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April 2014 News Brief

Wednesday, April 16, 2014   (0 Comments)
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In this issue:

Call for SCMS Committee Service

Call for Proposals for Montreal 2015

2015 Montreal Conference Bulletin Board

Call for Proposals to Host the SCMS Undergraduate Conference

2014 Seattle Conference Survey

2014 Members’ Business Meeting Minutes

Call for Committee Service
SCMS is a member-run organization, and service to our profession remains critical to the ongoing health of our field and to our scholarly organization. Serving on an SCMS committee is an excellent way to network with other members and to provide vital service to the organization. Descriptions for standing, annual, and award committees (below) are provided on the SCMS website under About Us.

Standing Committees: Information Technologies; Media Archive; Nominating; Professional Development; Public Policy; Teaching; and Translation/Publication

Annual Committees: Conference Host; Conference Program

Award Committees: Anne Friedberg Award for Innovative Scholarship, Best First Book, Best Edited Collection, Best Essay in an Edited Collection, Best Dissertation, Distinguished Career Achievement, Kovács Book, Kovács Essay, Pedagogy, and Student Writing Awards

There will be vacancies on the following committees beginning July 1: Media Archives; Professional Development; Information Technology; Teaching; Public Policy; Nominating; Translation; Conference Program; Kovács Book; Kovács Essay; Student Writing; Pedagogy; Anne Friedberg; Best First Book; Best Edited Collection; and Best Essay in an Edited Collection awards committees.

To volunteer to serve on a committee, please contact the SCMS Office ( or volunteer through the SCMS website: The names and affiliations of the volunteers will be forwarded to the SCMS Board of Directors for review and approval. The SCMS Office staff will notify members selected for committee service during the summer.

Montreal 2015

Call for Paper, Panel, and Workshop Proposals

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies announces its call for proposals for the 2015 conference.

Please join us Wednesday, March 25 – Sunday, March 29, 2015 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

Bienvenue à Montréal!  A bilingual cultural mecca, Montreal hosts one of the most dynamic music, film, art, and culinary scenes in North America.  Named a UNESCO City of Design in 2011, Montreal hosts dozens of film and cultural festivals, museums, and galleries. A rich cultural and architectural heritage round out a young, vibrant city that embraces difference and diversity.  Join us!

The 2015 SCMS Conference Program Committee welcomes quality paper, panel, and workshop proposals on any topic related to cinema and media studies.  Proposal submission forms will be available through the SCMS website on June 1, 2014.  The deadline for proposals is Friday, August 29, 2014 (5:00 PM Central Time).

SCMS 2015 Bulletin Board Announcements

To encourage and facilitate the development of panel and workshop proposals, SCMS provides an online forum on which you can announce your topics for panel or workshop proposals to solicit presenters and participants. To submit a posting to the official 2015 Conference Bulletin Board, click on the 2015 Conference Bulletin Board link below and then on Post New Topic. Only ONE announcement per person please. The deadline for posting announcements is July 15, 2014 at 5pm CT.

Bulletin Board and Panel/Workshop Announcement Guidelines:

  • To be able to submit an announcement, individuals must be registered users (either a member or a temporary member) of the SCMS website.
  • All chairs/organizers must notify individuals of acceptance or rejection by August 15, 2014.
  • Individuals whose submissions are accepted for an advertised panel or workshop must provide the required information for completion of the proposal forms to the chair/organizer by August 23, 2014, 5pm CT.
  • When creating your proposal, do not include more than two individuals from the same institution.
  • Panels should have a chair and four presenters or a chair, three presenters, and one respondent. Workshops should have a chair and at least four participants, but no more than five (excluding the chair or co-chairs).
2015 Conference Bulletin Board 

Call for Proposals to Host the SCMS Undergraduate Conference
The annual SCMS Undergraduate Conference was inaugurated in Spring 2013 at the University of Notre Dame. This conference aims to provide undergraduate students with a forum to exchange ideas, meet their peers, and discover a range of approaches to film and media studies beyond their home institution. The conference introduces students to professional academic behavior and familiarizes them with the Society.

The annual SCMS Undergraduate Conference will be held at different host institutions each year, with the possibility that host schools will repeat on a four- or five-year cycle. The host of the SCMS Undergraduate Conference can garner attention for their film or media studies program, showcase work by their students, and introduce their students to different ways of thinking about film and media, as well as introduce them to peers from across North America.

In Spring 2014, the SCMS Undergraduate Conference will be held at the University of Oklahoma, and Smith College will host in Spring 2015. We are seeking proposals to host the SCMS Undergraduate Conference in 2016 and 2017. To achieve regional balance, we would be especially eager to have proposals from the West and Canada, but we will entertain proposals from any area of North America. In future years, we will aim to rotate the conference among hosts from different regions.

The conference is a two-day event, with roughly 30 papers. Students are not asked to pay registration fees, and meals are provided. SCMS will provide up to $2000 seed funding with the understanding that the host program will seek matching funds from their own colleges or universities. Hosts will be provided with templates for a budget and calls for papers, as well as sample programs and a timeline for running the conference. Proposals should include information about how the host will fund the event, what accommodations are available to students, information about ease and costs of travel to the host site, information about site facilities, and faculty involvement.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please contact Pam Wojcik ( or Victoria Sturtevant ( to learn more.

