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Gender Caucus Minutes and Reports
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ARCHIVED GENDER CAUCUS MINUTES

UFVA Gender Caucus Report, August 2nd, 2013

The Gender Caucus had a significant turnout, though only a short time to discuss pertinent matters.

The first item of business concerned new initiatives, including the possibility of the Caucus organizing a panel, or even a track, dealing with gender issues for the 2014 conference. Support for this proposal was widespread at the meeting (though the proposal would need to be approved by the Board/Conference V.P.).

Then, Sheila Schroeder pitched her initiative UFVA L.E.A.D.S. (Leading Equity Diversity and Success), which would institute a number of different projects aimed at moving media industries, academic units, and pedagogies forward with respect to creating greater equity for marginalized groups. The proposal was met with enthusiasm by the group. One attendee suggested that such issues serve as the theme of the conference, or a half-day workshop, perhaps with the title "Diversity in Voice." Another suggested that the conference plenary could focus on this topic.

The conversation stressed that these issues need to be addressed on a wider level at the conference and in our own professions, rather than confined to just those who suffer from such inequity. An attendee also indicated that many simply don't understand the obstacles that women face in this professions, and that women, in particular, face structural inequality in the hierarchy of academia.

The group particularly embraced the L.E.A.D.S. proposal to create a Best Practices document for equitable teaching of media in higher education, and suggested that major institutions sign it as an endorsement of its importance, and perhaps reach out to major figures and organizations for similar endorsements, such as the Geena Davis Institute or Joss Whedon.

The Caucus overwhelming voted to endorse the L.E.A.D.S. initiative in advance of Sheila's pitch to the UFVA Board of Directors.

Finally, the group suggested a few action items: one, that the Caucus consider offering an award to a filmmaker whose work advances representations of gender, on-camera or behind the scenes. Two, that the Caucus create a Facebook group for relevant online discussions. And three, that the group organize a hiking or rafting retreat at the 2014 conference.

Before the meeting adjourned, one attendee emphasized that we need to continue discussing exactly how we define diversity and inclusion, which are not self-evident terms and need clarity in order to take action.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Proctor
Chair, Gender Caucus

UFVA Gender Caucus Report, August 2nd, 2013

The Gender Caucus had a significant turnout, though only a short time to discuss pertinent matters.

The first item of business concerned new initiatives, including the possibility of the Caucus organizing a panel, or even a track, dealing with gender issues for the 2014 conference. Support for this proposal was widespread at the meeting (though the proposal would need to be approved by the Board/Conference V.P.).

Then, Sheila Schroeder pitched her initiative UFVA L.E.A.D.S. (Leading Equity Diversity and Success), which would institute a number of different projects aimed at moving media industries, academic units, and pedagogies forward with respect to creating greater equity for marginalized groups. The proposal was met with enthusiasm by the group. One attendee suggested that such issues serve as the theme of the conference, or a half-day workshop, perhaps with the title "Diversity in Voice." Another suggested that the conference plenary could focus on this topic.

The conversation stressed that these issues need to be addressed on a wider level at the conference and in our own professions, rather than confined to just those who suffer from such inequity. An attendee also indicated that many simply don't understand the obstacles that women face in this professions, and that women, in particular, face structural inequality in the hierarchy of academia.

The group particularly embraced the L.E.A.D.S. proposal to create a Best Practices document for equitable teaching of media in higher education, and suggested that major institutions sign it as an endorsement of its importance, and perhaps reach out to major figures and organizations for similar endorsements, such as the Geena Davis Institute or Joss Whedon.

The Caucus overwhelming voted to endorse the L.E.A.D.S. initiative in advance of Sheila's pitch to the UFVA Board of Directors.

Finally, the group suggested a few action items: one, that the Caucus consider offering an award to a filmmaker whose work advances representations of gender, on-camera or behind the scenes. Two, that the Caucus create a Facebook group for relevant online discussions. And three, that the group organize a hiking or rafting retreat at the 2014 conference.

Before the meeting adjourned, one attendee emphasized that we need to continue discussing exactly how we define diversity and inclusion, which are not self-evident terms and need clarity in order to take action.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Proctor
Chair, Gender Caucus

GENDER CAUCUS MINUTES, 2012

The Gender Caucus had a brief but thought-provoking discussion about current issues affecting gender in film production. As an order of business, Jennifer Proctor was re-elected as chair, with Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson opting not to pursue another term as Co-Chair. Primary topics of discussion were as follows:

The need for an active group/mailing list among caucus members who seek support and guidance from fellow faculty on issues related to gender and industry and/or the classroom. Proctor will set up a Google Group for this purpose.

The need for mentorship within UFVA for female junior faculty navigating academic administration and the tenure process.

