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FAQ

General

  • What is SCMS?

    The Society for Cinema and Media Studies is the leading scholarly organization in the United States dedicated to promoting a broad understanding of film, television, and related media through research and teaching grounded in the contemporary humanities tradition.

    SCMS encourages excellence in scholarship and pedagogy and fosters critical inquiry into the global, national, and local circulation of cinema, television, and other related media. SCMS scholars situate these media in various contexts, including historical, theoretical, cultural, industrial, social, artistic, and psychological.

    SCMS seeks to further media study within higher education and the wider cultural sphere, and to serve as a resource for scholars, teachers, administrators, and the public. SCMS works to maintain productive relationships with organizations in other nations, disciplines, and areas of media study; to foster dialogue between media industries and scholars; and to promote the preservation of our film, television, and media heritage. We encourage membership and participation of scholars and those in related positions not only in the US but around the world.

  • Who can join?

    The Society for Cinema and Media Studies invites students, scholars, filmmakers, and others interested in cinema and media to join our community as individual or institutional members.

Membership

  • What are the benefits of membership?

    There are two types of SCMS membership: individual and institutional membership. Individual members receive four issues of Cinema Journal per membership year, and are invited to submit proposals to participate in the annual conference held in locations across the U.S. and abroad. Our website enables members to be in contact with colleagues, collaborators, and mentors. Our online Career Center allows members to access the most up-to-date job listings and gain access to useful insight from professionals about careers in cinema and media studies. Institutional members receive all of these benefits as well as the ability to send a member of their institution to the annual conference. Institutional members can also make use of our Career Center to post an unlimited number of job advertisements for their institutions. They may also feature their institution in our growing resource area online for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the field of cinema and media studies.

  • How do I join SCMS?

    Individuals must first create a profile for the website before they can join. Three types of payment methods (funds must be paid in USD) are available: Credit Card via BLUEPAY, Checks, and Money Orders.

    • Go to the SCMS website.
    • Click on Join SCMS found in the top right corner of the page.
    • Select your general membership type from the list.
    • Create a username and type in your name.
    • Select a specific membership type from the drop down list based on your income level.
    • Complete the member information form to create your profile.
    • Select Payment Method:

      (a) Credit Card (BLUEPAY): If you wish to pay by credit card, please follow the step-by-step instructions on the screen.

      (b) Mail: If you wish to pay by check or money order (funds must be in USD), print the membership application and mail along with your payment to the address on the form.

    • After you submit you have completed everything above, your membership application will be submitted to the SCMS admin, and you will receive e-mail notification when your membership is approved.
  • When does my membership expire?

    Your membership expires on August 31 of each year. The SCMS membership year runs from September 1 through August 31 to accommodate the publication schedule for Cinema Journal. The University of Texas Press publishes one volume with four issues each year: Fall (No. 1), Winter (No. 2), Spring (No. 3) and Summer (No. 4).

    If you join or renew after the new membership year has started, you will receive the next issue published, followed by any earlier issues. To ensure that you receive each issue of Cinema Journal, renew your membership before August 31 and keep your mailing address current on the website.

  • How do I confirm that I paid my membership fee?

    You can request a membership confirmation e-mail or change your membership on this page.

    • Go to the SCMS website.
    • Sign in by entering your username and password in the "Sign in” area located on the right side of the page.
    • Click on "Manage Profile” found in the MY PROFILE area located on the right side of the page.
    • Scroll down to ACCOUNT HISTORY and select Membership. The Membership Information will show your membership status and type.
    • You can also view further instructions for accessing your membership receipt here.
  • How do I update my profile and change my notification preferences?

    Click on the following links to access detailed instructions for updating your profile and changing your notification preferences.

  • How can members become involved in the governance of SCMS?

    Members elected to the Board of Directors and volunteers selected for the "Standing" and "Annual" Committees conduct daily SCMS business and planning, assisted by the SCMS staff. "Caucuses" and "Scholarly Interest Groups" also play vital roles in sustaining and developing the organization.

