SRN2021 Research Seminar Series Online

Dear SRN2021 Delegates and SRN Members,

Finally!

I am now able to announce the proposed format and dates for the SRN2021 Research Seminar Series Online (replacing the SRN2021 Annual Conference originally due to be hosted in Oxford). You will find all the facts and info here below: be prepared, it’s a long list with lots of bullet points (if more convenient you can find all the details in the enclosed PDF as well). It goes without saying, this is the initial plan with lots of TBCs and TBDs yet to be sorted out, and therefore things may still change.

 

FORMAT

–       [BEFORE] Papers: pre-recorded 15-minute presentations (to be made available in advance via the event website; so far we expecting as many as 90). Delegates are asked to watch as many as possible so as to enable lively discussions during the relevant live sessions.

–       [DURING] Live sessions (via Zoom, see dates below):

o   24x chaired Q&A panels (3-4 papers each): each speaker will be asked to give a 3-minute abstract of their respective pre-recorded paper presentations, followed by 30-35’ interactive discussion (chairs will be able to collect questions from all attendees – in person or via the chat boxes – during as well as before their live sessions).

o   2x Keynote speakers.

o   2x AGMs (includes EC elections): the same session run twice, to cover all time zones.

o   SRN Awards: prize winners announced by Jury + 2x winners’ 30-minute lectures.

o   2x Working Groups (TBC)

o   1 or 2 Round Tables (TBD)

o   1x Projects and Collaborations (TBD)

o   “Happy hours”: at the end of many live sessions attendees will be able to stay online for one more hour of networking, informal chatting, etc.

–       [AFTER] Bonus content (via Zoom, TBC):

o   Special guests (TBD)

o   1 or 2 “SRN in Conversation with…” (TBD)

o   SRN Early Career Researchers 2021 Symposium (November, TBC)

 

DATES

[BEFORE] Pre-recorded presentations

All shortlisted speakers will be asked to submit a pre-recorded 15-minute presentation of their paper in advance so as to give all delegates enough time to watch as many as possible before the scheduled live sessions. Please plan to record and submit your presentations according to the following rules of thumb:

–       Ideal world deadline for submission: ASAP in June/July. In other words, start now and submit as soon as you can.

–       Formal deadline: 31 July 2021, however…

–       “If-you-still-can’t-make-it” deadline: any time after that, in the awareness that the later you submit, the less time other delegates will have to watch it.

 

Guidelines for recording and submitting presentations:

–       File type for submission: MP4

–       Is there a maximum file size: no, but on average a 15-minute mp4 file tends to be 3-600 MB.

–       How do I submit my MP4 file? Hopefully, I will be able to set up a dedicated submission dropbox to share with everyone ASAP. Until then, a few options are:

o   Upload it to your GoogleDrive/OneDrive or similar, than share it with me, or

o   Upload it to DropBox and share it with me, or

o   Send it to me via WeTransfer

Pick anyone that you can use for free.

–       Maximum duration: 15 minutes. In my experience, slightly shorter pre-recorded presentation are much more effective than longer ones and consider the subsequent live session/Q&A an integral (if delayed) part of your presentation as well. As a rule of thumb, begin the recording by introducing your core research question briefly, avoid excessive contextualizing/framing, then argue your 3-4 main points concisely and leave the audience wanting for more during the live session (when you can have all your other notes at hand to complement your presentation).

–       What device should you use to record your presentation? Any – PC, Mac, tablet, phone, camera, webcam, Zoom recording (or similar), etc.

–       What format should your presentation be? Again, any, as long as it suits the presentation. Examples include but are not limited to:

o   You simply reading your paper to camera

o   A PowerPoint/Keynote presentation + you reading your paper as Voice Over

o   A PowerPoint/Keynote presentation + you reading your paper to camera in PiP in one corner of the screen

  • Note: if you use slides (in any app) summarize the main points of your arguments as opposed to cram them with long paragraphs pasted verbatim from your paper.

o   A video-essay (either formal, creative, performative)

o   A podcast-like presentation (audio only, no video)

o   A mix of the above

–       Can you embed clips/include citations in your presentations? Yes, you can, within “fair use” limits as you would normally do in an in-person paper presentation, as long as you cite sources correctly.

o   Try to limit the use of embedded clips anyway as they will eat away time from your 15-minute allocation. If available, it is best to provide links/references to freely available online resources that can be consulted by delegates when watching your presentations. Remember that delegates will watch presentations in asynchronous before the live sessions and therefore they are not bound to the 15-minute limit of the presentation itself.

