Vic Costello, June 2021
I experienced two events last week, that while seemingly small in the big scheme of things, brought great joy and a sense of optimism for the year ahead—a future that looks much brighter than last year by all present indicators (at least in my little portion of the globe)!
First, my university broke the news that beginning last Wednesday, faculty, staff, and students who are fully vaccinated and feel comfortable doing so, can now remove their face coverings while indoors. Yippee! I experienced a mix of extreme jubilation and liberation as I took my first mask-free stroll through our hallowed academic halls since March 2020. While I still don’t know what remnants of COVID-19 mitigation measures will be enacted next fall, I viewed this as a welcome step back to normalcy and it felt good.
The second event, which in the past was typically a mundane task, was to book my online airfare and hotel accommodations for BEA On-Location 2021 in Las Vegas. Yes, I’m referring to the in-person conference we’re planning for fall that will take place in a “real” brick-and-mortar convention center, in “real” time, with “real” face-to-face human interactions with BEA colleagues that I haven’t been together with for far too long. How exciting!! On a side note (less exciting), I absentmindedly botched my first attempt making reservations—entering the dates for the virtual On-Location component by mistake instead of those for the physical Vegas event and NAB Show. Thanks to Orbitz’s 24-hour cancellation policy, I was able to correct my error without penalty! I hope this brief tidbit of self-disclosure and the following reminder will keep you from making the same mistake.
As we all know, any great conference needs great content and presenters. This said, BEA On-Location will only be as successful as your response to the call for panels, papers, abstracts, and creative work, so please take time this week or next to submit something for consideration well ahead of the posted deadlines. Also, for panel proposals, look for opportunities to include diverse participants and topics. I heard from our diversity team leaders last week that they were thrilled with the representation of diverse and inclusive programming at the April virtual convention. Let’s keep this positive momentum going!
As a tip, take some time to review past conference programs, including the 2021 virtual conference program to stir ideas and identify gaps in program content that addresses a unique need or niche not recently covered, or perhaps, that builds on something previous that warrants additional depth or coverage. Please note the deadlines below:
Panel Proposals related to any area of media or media education. Deadline: June 15
Paper Submissions (completed papers): Deadline: June 15
Research-in-Progress (abstracts and partial papers): Deadline: June 15
Special Call for Papers for Mini-Research Symposium: Triaging the Streaming Wars: Deadline: June 15
Faculty and Student Creative Works: Deadline: July 15
Note: For the 2021 hybrid conference we will offer both virtual and physical presentation options for attendees. Due to the mixed conference model and need for planning time, we will NOT be extending deadlines this year. On the submission form you can specify your presentation preference – either virtually or physically.
I wish you all the best on your summer research and teaching plans and activities and with what I hope will include a time for rest, reflection, and recovery for the year ahead.