I write to share with you two pieces of information to help us move forward in a world that is uncertain.  Please read this message knowing that there is much more to discuss and this is only the first step as we work and learn together.

First, since 1979 the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender has studied how language both creates and reflects our world, lives, and bodies.  Black Lives Matter. It is more than a slogan or a hashtag. It is an affirmative statement that is challenged by racist language, actions and attitudes everywhere and on a daily basis. The OSCLG board is drafting a pledge of action and we welcome hearing from our members https://bsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0HcOgfFlIUXyG8J.  We will review your comments at a virtual board meeting June 23rd.  We want to be sure our actions create both immediate and sustained change. We look forward to the future and we indeed are optimistic that the OSCLG community can contribute in meaningful and positive ways.

Second, due to health and travel concerns of our membership, we have opted to defer the in-person conference scheduled for this fall in Norfolk to October 2021. Instead, we are re-imagining a smaller, curated online conference experience at a significantly reduced rate that includes the cost of membership, the Women & Language journal subscription, and the honorarium fees for our invited keynote panelists, who have graciously agreed to share their expertise with us in the online format. OSCLG Online 2020: De-Centering Privilege will require online registration to access the live content via scheduled WebX video conference sessions Thursday, Oct. 1-Saturday, Oct. 3.

The online experience will consist of no more than a few panel slots (likely with only one session each slot) in the late afternoon to early evening each day to account for various time zones. The online conference will incorporate the following formats: an introductory/welcome with our Keynote panelists, followed by virtual Wine & Chocolate; an Awards recognition ceremony, followed by virtual Wine & Chocolate; a Wise Women’s themed discussion/experience; and a few or more themed panels/roundtables depending on the number of submissions. Instead of the traditional, 4-5 paper panel format, we envision a more discussion-based roundtable approach to the themed sessions, where a session chair introduces the participants, each participant spends 4-5 minutes discussing their topic, then the session chair poses a few pre-planned questions to the participants, and of course leaves time for audience members to pose their own questions and comments. We would also like to incorporate some online social experiences, such as yoga and Coffee/Tea Conversations. We will of course offer submitters the ability to opt out of the online experience and hold their papers for next year, or pull their acceptance altogether. The due date is still June 15th for submissions and we will be updating the website and registration information.   For your reference APA offers guidelines for citing work presented online at https://apastyle.apa.org/blog/canceled-conferences


Paaige Signatures

Paaige K. Turner

OSCLG President 2018-2020