October 2016 - In This Issue:


DEADLINE: SIG/Caucus Funding Requests Due



Preliminary Draft of Conference Schedule Posted at

Conference Registration Volunteer Sign-Up Opens

SIG/Caucus Meeting Times Sign-Up Opens

Requests for SIG/Caucus Sponsored Panels and Workshops Begins


DEADLINE: Conference Program Correction Requests Due to Home Office

DEADLINE: SIG/Caucus Meeting Times Sign-up Closes

DEADLINE: SIG/Caucus Sponsored Panels and Workshop Requests Due

DEADLINE: Early Bird Hotel Reservations Cut-Off

DEADLINE: Conference Registration Volunteer Sign-Up Closes

Online Conference Registration Closes 
Participants must have an active membership AND have registered for the conference by this deadline.

Chicago 2017 Conference
Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

We invite you to join us for the 2017 SCMS Conference in Chicago!  O ver 450+ sessions, workshops, meetings, receptions, and special events-will be offered. The conference will take place at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, 200 North Columbus Drive, Chicago IL. 

For Those New to the SCMS Conference -
Why Attend the SCMS Annual Meeting? 
  • Present your work to receive valuable feedback. 
  • Listen to papers to stay up to date on the latest in the field. 
  • Participate in meetings to shape the direction of your subfield. 
  • Attend workshops for professional development advice. 
  • Enjoy receptions, events, the graduate student lounge and hospitality area, etc. as a chance to network with other scholars. 
  • Visit the Book Exhibit to receive publisher discounts and see what books are new in your research and teaching areas. 
  • Once involved, you can volunteer to serve on committees in your field.


EARLY BIRD (through December 31, 2016) 
Student: $90.00 
Non-Student (member, non-member): $160 

REGULAR PRE-REGISTRATION (January 1-31, 2017) 
Student: $140.00 
Non-Student (member, non-member): $220.00 

Student: $150.00 
Non-Student (member, non-member): $230.00

As a reminder to our international members attending the conference - we recommend that you begin the process of securing any required travel documents, such as passports and visas, as soon as possible.  

Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park 
200 North Columbus Drive 
Chicago, Illinois 60601 
United States 

Centrally located just steps from Millennium & Grant Parks, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the museum campus, world-class theater and Lake Michigan, the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park offers luxuriously appointed guestrooms with sweeping park, lake and city views. Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park has been recognized for exceptional service and amenities on the Conde Nast Traveler's Top 15 Hotels in Chicago and Travel & Leisure Magazine's Top 500 Hotels List. 

The Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park is Green Seal Certified, and adheres to environmental standards of energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling and waste reduction. Green Seal is a non-profit organization that develops sustainability standards and programs that empower consumers to make eco-friendly choices. 

Single $159/night 
Double $159/night 

Included in the $159 nightly rate (for SCMS attendees staying at the conference hotel) 
  • $15 food & beverage credit to the individual guestrooms per night to be applied towards meals, bar, in room dining, etc. This only applies for guests booked inside the SCMS block at the group rate or higher. F&B credit is non-transferable.
  • Complimentary access to mySpa Fitness Center (valued at $15/day) 
  • Complimentary basic guestroom internet access (valued at $14.95/day) 
  • 15% discount off restaurant and in room dining pricing as long as guests charge to their individual guestrooms 
  • 15% discount off 2017 MySpa Treatment Pricing 
  • 20% discount off 2017 Overnight Valet parking
NOTE: Please support SCMS and the conference by reserving your room at the conference hotel. SCMS reserves a block of discounted rooms for attendees. If these rooms are not booked, the conference must pay a sizeable penalty.

For room reservations at the Fairmont Chicago, please  make reservations online by visiting

You may also call the hotel directly at (312) 565-8000 and specify that you are a part of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies Annual Conference to receive the group rate. 

For international numbers, please visit
Reservations will be accepted until the cut-off date of March 1, 2017 based on availability.  Reservations should be made as soon as possible as the hotel will likely sell out early - well before the cut-off date.

If you have any problems, please email

Everyone who makes their reservation at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park before the early bird deadline of January 13, 2017 will be entered in a drawing to win the cost of their entire stay at the conference (up to 4 nights) - certificate expires June 30, 2017.