 

[DURING] Live sessions

 

Five (5) dates for your calendar!

 

  • Monday 30 August
  • Friday 3 September
  • Wednesday 8 September
  • Monday 13 September
  • Friday 17 September

 

In the past year I have attended about 20 online conferences/festivals/events/seminar series trying to figure out what works best and what not. I can say, without a doubt, that:

–       Those who tried to simply transfer their original in-person conference schedule/format online failed regularly. It simply won’t work like that online.

–       Attending any online event for more than 3-4 hours straight is most counterproductive, let alone full-day sessions (I managed to attend one that started at 8.30 am and ended at 10 pm for three days – I will abstain from adding any comments).

–       Events that schedule several days in a row tend to see their audience wane exponentially the longer they went on.

–       On the other hand, events that scheduled sessions are regular intervals every few days over a few weeks (essentially turning into a “series” of dates) generally worked rather well.

 

So, on the five days listed above we will have:

–       All our papers Q&A sessions: these will all be one-hour slots – 50 mins. discussion + 10’ break (see above for some more details)

–       Keynotes, AGMs, Round Tables, SRN Awards: these will likely be 75-90 mins.

 

TIME ZONES

After much thinking, calculating, trialling and errors, I can confirm that we will follow two main criteria for scheduling our live sessions: 1) by time zone/geographic area, and 2) thematic grouping (based on papers’ keywords/content).

However, I have realized that the best way to proceed is to split our planet/time zones into 2 big regions rather than 3. This takes into account the fact that, although we do have speakers whose geolocation spans 20 time zones, the vast majority are still from Europe. Therefore, the following schedule will divide each Live Session Day into two slots of roughly 4 hours each:

 

US West US

East

South America Western Europe Central Europe & Africa Eastern Europe Middle East India Western Australia Japan & Central Australia Eastern Australia New Zealand
Slot 1 24-4 3-7 4-8 8-12 9-13 10-14 11-15 12.30-16.30 15-19 16-20 (+30’) 17-21 20-24
Slot 2 9-13 12-16 13-17 17-21 18-22 19-23 20-24 21.30-1.30 24-4 1-5 (+30’) 2-6 5-9

 

While it’s basically impossible to have colleagues from the Americas and from Asia-Pacific attending live simultaneously (unless they decide to burn the past-midnight oil), the above will allow for the largest and broadest possible audience: Slot 1 will be on in the morning (for Western and Central Europe), early afternoon (for Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and India), and in the late afternoon/evening (for Asia-Pacific countries); a 5-hour break will then be followed by Slot 2, which will allow attendance at decent hours for colleagues in the US (morning and early afternoon), in South America (late afternoon), in Europe and Africa (late afternoon/evening), as well as in the Middle and India (albeit in the late evening).

The AGM will be run in both slots so as to give everyone the same chance to attend and participate in the discussion and in the EC Elections.

By the way, as you know, you have time until Sunday 20 June 2021, 3 pm (UK time) to vote the motion to amend two articles of the SRN Constitution (see email sent out on 20th May) to enable hosting AGMs and EC elections virtually. You will receive plenty of details soon enough once the results are in, so I won’t add any here.

 

ZOOM AND RECORDINGS

In all likelihood, we’ll be using Zoom for our live sessions. As I will be setting up all sessions, I will be able to use my University’s license which grants unlimited use and allows for up to 1,000 participants in Meeting mode (the one with interactive audience, as opposed to the boring Webinar mode, where only hosts and speakers can be seen and heard).

I will then make all chairs and speakers co-hosts.

It doesn’t matter whether you or your university have a Zoom license: once you register for a session, you will receive a link to attend freely. You will be able to log in to Zoom either within your browser or you can download the Zoom app for free on any device.