The need for more discussion and guidance (at the national level) on the topic of women in male-dominated departments. The group particularly discussed ways to upset traditional structures when women are delegated to lower/lesser positions in the administrative hierarchy. The need for this conversation in the current political climate is especially urgent.

The Caucus chose to continue these discussions online throughout the year, with an eye toward panels on these topics at next year’s UFVA conference.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Proctor
Chair, Gender Caucus


GENDER CAUCUS MINUTES, August 5, 2011

The Gender Caucus took a freeform approach to discussing issues related to gender that have come up in our classrooms and in our experiences as faculty members.

Co-chairs Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson and Jennifer Proctor shared the publication of an article that grew out of discussions of the Gender (formerly Women's) Caucus and subsequent UFVA panel on problematic representations of women in student work. The article, "Woman with a Movie Camera Redux: Revisiting the Position of Women in the Production Classroom" by Proctor, K-Nelson, and River Branch, came out during the UFVA conference in Jump Cut (http://www.ejumpcut.org/currentissue/womenProdnClass/index.html). The chairs also indicated that this would be their last years in the position, and suggested that caucus members consider who might like to run for the position next year.

The discussion then shifted to areas caucus members felt needed addressing in terms of gender, media production, and academia. Ways to support one another as female faculty members was one area of concern - especially in terms of providing mentorship, advising on tenure, etc.

Some attendees reported increased enrollment of women in their programs, while others noted declines. The disparity in how comfortable students are with technology nonetheless continues to fall along gender lines.

The group also discussed representations of motherhood - particularly childbirth and menstruation - as being the images that get the strongest (negative) reactions out of students, and remain one of the ultimate taboos in film. Pacific University faculty members shared DVDs of their project related to this issue, Kid on Hip, Camera in Hand.

One attendee expressed the need for more guidance and ideas for handling student-to-student gender and race conflicts; what role does the faculty member play? The group discussed creating an active listserv for the purpose of asking such questions and seeking advice and experiences.

The caucus then discussed how different programs handle on a policy level issues of problematic student representations. Some include a line in syllabi that states a commitment to nonviolence, while others ban certain representations in their classes completely. This led to a conversation on the need for greater study of representation in and of itself in our classes, and that it's ultimately unfair to criticize our students when they don't have the education about representation in the first place. We often assume that our students - and viewers in general - are more savvy than they are about these topics.

Lastly, an attendee brought up an assignment that asks students to explore difference by writing a character different from themselves. The consensus was that students have a fundamentally poor understanding of difference in general, and that such assignments sometimes backfire by simply leading to stereotypical representations. Students are often afraid to explore difference for fear of being accused of bias or racism.

The meeting adjourned with the promise to start up a listserv to continue discussions online, and with the encouragement for attendees to propose panels for next year's conference.

 


 

GENDER CAUCUS MINUTES, August 13, 2010

The lunch meeting opened with introductions led by Caucus Co-Chair Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson followed by Co-Chair Jennifer Proctor's suggested agenda based on ideas from the Caucus's brief social meeting earlier in the week. Agenda items included a discussion of the name and mission of the Caucus and whether it needed revision; ideas for Caucus-sponsored panels for next year's UFVA conference; and other activities to be headed by the Caucus.

As the noise level in the cafeteria was too high for a productive conversation, the caucus meeting moved outside, leaving only about 45 minutes for discussion among approximately 20 participants.

The first order of business focused on the mission and, therefore, naming, of the caucus. Many noted the positive discussion that came about at the end of an earlier panel addressing issues of violence against women in student films, which included many valued contributions from male attendees, coupled with the resistance of men to attend caucus meetings. Many felt that the name of the Caucus was too exclusive and prevented important voices from being included in the Caucus's mission and overall conversation. Several noted that we didn't want to diminish the importance of women in the discussion, or the role of feminism, which still plays an important role in launching and framing discussions on these topics. Others also expressed that many of the issues the caucus seemed interested in addressing branched out further to include sexuality, larger gender and sexual identity issues, race, class, and overall goals of inclusion in the classroom and among faculty across academia, and that the Caucus should make efforts to include members of diverse sexual orientations and identities.

After further debates over these issues, the group informally agreed that the mission of the Caucus should be to lead discussions about gender, inclusion, and equity in the classroom and at the faculty level. To this end, several titles were suggested: Gender and Sexuality Caucus; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Caucus; Equality or Inclusion Caucus; Gender Caucus. As names were discussed, some expressed concern that including sexuality in the name/mission might take the caucus too far astray of its original goals, or that going so far as to include the word "inclusion" might dilute the values and goals of the Caucus. It was suggested that we try opening the Caucus up to more inclusiveness without making our mission too broad - using the term "Gender" to be more open to men and alternative gender identities without trying to tackle too much. A vote was taken, and "Gender Caucus" was almost unanimously agreed upon.

