Update Letter # 3
Dear OSSA-12 Participants:
CANCELLATION AND ALTERNATIVE FORMAT
Because of the COVID-19 virus it is almost certain that we are cancelling the OSSA 12 conference as a concrete social event taking place in Windsor on June 3 - 6. But we want the conference to go on in some other, modified way. We haven’t developed the details yet: the people who can help us with setting up alternative websites, etc., are all dealing with the emergencies at our university as it struggles to convert hundreds of courses to alternative modes of delivery. But we should have something in a week or two.
If you have already registered (paid your conference fee) it will be refunded.
Here is a rough idea of our plan for how OSSA-12 as an e-conference would work. (1) Presenters will send their papers to their commentators as agreed earlier (March 20*). (2) We now ask that you also send them to OSSA at the same time <email@example.com>. (3) We will need the responses (commentaries) by May 20. (4) When we have both the paper and the response we will prepare them as a unit for the conference site. (5) We plan on releasing the papers/commentaries not all at once, but in groups of about 20 over the four days of the conference. (6) Those registered for the conference will be able to read papers and comments on line, and leave their own comments on each paper/commentary as they wish to. (7) the keynoters have agreed to make AV presentations of their addresses, and we will release these, one at a time during the conference. (8) After the conference, our work will continue as we turn your conference contributions into a format fitting for the OSSA Archives. So, although we are cancelling the physical/social event we had planned for Windsor, we can still have a conference with commentaries and discussion on the same dates, through the wonders of the internet.
(*When people agree to be commentators it is on the understanding that they will receive the papers by March 20. Given the recent upheaval of our lives due to the virus, presenters and commentators are encouraged to be flexible and invited to communicate with each other about a suitable time for the transaction.)
There will be a fee to be part of the E-OSSA 12 Conference: $50 Canadian to cover production costs, the Blair Prize, and honoraria. You will be able to take part in the conference (have access to the papers and commentaries) only if you are registered. We will arrange for participants to pay this fee starting in a few weeks, after all the fees already paid have been refunded.
Some of you have already written to say that you won’t take part in OSSA for one of the reasons mentioned above. Our alternative plan makes it possible for you to still participate. Let us know if you want to be part of E-OSSA-12 under this new format.
Submissions for the Blair Prize (awarded to an outstanding OSSA essay from a graduate student) have been received and submitted to the Blair Prize Committee. The only change in regard to the competition is that the winner will be announced on our conference site during the last day of the conference, June 6.
A similar plan may be developed as an alternative for the Summer Institute, subject to further discussion. We will post an announcement about that next week.
We’re glad to work with you to try to make OSSA work in this new format.
We wish you all good health (and good arguing),
Hans V. Hansen & Christopher Tindale
E-OSSA-12 Organizing Committee
PS. Earlier Update letters can be viewed at http://www.uwindsor.ca/crrar/