SCMS 2014 Conference Survey
We hope you enjoyed your time at the 2014 Seattle Conference. We would appreciate your feedback, as we are already thinking towards next year’s 2015 Montreal Conference. Please take a few moments to answer the following questions.

2014 Conference Survey

Complete the survey by 5pm on May 16, 2014, and you will be entered into drawings for a free membership renewal for the 2014-2015 membership year and a Montreal conference registration waiver!

Note: To submit the survey, you will need to answer every question, but please feel free to type in N/A for questions you do not wish to answer. While including your contact information with the survey submission is optional, you must include your contact information if you would like to be entered into the drawing.

SCMS Members’ Business Meeting: Minutes
Friday, March 21, 2014: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cirrus Room, Seattle Sheraton Hotel

I. Introduction: Barb Klinger

SCMS President Barb Klinger (Indiana University) welcomed members and briefly summarized the order of the meeting.

II. Thanks: Barb Klinger

Klinger introduced present officers and board members before thanking outgoing board members Jim Castonguay, Angelo Restivo, and Pam Wojcik.  She also announced that Amanda Klein has been elected Treasurer, and that Mary Beltran and Mary Desjardins will join the board.  Finally, Klinger thanked members who ran for office, and those who served on conference, standing, annual, and awards committees, as well as caucus, Special Interest Group, and graduate student representatives.

III. Call for Service: Barb Klinger Klinger reminded and encouraged all members to consider volunteering for SCMS service roles.  She also encouraged members to donate to SCMS to help fund awards and travel grants, and to encourage their institutions to join as well.

Next Year’s Conference: Barb Klinger
Klinger announced that the 2015 SCMS conference will be held at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, in Montreal.

Presentations: Various

Angelo Restivo
(Georgia State University: Board Member and Conference Program Committee Chair) reported on this year’s conference statistics, emphasizing a record number of submissions (913 open call papers, 346 preconstituted panels, and 76 workshops) and acceptance rates of 68% for preconstituted panels and 51% for workshops.  He also noted trends in submissions, including a rising number of submissions on international cinema and new media.

Steven Cohan (Syracuse University: President-Elect and Chair of Task Force for Executive Director) reported on the progress of the search for an Executive Director, summarizing a timeline designed to see the position filled by September 2014.  He encouraged the ongoing submission of applications for qualified applicants.

Jim Castonguay (Sacred Heart University: Treasurer), employing a detailed handout, reported the solid fiscal status of SCMS, and offered membership and conference attendance figures; he also emphasized how the hiring of an Executive Director, now possible within the SCMS budget, should allow for significant redefinition of the functions of the Executive members of the SCMS board.

Will Brooker (Kingston University: Editor of Cinema Journal) reported on both the ongoing status of Cinema Journal as well as the many exciting multi-media initiatives he and his colleagues have undertaken, including: Afterthought and Postscripts, In Media Res tie-ins with In Focus, ACA Podcasts, and the launch of In Transition, a peer-reviewed academic journal of video essays in collaboration with Media Commons.  Brooker also encouraged members to continue to submit their best scholarship to Cinema Journal.

Aviva Dove-Viebahn (Arizona State University: SCMS Web Content Manager) reported on recent developments on the SCMS website, including restored member access to Cinema Journal through Project Muse and the compilation of information on film and media studies programs in the United States: she also drew attention to the ongoing media activity (tweeting, live streaming, video interviews, etc.) taking place at the conference.

Victoria Sturtevant (Oklahoma University: Ex-officio Board Member) reported on upcoming SCMS Undergraduate Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, and announced that the 2015 conference will take place at Smith College: she also welcomed volunteers interested in hosting future conferences, especially in the Western United States in 2016.

Haidee Wasson (Concordia University: SCMS Board Member) reported on the launch and future goals of the Fieldnotes oral history project, which will include a group of interviews with four key figures being conducted at this year’s conference: Charles Acland will interview Janet Staiger, Patrice Petro will interview Thomas Elsaesser, Thomas Waugh will interview Linda Williams, and Robin Curtis will interview Gertrud Koch.

SCMS members Michael Renov (University of Southern California) and Scott MacDonald (Syracuse University/Harvard University) updated members on the ongoing initiative to help support the experimental film distributor Canyon Cinema, encouraging members to ask their home institutions to make a commitment to financially supporting Canyon.  They also discussed the goal of redefining Canyon Cinema as a nonprofit company.

Member Comments and Questions
Brief questions were addressed to Renov and MacDonald regarding additional forms of support for Canyon Cinema: they emphasized that any form of support is welcome, but that the current goal is to secure larger donations.  A member also asked Jim Castonguay what SCMS funded from its basic assets. He and Barb Klinger explained that SCMS funds go toward paying staff and supporting the awards, SIGs and Caucuses, Conference Events, and many other SCMS activities, including the new Undergraduate Conference. In addition, the investment in an Executive Director, which is crucial to SCMS, will be an ongoing substantial expense.

VII. Closing: Barb Klinger

SCMS President Klinger again thanked everyone for attending, and encouraged everyone to also attend the Awards Ceremony and Reception that evening: she wished everyone an enjoyable conference experience.

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