Beginning on November 15, 2016 Society for Cinema & Media Studies conference attendees will receive a discount and bonus Rapid Reward points from Southwest Airlines through our SWABIZ® account. 
Southwest Airlines is offering an 10% discount off Anytime & Business Select® fares and a 3% discount off select Wanna Get Away® fares for travel to and from the conference. 
Book your travel between November 15, 2016 and March 1, 2017 to take advantage of the discounted rates. (Discounts are available for travel March 15, 2017 through April 2, 2017.) 

By flying Southwest Airlines, as a Society for Cinema & Media Studies traveler, you will also receive the following benefits: 
  • 50% bonus Rapid Reward points for your travel to & from the convention with Rapid Rewards # added to your reservation. To enroll in the Rapid Rewards program, visit 
  • No baggage fees (first two bags) 
  • No change or cancellation fees 
  • No peak travel or fuel surcharges 
  • Consistently ranked the "Best in Customer Service" by DOT 
To take advantage of this offer, click on this link: 

Delta extends up to a 10% discount to conference attendees traveling between March 22 and April 2, 2017, to any Chicago airport. 
Book online at using meeting event code (NMNSW), or call Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111 to reserve your ticket. 
There is a direct ticketing fee of $25 for booking through the reservation number. This code cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts, miles cannot be used to purchase, and varies from 2-10% depending on the fare class of the ticket. 

United Airlines extends up to a 10% discount to conference attendees traveling between March 19 and March 29, 2017, to any Chicago airport. 
Book online at or United Meetings at 800-426-1122, please refer to Z-Code (ZXQ9) and Agreement Code (434862). 
There is a direct ticketing fee for booking through the reservation number. Passengers outside the US 50 States & Canada: call your professional travel agency, book online via or email and provide your preferred itinerary, agreement code and meeting Z code. Please allow 24 hours for email requests to be processed. This code cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts, miles cannot be used to purchase, and varies from 2-10% depending on the fare class of the ticket. Discounts are not applicable for flights originating in Japan. 

American Airlines extends low-rate "Zone Fares" to conference attendees traveling between March 15 and April 2, 2016, to any Chicago, IL airport. Offer applies to domestic and Canadian flights. For reservations call Meeting Services at 800-433-1790 and refer to authorization number A8737EM. 

Amtrak offers a 10% discount off the best available rail fare to (Chicago, IL) between March 19, 2017 - March 29, 2017. To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. Conventions cannot be booked via Internet. Please be sure to refer to Convention Fare Code X03C-953 when making your reservation. This offer is not valid on the Auto Train and Acela Service. Fare is valid on Amtrak Regional for all departures seven days a week, except for holiday blackouts. Offer valid with Sleepers, Business Class or First Class seats with payment of the full applicable accommodation charges. 

Special discounts are available on a wide selection of vehicles from eco-friendly and fuel efficient compacts and hybrids to stylish premium and luxury sedans. Reserve online using this link: Society for Cinema & Media Studies 2017 or contact Avis at 800-331-1600 using code (D424902). Offer valid for reservations between March 15 and April 2, 2017.

A big thank you to all of you who submitted proposals for the 2017 Chicago conference.  Congratulations go out to those of you whose work was accepted.  As in the recent past, we received more quality proposals than our schedule could possibly accommodate.  Program Committee Chair, Pamela Wojcik, and her team of 28 readers were given the difficult task of reading and deliberating well over 1,000 submissions.  Rest assured that they approached their duties with utmost care.  If your proposal was not accepted this year, please know that we very much value you and your unique contributions to SCMS, and hope you will submit again next year.  

As you will see in this issue of News Brief, conference registration is now open. You may also begin making your reservations at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel and receive our negotiated special rate by mentioning "Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference."  Finally, you may now utilize the many travel discounts that SCMS has negotiated on your behalf. 

The Chicago Host Committee, chaired by Eric Freedman of Columbia College and Allyson Field of the University of Chicago, is hard at work creating a compelling event for Saturday night at the conference.  Four other proposed conference events were also recently selected for inclusion in the program based on their well-conceived proposals, diverse topics, and potential for appealing to a broad SCMS audience.  We will provide you with details of all of these events in the very near future, and will include them in the preliminary conference schedule that will be posted to our website on December 21.