Kyja noted that we will need to officially get approval from the UFVA Board for the new name to take effect.

With the time remaining, we discussed ideas for panels for the next year. Suggestions included: Debunking the idea that directing is for men only; a report on a project chronicling the role of women in post-production; issues related to gender and equality in the classroom; concerns about equity for women at the faculty level.

A forum for discussion about these ideas and others - either on the UFVA website and/or as a Google group - was requested. Kyja agreed to follow up.

The meeting was adjourned just at the end of lunch.

 


 

WOMEN’S CAUCUS MINUTES, August 7, 2009

Members Present: Suzanne Regan, Diane Carson, Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson, Michelle Glaros, Ashley Maynor, Irene Gustafson, Laura Linder, Emily Edwards, River Branch, Jen Proctor

1.     Welcome by founding member, Suzanne Regan

2.     Introduction of members and general updates (tenure, promotion, etc.)

3.     Chair & Vice Chair Positions:

a.     Discussion regarding the positions and term limits

b.     Members voted to approve a 3 year term limit Chair position

c.     Members voted to approve a 3 year term limit for Vice Chair position

d.     Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson was nominated and voted in as Chair

e.     Jen Proctor was nominated and voted in as Vice Chair

4.     General Business

a.     Discussion regarding the Women’s Caucus participation in conference
programming.

1.     Organize Panels/Papers

1.     Increase Women’s Caucus exposure/profile within UFVA
Conference

2.     Members feel that there are many Women’s Caucus issues that
are issues for all UFVA members (not just women). Bringing universal issues to the conference and framing them as such is important to effectively make positive change.

3.     Panel Ideas:

1.     Jen Proctor and River Branch suggested a panel
examining the rise in student film/video/media work depicting violence against women and how instructors deal with such work in the classroom.

2.     Members discussed research being done by Leann Erickson, Associate Professor of Film at Temple University. She has gathered statistics pertaining to women in university film/video programs within the U.S. (ex: female graduates, females employed, tenured, promoted, etc).

2.     Organize additional meeting times during conferences

1.     Women’s Caucus Luncheon allows only limited time to discuss business

2.     Several members wish to see a Women’s Caucus Social, scheduled early in the
conference. Ideas included:

3.     Evening Social (ex: Tuesday evening, or pre- or post-Kodak reception on
Wednesday)

4.     Finding sponsors to help fund food/beverage (see below for more)

5.     Ice Cream Social... (2010 Vermont Conference + Ben & Jerry’s...)

6.     Would allow us more time to network, potentially open the Women’s Caucus to
more UFVA members who are curious/interested, and more time to talk about Caucus initiatives.

5.     Funding Sources:

a.     Diane Carson and Suzanne Regan discussed the possibility of requesting funds
(ex: $100-$150) from the UFVA Board of Directors, to help fund Women’s
Caucus initiatives.

b.     Find sponsors to fund socials, research, & initiatives. Ideas included:

1.     MNWIFT

2.     Women Make Movies

3.     Contacts at Oxygen or Lifetime

4.     Oprah

6.     Caucus Membership, Name/Position

a.     Discussion regarding the growing number of caucuses within UFVA. Some women have left the Women’s Caucus and now have joined other caucuses (ex: Doc Work Group, History/Theory, etc).

b.     Questions included: How can we increase membership and interest? How can we position our caucus luncheon so that women do not have to choose between the Women’s Caucus and others? How has our caucus evolved through the years, and how have women in the UFVA evolved? What are the current issues women are facing?

c.     Irene Gustafson addressed feminism and its relation to the Women’s Caucus. Should we be called the Feminist Caucus (or some variation of that)? Models of feminism address issues and structures of race, class and power, which are relevant to women as well as many other UFVA members.

7.     DVD Distribution & Networking Opportunities

a.     Ashley Maynor suggested introducing a merchandise table at the UFVA
conference, so that members could see/buy DVDs/work. Diane Carson mentioned that attempts at similar models have been tried. Logistics were discussed.

b.     Emily Edwards suggested/inquired about distribution through Netflix.

c.     Ashley Maynor explained ways to distribute through Amazon, by setting up a
UFVA presence as an Amazon Store.

d.     Caucus members nominated and subsequently voted in Ashley Maynor as the
Women’s Caucus Distribution Coordinator (a.k.a. Amazon Woman
J).

e.     Discussion regarding online blogging about films, as well as UFVA caucus
forums online (TBA: Jeffery Warmouth is currently working on creating the forums). A moderator will be needed for the online UFVA Women’s Caucus Forum.

f.      Ashley Maynor also suggested setting up opportunities for our caucus members to visit classes (whether as an official exchange of visiting artists/scholars within our caucus, or as a virtual visit to another caucus member’s class through webcasting).

1:15 Meeting Adjourned