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.

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

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 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

* * *

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

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.

German-speaking Screenwriting Research Network

To promote academic screenwriting research in German-speaking countries, four members of the SRN—Jan Henschen, Florian Krauß, Alexandra Ksenofontova, and Claus Tieber—started the Netzwerk Drehbuchforschung in 2018.

The network aims to enable exchange between scholars who focus on screenwriting texts and processes in the German-language context; it further seeks to develop screenwriting research with view to the specifics of the German-speaking academia.

The first one-day conference of the Netzwerk Drehbuchforschung took place in November 2019 in Berlin and brought together over two dozen screenwriting researchers. Information about further events, members of the network, and its goals can be found under https://drehbuchforschung.wordpress.com/

SRN Executive Minutes – December

Minutes of SRN EC Meeting
16.12.2019 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 – All in attendance

2. Minutes of previous EC Meeting for approval
• Approved. Action Points still pending have been itemized in the December Agenda.

3. News/update re:
a. SRN2020 Oxford Conference (PR)
• PR reports around 120 submissions – will get back to presenters in late January
• EC voted against granting deadline extension till end of December as it would not be fair to people who submitted timely

b. Newsletter
• MM reported on the latest issue: good response from readers
• RW should be credited next time as well
• ACTION – Next call will be in February (to publish in March) and will feature SRN2020
• ACTION – RL to install plugin to automatize alerts

c. Website: Resources and Local Initiatives sections, Awards (RL, All)
▪ Should we start new sections now? There are Falmouth and Germany (very successful) for now: these have been very successful and are planning 2020 editions. We should give them more visibility.
• AK reported the Germany event saw high attendance, high quality of papers. As a result, 2 more JOS subscriptions in Germany. The German “division” of the research network will apply for financing and plans another conference for 2020, hosted this time by a different person. The German network has its own separate website – is it worth doubling the information on our SRN website? But it is in German only, so is it worth translating into English?
• PR suggested that the SRN website can include a short description plus links to the fuller websites. Also, it looks like some membership requests came in German in the wake of this event.
• ACTION: MM suggests to include these initiatives too in the Newsletter.
• ACTION: Both (AK to liaise with John Finnegan) to send content for the website BUT no rush. In January she’s Skyping with Claus and other German organizers so they will send RL the info on the events.
• ACTION: RL suggests to install Google Analytics to see how individual members come to the site? No personal info taken – he will ask for plug ins installed. All agree.

d. Social media:
▪ AK reports on the new weekly posts on different themes etc.– Very good engagement, good reach and active community. Will keep analyzing data to report again in a few months’ time. AK spoke with social media manager and said if 10% of our subscribers react to our posts, that’s a good showing
▪ Not good to have multiple posts on same day. further away posts are from each other, the larger their reach – so if ou have good information but something else has already been posted that day – don’t post or you will waste it on a lesser audience. At the moment, there are 7 administrators on the page allowed to post.
▪ RL suggests podcasts are a good thing to share.
▪ AK also started to collect information about other initiatives (Festivals, etc.).
▪ Emma Berrill from Intellect compiled a list of institutions that have subscriptions to JoS to advertise – also plans to advertise numbers of members – where they come from?
▪ AK is working on Twitter login/password to keep it alive
▪ ACTION – AK to send DOC with suggested posts in advance in monthly updates
▪ ACTION (ALL) – If you have info to share, email AK and she will schedule it to not overlap
▪ ACTION – JF will liaise with AK for Twitter to start tweeting from January. RL suggests that we can automatize Tweets when we have new posts or updates on website.
▪ ACTION – PR to send AK statistics about Membership. RF to send current numbers to AK. Membership update is scheduled in January agenda.
▪ ACTION – AK to contact previous FB page administrator to ensure posting plan goes smoothly.

4. SRN Awards (PR, All)
• PR confirms members of the renewed Jury: Tom Stempel, Janet Staiger, Eva Novrup Redvall
• PR re: need to send out more frequent reminders on FB and website with deadline for nominations
• MM asks question about judging criteria – e.g. in Australia, be published by a prestigious publishing house or journal (not self-published). PR confirms that the Awards criteria
specify that all nominees must be fully peer-reviewed, scholarly publications.
• AK and PR point out that the call (or any other info on the SRN Awards) is not found on the website.
• At SRN 2019 in Porto, members suggested to add award for book chapters in edited volumes. Should we add these as a new category?
• RW and ALL agree it would be a good idea and therefore the EC approves BUT…
• PR points out that adding book chapters may mean too many nominations and the jury would be too busy.
• MM suggests a subcommittee that would screen and shortlist the nominations to a final pool to then send to the Jury. The subcommittee could include the winners from last year (in
this case, JJ Murphy and Rakesh Sengupta), then maybe past conference hosts (like Davinia Thornley) to start with, JoS editorial board members, and members of the EC if needed.
Perhaps each member of the subcommittee could be given max 3 nominees and could produce a summary evaluation to other members, based on a shared rubric/template to
ensure fair evaluation. The criteria must highlight that publications must be specifically about screenwriting, and make a significant contribution to the field, something with a
strong hypothesis/new academic theory as opposed to simply unearthing a case study.
• AK points out this has to be dealt with sooner rather than later, to give enough time to prepare and read.
• PR observes that the above (i.e. introduction of a subcommittee) will imply changing the submission procedure. So far, nominees would send copies of publications directly to Jury.
Now, they should send to us and we then send shortlisted publications to the jury. This means the EC must coordinate distribution/forwarding of copies to members of
Subcommittee first: and that the Jury will receive the shortlisted publications only at a later time, closer or after the deadline (which happened anyway, last year, so hopefully not a
problem).
• MM wonders whether we can accept publications in other languages and she feels limiting to English language might be too “colonialist”. Regardless of reason, PR points out that this
would raise a number of practical problems (e.g. how many languages, how to find readers able to evaluate publications in those languages for free and within timescale).
• CSB doesn’t think English is colonizing because it allows non-English-speaking scholars to reach a much bigger audience and be more visible internationally.
• AK suggests that awards in non-English languages could be created by local initiatives
• PR suggests that we discuss this again at SRN 2020 with all members, if relevant
• ACTION –PR to contact Jury members and 1) inform them of new suggestion, 2) ask if they used template last year and draft rubric for next EC meeting to approve at the latest.
• ACTION – PR to contact previous winners and conference hosts to see if they would serve on sub-committee. Next EC meeting to plan more people to contact for subcommittee.
• ACTION – PR to draft new procedure for next EC meeting to approve.
• ACTION – PR to prepare and send revised info on call/deadline/categories/jury/subcommittee/procedure to RL to post on website and to AK for FB page (likely at end of January)

5. Relationship between SRN and JoS
• AK posted list of institutions that have JoS subscription. Will encourage more to subscribe through photos of EC with JoS issue.
• AK and RW to maintain contact/update from JoS

6. Suggested items for January EC meeting
a. Diversity and awareness
b. Update on membership
c. Address membership in underrepresented regions
d. Initiatives in specific regions (visibility, liaising, etc.)
e. Elections: Call for nominations
• Approved

7. Any other business
• There was no other business

Date of next meeting: Monday 20 January, 9 pm UTC/GMT
• Confirmed. MM won’t be able to attend.

The EC meeting ends at 10.07 pm GMT/UTC