Thank you to each of you for your service and meaningful engagement throughout the year. Until next month, here's wishing all of you a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving!
Jill Simpson

Executive Director

Financial Analyst

Program Coordinator 

Program Assistant 

Conference Manager

2016-2017 Program Liaison
President, 2015-2017

President Elect, 2015-2017

Secretary, 2015-2018

Treasurer, 2014-2017

Mary Beltrán


Past-President, 2015-2017

Cinema Journal Editor, 2012-2017

Web Content Manager

Representative of Home Office

Executive Director

The SCMS Board of Directors annually offers travel grants and registration fee waivers to encourage graduate students and underemployed/adjunct faculty who are on the annual conference program to attend. These awards are selected by lottery.  All applicants for general student travel grants who do not receive a travel award are automatically entered into a lottery to receive a registration fee waiver. All diversity travel grant applicants who do not receive either a travel grant or registration waiver are entered into the lottery for the general student travel grants.

In 2016, SCMS received 169 applications for available Travel Grants. We strongly encourage more applicants across each category of award and encourage the membership at-large to continue to support the Travel Award Fund so as to provide as many grants as possible for this year's and future conferences.
Annually, SCMS awards:
  • 12 student travel grants of $600.00. All applicants for the general student travel grants who do not receive a travel award will automatically be entered in a lottery to receive a registration waiver (last year, 11 fee waivers were granted in this category).
  • 2 travel grants of $600.00 and 1 registration fee waiver in each of the following categories represented by an SCMS Caucus (African/African American, Latino/a, Asian/Pacific American, Middle Eastern, and Queer), and Native American/Indigenous peoples.
  • 4 additional travel grants of $600.00 and 1 registration fee waiver to promote diversity are granted from a pool of all remaining Caucus and Native American/Indigenous peoples applicants.
  • The number of grants annually awarded to Underemployed/Adjunct faculty are based on available resources in the Travel Grant Fund. Applicants for these awards must meet all eligibility requirements for student travel grants (other than student status) and must make less than $35,000 a year.
Eligibility requirements for Travel Grant Applicants:
  • If you received a travel grant for last year's conference and had your travel expenses reimbursed by SCMS, you are not eligible for a travel grant this year
  • If you received a conference registration fee waiver for last year's conference you are not eligible for a registration waiver this year.
  • Graduate students applying for student travel grants - you must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time you apply for a travel grant and at the time of the conference.
  • You must be a full member of SCMS (not a temporary member) in order to apply for the waivers or grants.
  • You must be presenting a paper, chairing a panel or workshop, or participating in a workshop at this year's conference in order to apply.
  • You must be traveling at least 200 miles to attend this year's conference.
  • Applicants for diversity grants and waivers must meet all of the above requirements except the requirement to travel over 200 miles to attend the conference.
  • Students applying for diversity grants and waivers must be members of the under-represented groups represented by the Caucuses or Native American/Indigenous peoples.
Once you have received word of your acceptance to the conference this fall, please plan to apply for a Travel Grant! 
All applications are due on or before  Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. Central Time.  

Please see further details and a link to apply at:
All applicants will be notified of their status by Friday, January 20, 2017.


SCMS is currently accepting exhibitors and advertisers for our 2017 Conference. If you have a publisher you would like to see attend or know of a Chicago business that would be engaging to our membership, please pass along this information. Additionally, if your university or department would like an audience of media scholars, please pass along the advertising link. Join us for the 2017 Conference in Chicago, where your organization has the opportunity to capture the attention of an estimated 2000+ scholars from 38 countries around the world.

Pricing, deadlines, and more information for exhibitors and advertisers can be found on the SCMS website:


SCMS invites you to take advantage of our many sponsorship opportunities. We also welcome the opportunity to work with you in creating a custom sponsorship that best suits the needs of your organization. Allow us to help you increase exposure and heighten awareness of your department, university, organization.

For more details and information about becoming a conference sponsor, please visit 


Cinema Journal's latest volume is now available!

Complete issues with full-text articles (from 1999 to present) are also available to members to read online at Project Muse.

Cinema Journal is published quarterly by the University of Texas Press, in cooperation with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Members of the society receive the journal as one of the benefits of membership.


Recently approved by the Board of Directors in October, SCMS is pleased to announce the addition of four new Scholarly Interest Groups (SIGs) to our previous list of 30. 

Children's and Youth Media and Culture SIG
The Children's and Youth Media and Culture SIG will foster, support, and promote scholarship on media by, about, and for young people, create opportunities for conference presentations as well as articles and monograph publication for its members, and nurture the relationship between the SIG and SCMS by organizing and sponsoring panels, special journal issues, and edited collections.

