm UTC/GMT
(consider DST)

Meeting ends at 23:32 UK time.