We are also exploring the possibility of streaming the live sessions via YouTube and/or Facebook: this option won’t require prior registration and logging it to Zoom, but you may not be able to interact with the speakers and the other delegates (yes, I know, we can use the chat boxes on YouTube and Facebook as well, but that will depend on how many people will be on hand to help out in any given session – so let’s say we will follow up on this with more precise details in due course).

We will record all live sessions so as to make them available via the SRN2021 website to all those delegates and members who cannot attend live. However, we will likely require registration to access all recorded content.

 

[AFTER] Bonus content

 I am trying to organize a few extra events that will hopefully make SRN 2021 an even more lively and engaging event. I have contacted a few guests from the industry (writers, producers, a few policymakers) and am awaiting their responses regarding their availability to join us for some informal conversations and Q&A. If available, I will leave them the option to choose from either a live session or a pre-recorded one to be then shared with you. In any case, as a rule these extra sessions will be at later dates in September/October (unless their availability is limited to one of the dates above, in which case we might want to shuffle things around a bit).

The same goes for another possible type of extra session. As you will remember, a couple of months ago the Executive Committee launched the first of a series of recorded sessions titled “SRN in Conversation with…” past conference organizers with the aim of building a memory archive or our main events and activities of the past 15 years. We have more in the pipeline, and it might well be that one or two could be planned for the Autumn. In which case, again, we have a choice of pre-recording it, just like the first one, or going live and give access to all of you for more interactivity.

Finally, we also have one more event in store for you – likely to be in November 2021. The Early Career Researcher Symposium will be announced later in June (via a regular CfP) and will be organized by our ECR rep on the EC, Ann Igelström. Although the ECR Symposium will be a stand-alone event in its own right and with its own format, we can consider it as a great closing event to what is going to be a very exciting Autumn season despite having to postpone meeting in person for another year. All ECR will be eligible to submit a proposal for the Symposium, including those who will participate in the Seminar Series in September should they wish so. Stay tuned for more soon!

So… Is that all? Pretty much but not necessarily. If you have any further suggestions, just throw them our way and we can discuss whether they can make a good addition to this programme of online activities.

 

Help needed!

Many of you have already come forward to help out with the Seminar Series. Thank you ever so much to all of you and I will be contacting each one of you in the next few weeks: perhaps we can arrange a Zoom briefing session so we all get together and get an idea of what I might need from you apart from the usual chairing. Although, in principle, some help in coordinating by geographic area might be the main priority.

 

Website and registration

Most pages on what used to be the SRN2020 website are now disabled as I am redesigning it and repurposing it for the SRN2021 Seminar Series Online. The idea is to make the website the go-to navigation platform for the event, with lots of useful features, a repository for the pre-recorded presentations, links to everything (recordings and live sessions), guidelines, as well as a thematic map of the content shared by everyone. After all, our Annual conferences (and their current virtual replacement) are all about exchanging our research findings, networking, finding shared interests, etc. I will do my best to make sure that the website enables all this in the best possible way. I have also obtained some funds to purchase a Business WordPress domain which means all the event content will be available to registered delegates/members for the next two years at last, so the exchanges are not limited to the live interaction next September.

As soon as the website is ready, it will include instructions to register to attend the SRN2021 Research Seminar Series Online. Registration will be FREE but required as it will give us the chance to monitor and optimize access to all content and sessions, and avoid any uninvited guests (e.g. Zoom bombing and similar).

* * *

 

Quite a lot to digest already, but more (and more precise) information yet to come in the forthcoming weeks.

Any clarification needed, just give me a shout.

 

Take very good care of yourselves

Best

Paolo Russo BA PhD

Screenwriting Research Network Chairperson

 

A PDF version of this text can be accessed here.

Call to Membership – Motion to amend two articles of the SRN constitution

CALL TO MEMBERSHIP

20 May 2020

MOTION TO AMEND TWO ARTICLES OF THE SRN CONSTITUTION

(ACTION REQUIRED)

 

This Call to Membership (CTM) is posted to all SRN Members via the SRN mailing list and is available on the SRN Website as well. It aims to consult and call all Members to vote a proposed amendment to two articles of the SRN Constitution (available here): more specifically, articles 7.1 and 5.9 regarding, respectively, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the Elections to the Executive Council (EC). These are minor amendments aimed at avoiding possible logjams in the future in case of force majeure. If the motion carries, these amendments will allow us to run AGMs and EC Elections via virtual means if necessary, including this year.