Proposed by: Peter C. Kunze, University of Texas at Austin
Digital Humanities & Videographic Criticism SIG
The Digital Humanities & Videographic Criticism Scholarly Interest Group (DHVC-SIG) seeks to promote research, teaching, collaboration, and broader awareness around two intersecting and complementary areas of practice.

Proposed by: Jason Mittell, Middlebury College

Horror Studies SIG
The Horror Studies SIG will emphasize a transmedial approach, encouraging scholars working on the genre in a variety of media to come together to share their research.

Founding Chairs: Adam Hart, Harvard University; Murray Leeder, University of Calgary; Allison Whitney, Texas Tech University

Transmedia Studies SIG
The Transmedia Studies SIG will provide a home for the study of all forms of media in an effort to reveal similarities, differences, and connections between them, even as the distinctions are becoming blurred by technological divergence.  

Proposed by: Mark J. P. Wolf, Concordia University Wisconsin


SCMS Recommended Procedures for
Promotion and/or Tenure, from Appointment through Review
The following guidelines address concerns of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies regarding the tenure and promotion of candidates whose work is focused in the areas covered by our organization: cinema, video, television, radio, digital media, and emerging media forms. Our purpose is to supplement and clarify evaluation standards to make them more consistent and to acknowledge the specific needs and circumstances of media scholars. While these are recommended practices, faculty need to check with their home institutions about the specifics of criteria and evaluation. We urge junior faculty to present this document to their departments and/or deans as a way to initiate conversations about the promotion/tenure process.
1.  The candidate should be given clearly formulated, written standards and criteria for each step in the promotion and tenure process.  These criteria should be documented in a personnel file from the time of his/her initial appointment.
If for any reason, the standards and criteria are changed during the candidate's probationary period, he/she should be allowed sufficient time to adjust to the new policies.
2. The institution should specify the exact relationships among the scholarship/creative work, teaching, and service components of evaluation, including specification of the weight of each component, and whether or not superior contributions in one area might balance or offset weaker contributions in another area.  The institution should provide clear, written indications of expectations about the relative amount of time to be devoted to each component.
Also, guidelines should specify how non-teaching pedagogical work will be credited and evaluated; this work may include developing new courses and programs; learning to teach online; transforming courses into online courses; developing media platforms for teaching; managing large lecture courses and teaching assistants, and other labor.   Evaluation procedures and criteria for online teaching should be specified.
3.  SCMS is especially concerned for media scholars hired in non-media-focused departments. The department should specify, as part of the hiring agreement, the value and relationship of the candidate's work to the mission of the department.  If a candidate is expected to accommodate him/herself to the needs of a department or faculty development plan, in terms of specific areas of research or teaching specialization, these expectations should be communicated in writing, as part of the personnel file, at the time of hire.  If developments in other areas of the department have implications for a media-studies position, they should be communicated to the candidate to allow for responsible accommodation, and they should be put into writing and become part of the personnel file.
4. Candidates should be given clear and detailed indication of how publications or creative work produced or distributed in new media forms are considered and evaluated in the tenure and promotion process.  New media forms produced by candidates may include the creation and design of websites and video essays, the curation of online archives, and the development of software and search engines to access or create new methods of research, writing, and media-making.  Institutions and departments should recognize the legitimacy of these emerging forms of scholarship and clarify the criteria by which they consider them to merit consideration in the tenure and promotion evaluation procedure.
5. The peer review process should make use of scholars familiar with the candidate's work and its relationship to similar work within the discipline of cinema and media studies.
Although our field is an individuated, distinct, and serious field of academy inquiry, it now comprises a great many interdisciplinary sub-areas of research and creative specialization.  In this situation, the choice of peer reviewers becomes extremely important since an ill-informed review can cause serious harm, especially if it is judged to be authoritative because the reviewer merely shares the same general field of study or is an administrative superior.  Specialists in one area of cinema and media studies or production use quite different forms of knowledge and methodological paradigms from others.  Such differences are routinely taken into account in organizing a peer review in other academic disciplines but are sometimes overlooked in cinema and media studies, especially if there are not many other such scholars or artists in the candidate's department. 
6. Consistent and accurate "outside" information and evaluation make possible a fair assessment of a candidate's accomplishments.
The Society for Cinema and Media Studies website provides resources, including lists of affiliated professional organization and journals in the field, considered appropriate venues for scholarly membership or activities. 

Fieldnotes is an SCMS project to conduct, circulate and archive interviews with pioneers of film and media studies. In addition to recognizing the contributions of key scholars, the project also aims to foster knowledge of and interest in the diverse and dynamic developments that have shaped -- and continue to shape -- our expanding field. 

