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Update Letter no 4. Apr. 21, 2020



Hello E-OSSA Participants,


We’re still here, and we are still working on it.  We hope you and the ones close to you are staying safe and healthy, and that you are finding ways to make the most of these most unwelcome COVID-19 circumstances.


Like many of you, our teaching is winding down after the winter term.  We are now into the examination period but that will be over in a couple of weeks.  Then we will start to focus full-time on putting E-OSSA 12 together.  We are going to need your cooperation and good will in order to make it work.


At this point, we are considering using three different modes for presentations:


  • (A) LIVE sessions (speaker, commentator, moderator, tune-in audience)
  • (B) Pre-RECORDED video sessions accompanied by live discussion sessions
  • (C) Posted TEXT, with text commentaries and questions.


All presenters of papers should consult with their assigned commentator and let us know as soon as possible which of the three modes of presentation they prefer.  We think we will only be able to do a relatively small number of LIVE and/or RECORDED sessions at once, so we need your preferences in order to prepare the conference (time) schedule.  It is our intention to stretch the conference over 4 days (June 3 - 6) with approximately 20 sessions per day. If we don’t have a response from you concerning your preference, we will assume the default position that presenters and commentators have agreed to the TEXT mode of presentation.


For (A) and (B), we expect that participants will have access to the papers in advance and will have read them. Then presenters will need to take only 10 minutes or so to review their paper, identifying the salient points, before the commentator gives the commentary. Then there will be ample time for all involved to conduct the live discussions.  In the case of (C), the papers and commentaries will be available as texts for further discussion.


We will need all the presentations and commentaries in advance – no later than May 25, but preferably well before then – so we can make them ready for presentation from the conference site. If presenters and commentators choose the LIVE or RECORDED modes of presentation, we still need your written paper.  We ask this for two reasons: (a) we may run into unexpected difficulties with the broadcasts, and (b) only texts can be included in the OSSA archives (we don’t want to be chasing texts after the conference).  We will not schedule your presentation and/or commentary for the conference unless we have your written texts in advance.


The Keynote presentations will be pre-recorded and then streamed during times when no other sessions are scheduled (and on separate days). Each will be followed by a period of live discussion.


A very few people have withdrawn due to the overload placed on them by COVID-19. But we still have in excess of 80 sessions to schedule.  We are concerned, having received only about 40 of the papers for presentation.  Part of the problem is that we need to get ready well in advance; the other, and more serious problem, is that commentators, also busy people, need a few weeks to develop a good response to your papers.  Please send your papers to your commentators as soon as you can, and to us at OSSA (so we can get this show on the road!). If presenters/ commentators do not think they will have their contributions ready by mid-May then, please, withdraw now – we need to spend our time on getting ready the contributions that will actually be in the conference.


We are working on getting the fee-thing set-up.  It’s not a priority at this point. So, don’t worry about it for now.


The Summer Institute will proceed on a similar electronic platform on the dates previously announced (the week after the E-OSSA 12 econference. More information will be provided on the OSSA web site in the next few weeks.


The Blair Prize competition is proceeding as scheduled under the supervision of Dr. Sally Jackson.  The winner will be announced during the conference.


We will send out a tentative OSSA proto-programme in about a week, with a more detailed one to follow ahead of the conference.  Please check the proto-programme to see that we have things right as they pertain to you.  (The schedule of sessions (dates and times) will follow near the end of May, once all contributions have been received at OSSA-12 <> .  Your session may be scheduled on any day in the period June 3-6.


We are working on this (and learning how to do it).  Expect adjustments as we go forwad.


So, to sum up,


  1. Rank your preferred mode of presentation (A- LIVE, B-RECORDED; C-TEXT) and let us know your preference within the next two weeks by April 24.
  2. Send your paper to your commentator if you haven’t done so already so s/he can do their part.
  3. Look for further update letters, and stay upbeat and optimistic – we can make this work.


All best,


Hans & Chris