 

Members are invited to read the full details of the proposed amendments below and to cast their vote by clicking HERE by no later than Sunday 20 June 2021, 3 pm (UK time). As per SRN Constitution (10.2) all active members of at least one year’s standing are eligible to vote. 

Claus Tieber has been appointed by the EC as independent scrutineer. 

When voting, members can express one of the following preferences:

  1. Approve
  2. Object
  3. Abstain

IMPORTANT: Note that any members who wishes to abstain must formally express such preference on the ballot form; non-responses will be considered “silent consent”. 

The motion will carry (i.e. the amendments will be approved) if passed by no less than two thirds of the eligible members. The result will be ratified at the next meeting of the EC scheduled on Monday 21 June 2021. However, given the current extraordinary circumstances, if passed the motion will be subject to final confirmatory vote at the next AGM in presentia, to be held in Vienna in 2022.

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

Key:

Blue – Excerpts from current Constitution

Red – Proposed amendments

 

AGM

7.1. There shall be a General Meeting of the membership held annually. This will be called by the Executive Council, which will give two months’ notice of the date and location of the AGM.

Suggested amendments:

7.1. There shall be a General Meeting of the membership held annually (Annual General Meeting, AGM). This will be called by the Executive Council, which will give two months’ notice of the date and location of the AGM. 

7.1a. The AGM will normally be held in person at a specified location (i.e. usually, the location of the Annual Conference).

7.1b. Where, due to force majeure, it is not possible or reasonable to hold the AGM in person at a specified physical location, it may exceptionally be held virtually (e.g. through video-conferencing) albeit with analogous procedures provided that reasonable steps are taken to ensure the broadest participation possible.

EC ELECTIONS

5.9. Elections to the Executive Council will be conducted by secret ballot, by means appropriate to an international Association (e.g. by postal ballot with proof of membership, added to votes received at an AGM etc.). 

Suggested amendments:

5.9. Elections to the Executive Council will be conducted by secret ballot, by means appropriate to an international Association: these may include votes received at an AGM as well as postal ballot, e-mail, e-messages, web-based survey tools and other means with proof of membership, provided that appropriate anonymity arrangements are in place.

 

* * *

 

With very best wishes

 

SRN Executive Council

SRN2021 MEMO AND STATUS UPDATE 

FAO of the SRN Executive Council 

CURRENT SITUATION (up to date as of 19 April 2021) 

At the moment, in the UK we are riding out of the third wave of pandemic, which seems to be  subsiding quite substantially, with numbers down to 1500-2000/day, although now that some  restrictions have been lifted these are predicted to rise again in the forthcoming weeks. 

Last week saw the enforcement of Step 2 of the so-called Roadmap out of lockdown, which can  be summed up as per below: 

  • Only outdoor activities/hospitality venues/attractions have re-opened 
  • Working from home whenever possible still apply 
  • No accommodation (e.g. hotels) 
  • No catering services indoors 
  • No unnecessary travelling 
  • Universities have re-opened with limited activities (i.e. practice-based) and capacity Gathering: 

o No indoor gatherings (fines of up to £10,000) 

o Only family/friends up to 6 outdoors 

  • Usual guidelines still apply:  

o 2-metre social distancing 

o Face covering 

o Sanitising hands 

However, the situation worldwide is still quite challenging. 

In countries like Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Finland and Denmark, it seems to be fairly  under control as it’s been for most of the past year. 

There seems to be much improvement in other countries such as, for instance, Spain and Portugal. But it remains tough in the US and in most other European countries; and it is still dire in South America and quite a few other countries such as India (not all countries in the map supply up-to date data). 