Fieldnotes is currently led by Haidee Wasson, with the help of a committee comprised of Patrice Petro and Barbara Klinger. It is sponsored both by SCMS and by ARTHEMIS, a Concordia University based research team investigating the history and epistemology of moving image studies.

Recent interview additions to Fieldnotes include:
Three more Fieldnotes interviews coming in December/January!

If you are interested in contributing to Fieldnotes, or would like to suggest the name of an interview subject, or would just like to know more, please contact  Haidee Wasson at

Dr. Donna Kornhaber

SCMS Congratulates 2016 Academy Film Scholar Grant Recipients

SCMS would like to congratulate members  Dr. Donna Kornhaber and Dr. Ellen Christine Scott for being  named 2016 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Their respective book projects focus on female screenwriters in the early years of American cinema and the representation of slavery in Classical Hollywood films.  The Academy's Educational Grants Committee will award Kornhaber and Scott the scholars' $25,000 grant awards on the basis of their proposals.

"Both Kornhaber and Scott are brilliant scholars who will bring their expertise to these important but underserved topics," said Academy Grants Committee Chair Buffy Shutt. "Their unique perspectives will help illuminate and support the Academy's mission and we're thrilled to be supporting them.  We all look forward to seeing the fruits of their research once they have completed their projects."
Dr. Ellen Christine Scott
Kornhaber is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her project, Women's Work: The Female Screenwriter and the Development of Early American Film, is the first book-length study of the diverse group of women writers who played an outsized role in shaping the American film industry during the silent era.  The work's fundamental objective is to restore to the historical narrative these women's transformational creative contributions.

Scott is an assistant professor of cinema and media studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.  Her project, Cinema's Peculiar Institution, is the first comprehensive film-centered study exploring the evolution of censorship systems and patterns of representability that shaped the image of slavery on screen.  The work focuses on the Classical Hollywood period, a time of intensifying civil rights struggles, and emphasizes repression as  much as it does representation.

Apply Now for 2017 Academy Film Scholar Grants
Application Deadline: January 31, 2017

Academy Film Scholars grants are awarded to scholars (both academically affiliated and non-affiliated) to support significant new works of film scholarship.
Through the Grants program, the Academy seeks to:
  • Promote diversity
  • Bridge the opportunity divide
  • Attract and engage broad new audiences for theatrical motion pictures 
  • Provide a platform for underrepresented artists, the full range of film genres, and a variety of viewpoints and approaches 
  • Encourage filmmaking as a vocation
  • Illuminate less visible aspects of filmmaking and the film industry through scholarly research, presentations and discussions

In order to apply:
  • Applicants must be established scholars, writers, historians or researchers possessing either a significant record of achievement, or exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishments in his or her field.
  • Applicants must have written and published at least one book of scholarship prior to applying.
  • Each applicant must propose a new work in the English language encompassing some aspect of theatrical motion picture art, science, commerce, history or theory. Those examining elements of the film industry that have been underrepresented in the canon of film scholarship will be given priority. Works solely exploring television, video or other media arts are not eligible. 
  • Proposed works may be books, multimedia presentations, curatorial projects, interactive DVDs or Internet sites. 

Summer Institute on Objects, Places and the Digital Humanities 
June 19-23, 2017 & June 2018
The Summer Institute on Objects, Places, and the Digital Humanities at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina will focus on the theory and practice of digital work for topics in art, architectural, urban history or material culture.  The two-year Institute will provide "hands-on" training with tools for geospatial mapping, 3D modeling, photogrammetry, and data collection and visualization. 
Participants will develop a digital component to a research project related to the lives of things as interrogations of meaning, circulation, and change over the long life of places and objects. Participants will examine how modeling, database and mapping tools can move research in new directions, reframing evidence towards new questions and expanding scholarship into new arenas of research and public outreach. 
The workshop is intended for mid-career scholars engaged in research that can be expanded to include a digital dimension.  No previous experience in digital scholarship required.  The Institute will be led by Caroline Bruzelius and Mark Olson, both in the Department Art, Art History & Visual Studies and co-founders of the Wired! lab at Duke University. 

Application may be made until midnight February 21, 2017

Your year-end tax-deductible contribution helps SCMS continue its mission. Please consider making a contribution to support our ongoing efforts to promote a broad understanding of film, television, and related media through research and teaching grounded in the contemporary humanities tradition.