At the 2016 Atlanta SCMS meeting, the Classical Hollywood SIG had our inaugural meeting, with excellent turnout at over 40 attendees. There was general consensus that the SIG filled a needed lack in the conference and even the discipline as a whole, where Classical Hollywood scholarship is omnipresent yet diffuse. Here are some highlights of the meeting:
Representatives: the group elected Co-Chairs Emily Carman (3 yr. position) and Chris Cagle (2 yr. position). Chandler Taylor volunteered to be the Graduate Representative.
Web/Social media: The group agreed on the need for an online and social media presence, with the following ideas: website, listserv, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Each would serve different uses and address different audiences. Dawn Fratini volunteered to help with the SIG’s online presence. In the future, we may expand the website out into something more robust, with fuller content, but that will take more work and future discussion.
Budget: A modest part of the annual budget will be set aside for website/URL costs, with the rest going to a co-sponsored event at SCMS Chicago. The group discussed possible ideas, and members should continue to send suggestions to the Co-Chairs.
Mentoring: Other SIGs and caucuses offer mentoring, and there was general support for pairing advanced scholars with graduate students and junior scholars, whether formalized or informal. By the Chicago conference, we will explore ways to implement this. Chandler Taylor will be the point-person for any concerns about how the SIG can help professionalization for graduate students, so feel free to send her suggestions.
Publication News: The SIG agreed on the desirability of maintaining a list of member publications, to be distributed in advance of the next conference. Keep an eye out for future announcements for details.
Outreach: We discussed the desirability of forming partnerships with outside groups, especially research libraries and archives. Eventually, our SIG might reach out to organizations like NECS and HOMER. Eric Hoyt reminded members of the resources of the Media History project, a terrific collection of archival and trade press sources available free online. He put out a call for any members who are able to support the project with access to missing periodicals and periodical issues. One way the SIG can help is to provide news about recent uploads to the Media History Project.
The above includes a lot of new initiatives, but they are practically achievable in the next year. We will update members this summer as the call for papers for 2017 gets underway. Hopefully we can have just as strong a program of Classical Hollywood papers at Chicago as we had this year in Atlanta.