As known, the rollout of vaccination programmes has been seriously delayed in many countries and even implemented in different ways: for example, in the UK about 50% of the population has  now received their first dose of the vaccine, but only about 15% have received the second dose as  well. Comparing current data from the WHO, Johns Hopkins University, and BBC, very few of  our delegates’ countries – e.g. the U.S., Chile, and the UAE – are doing fairly well with 23-29% of  the population now fully vaccinated; most others (especially in Europe and South America, where  80% of our delegates come from) are lagging much behind (2-9% on average). The most optimistic  predictions seem to converge towards the late Autumn/early Winter for vaccination programmes  to reach significant results both on a local and global scale. 

Travelling to England from outside the UK 

While several countries are beginning the rush to open their doors to tourists, at the moment the  “real” situation is as follows: 

  • Travel ban/no entry to the UK from countries on “red list” (i.e. the whole of South  America, all countries in the Southern half of Africa, a few Asian countries, with India likely  to be added soon as well) 

o At the moment, this involves at least 13-15 delegates 

  • Passengers from ALL other countries are subject to mandatory test-and-quarantine rules (i.e. applies to ALL other non-UK resident delegates): 

o Before you leave for the UK: 

Take a Covid-19 test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you  travel 

Book a test-and-quarantine package (£1750 per person), which includes: Accommodation in a managed quarantine hotel (if you do not have  private accommodation)

o Throughout the whole duration of your quarantine, you  

CANNOT leave your hotel room 

  • Two Covid-19 tests to be taken during quarantine 

o If you test positive, you will have to stay longer 

Complete the online passenger locator form (within 48 hours of departure) o On arrival in the UK: 

Provide proof of a negative coronavirus test (only accepted in either English,  French or Spanish) taken in your country 

Quarantine/self-isolate for 10 days, either:  

  • In private accommodation (if you have one), or 
  • In a managed quarantine hotel 

Take TWO Covid-19 tests on days 2 and 8 of quarantine (as per your booking) 

  • You can book and take an “early” test (called Test and release) to  

end quarantining on Day 5, at extra cost (£220; rumoured to be reduced to £55 in the near future) via private providers 

  • Infringement of any of the above is considered a serious criminal offense and carries fines  of up to £10,000 and imprisonment for up to 10 years  
  • Upon returning to your country: 

o Most countries have enforced their own test-and-quarantine rules, which might  apply when returning home in some cases 

EXPECTED CHANGES IN MAY/JUNE 

Step 3 of Roadmap out of lockdown (not before 17 May) 

  • Outdoor gathering and events of up to 30 people 
  • Events with up to 30 (does not specify whether indoor events are allowed; and if  conferences are included in this category that so far includes weddings, funerals and  similar) 
  • Indoor hospitality re-opens (e.g. hotels) 

Travelling to England from outside the UK 

  • Rules will most likely switch to a “traffic light system”: 

o Green: free entry/no restrictions subject to negative pre-departure test and  subsequent negative PCR test (i.e. a swab of your mouth and nose) on Day 2 of  your stay in the UK 

At the moment, only a handful of countries are predicted to be given green  status – as concerns our delegates, these will include only USA and Portugal o Amber: equivalent to current test-and-quarantine system 

Most of our delegates’ other countries will be “amber”  

o Red: equivalent to current “red list”, i.e. total ban/no entry 

  • In short, not much will actually change compared to the current situation Step 4 of Roadmap out of lockdown (not before 21 June)
  • Plans to reopen all activities and events (including indoors) 
  • Travel traffic light system to be reviewed on 28 June and 31 July; while many hope this will  mean even fewer restrictions, in fact predictions are for numbers to get worse in the weeks/months following re-opening of international travel and therefore said periodic  reviews could end up tightening restrictions instead
  • Full review of restrictions/guidance (including how long social distancing and face masks will  remain in place) 

BUT 

  • No specific dates are mentioned regarding the latter 
  • All the above depends on the outcome of “a scientific Events Research Programme to test  the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the  use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection” (source: UK.gov, no further  details available so far) 
  • All the above applies to the UK population, on the assumption that most will be vaccinated  by the Summer 

o Visitors from abroad attending events will still be subject to the traffic light system,  and therefore test-and-quarantine where applicable unless restrictions are changed/lifted in June-July 

CONCLUSIONS 

To sum up, in the most optimistic scenario: 

  • If all the above goes according to plan, and 
  • If no new waves occur and/or no new variants emerge 

It might be possible for IRL events such as SRN2021 to be “legally” allowed from July onwards. 

