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
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.
- 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.
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)
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
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)
Please click on the link below to access the Action Plan proposal for the next year:
Please click on the link below to access the SRN Activities Report for the 2019-2020 Academic Year.
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.
The June/July edition of the SRN Newsletter is already online and can be accessed here:
We welcome contributions and feedback which can be sent to Margaret McVeigh: email@example.com
Please send information on upcoming publications to Rosanne Welch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
SRN Acting Chairperson
on behalf of the SRN Executive Council
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.
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!
on behalf of
SRN Executive Council
SRN2020 Organizing Committee