A meeting with the Events Team at the conference venue (i.e. the Mathematical Institute) was held  to assess all the above and viability of the conference based on available information and on the  participation of many delegates from outside the UK. 

In practical terms the most likely scenario in case we ran SRN2021 as normal, is as follows: 

  • Social distancing and face covering rules will still apply indoors at the venue and during the  conference, regardless of whether new regulations will allow for some more flexibility Social distancing rules will mean severely reduced maximum room capacity. More  specifically: 

o Main Lecture Theatre (used for plenaries and panels): from 250 to 55 

o Other seminar rooms (used for panels): from 40 to 12-15 

  • In turn, this means having to reduce the maximum number of delegates to 55 However, the cost of hiring the venue will remain the same and therefore registration fees  are bound to be substantially higher than expected 
  • Only formal sessions possible: no additional social/networking activities can be planned Catering: 

o At the moment the venue’s supplier cannot guarantee service for large numbers o Assuming catering can be supplied, it will likely be in the form of individual pre packed parcels to be consumed and cost more 

o Regardless of the above, at the moment the caterer is unable to provide a quote

  • A hybrid solution is not financially viable: the venue does not have in-house capability for  that and will have to hire an external company to handle the setup and live streaming – daily costs are from £1200+VAT and would add to existing running costs 

The above considers the situation in situ in Oxford. Unfortunately, we still need to factor in a few  more issues for delegates, especially those coming from abroad. 

  • While this might change in the forthcoming months, as things stand now most international  delegates will very likely have to follow test-and-quarantine rules, with all the extra time  and cost that this entail. Luckier delegates coming from “green-listed” countries will still  have to take tests and if positive will have to quarantine as well. 
  • Virtually all universities in all countries currently enforce a ban on international travel that  is likely to last till the end of the academic year – i.e. until August-October in the Northern Hemisphere, but until the end of 2021 in the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • Linked to the above is the freeze on funding for international travel. Budgets for this work  according to deadlines of the academic year and therefore for most delegates this means  funding won’t be available before September/Autumn in the most optimistic scenario. 
  • Also linked to the above ban, is travel and health insurance. Most delegates work for  academic institutions and when they travel to attend conferences overseas they are  covered by their work insurance. Until universities’ travel bans last, this means insurance  cover is void if delegates decide to travel and attend the conference anyway and therefore  they will have to purchase cover out of their pocket. 

In light of the above, I conclude that, unfortunately, the conditions to run/host SRN2021 in Oxford  safely as per plan are not met and, therefore, for the 2021 Annual Conference to be cancelled and  be replaced by an “alternative online event” TBD ASAP as per discussions so far. To this purpose,  pending the SRN Executive Council’s approval in today’s monthly meeting:  

  1. I will announce the decision to the Membership on Tuesday 20 April;  
  2. I will outline an “alternative online event” format to be presented to the Membership,  possibly by the end of April – this will include alternative format(s) for paper panels and  Q&As, keynote speakers and guests (where available and confirmed), virtual AGM, EC  Elections and SRN Awards and will take into account time zones and limitations and/or  advantages of available platforms (e.g. Zoom).  

On a final, positive note, I can confirm that the School of Arts at Oxford Brookes University is still  willing to provide minimum financial support (roughly £1300) to cover the cost of keynote  speakers’ fees, SRN Awards and website subscription/hosting. 

19 April 2021 

PAOLO RUSSO 

SRN2021 Conference Director

SRN Conversations World Premiere

First episode of the new series – SRN Conversations: Memories from SRN Conferences (2008-11)

with

  • Ian W. Macdonald
  • Eva Novrup Redvall
  • Kirsi Rinne
  • Ronald Geertz
  • and Carmen Sofia Brenes as Moderator

    remembering the origins of SRN and the first conferences.

    Follow us on Facebook (@screenwritingnetwork) and Twitter (@SRNConference)

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 – 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)