    Members are encouraged to volunteer for service on the "Standing" and "Annual" Committees, and to participate as interested in the "Caucuses" and "Scholarly Interest Groups."

    SCMS has by-laws to facilitate the governance and administration of the organization. The Society has also developed policies related to our professional practices, including teaching, publishing, and the reproduction of visual and aural materials.

Cinema Journal

  • Why am I not receiving Cinema Journal?

    You will not receive Cinema Journal if your membership has expired or if your mailing address has changed and you haven’t updated your profile. The University of Texas Press downloads members’ mailing addresses directly from the SCMS website membership data.

  • I’ve received a postage due card from the University of Texas Press. Why do I have to pay additional postage for a returned issue of Cinema Journal? I’ve checked my profile and my address is correct. Why was the issue returned?

    If your mailing address is correct at the time the issue is mailed and there is a delivery failure due to Post Office or carrier error, there will be no additional postage charge for a replacement issue. To request the issue be resent, contact the SCMS Office. The SCMS Office will confirm that your mailing address is current and authorize the University of Texas Press to send another issue.

    When undeliverable issues are returned to the University of Texas Press, the US Post Office includes a label with the reason for the return (addressee unknown, forwarding order has expired, etc.). The new mailing address is often included but because the forwarding order has expired, the Post Office will not forward it without additional postage. When the SCMS Office staff members receive address corrections and undeliverable notices, they either suspend membership or update the address on the member’s behalf and record the correction date. However, the University of Texas Press requires the additional postage to resend the issue to the new address.

  • Our library abroad already receives Cinema Journal. May we waive receipt of the Journal, not pay the international mailing/shipping expenses, but continue to receive the other benefits of membership?

  • How can I get a mailing list of SCMS members?

    Go to Order a Mailing List.

Committees

  • What are SCMS Committees?

    Throughout the year, SCMS conducts much of its organizational business via committees. There are two types of committees: Standing Committees and Annual Committees.Standing Committees carry a three-year term and focus on administrative and policy issues. Annual Committees focus on the specific tasks that occur within a calendar year, namely, conference organization and awards. Descriptions of SCMS committees can be found here.

  • How does one join a committee?

    Committee membership rotates on a regular basis, and each spring following the conference, the SCMS President issues a call for participation, inviting SCMS members to volunteer for committee service. You may respond directly to this invitation or simply let the Home Office know the committee(s) on which you would like to serve. In consultation with committee chairs, the SCMS Board of Directors works from the list of volunteers in order to staff committees.

  • Why should I serve on a committee?

    Committee service is vital to the well-being and functioning of SCMS. Service on a committee brings you inside the organization in ways that go beyond attendance at the annual conference. Committee service provides an excellent way to interact with one’s professional colleagues and contribute to the organization.

  • How much work is involved?

    In general, committee service does not impose a heavy burden of time. Much of a committee’s work throughout the year is transacted via email, and the annual activities report that each committee furnishes the Board of Directors is relatively brief. The professional, intellectual, and networking benefits of committee service far outweigh the time that is required.

Awards

  • How do I apply for an SCMS Award?

    While publishers and journal editors are invited to nominated books and essays for SCMS awards, individual SCMS members are encouraged to apply directly on their own behalf or to nominate other members. Application forms are submitted online by the annual August 1 deadline. Please see the Awards section of this website for full eligibility requirements and forms for each award.

  • I have recently published my first book, and wonder if I should apply for both the Best First Book Award and the Kovacs Book Award. May I apply for more than one book award simultaneously?

    No book may compete for more than one SCMS award.

  • How do I nominate someone for either the Distinguished Career or Pedagogy Award?

    To nominate someone for the Distinguished Career award, please submit a completed nomination form to the SCMS office by August 1. Nominations should include the following information: name, affiliation, mailing address, and email address of the nominee. Nominations must also include a statement in support of the nominee.

    To nominate someone for the Pedagogy award, please submit a completed nomination form to the SCMS office by August 1. Nominations should include the following information: name, affiliation, mailing address, and email address of the nominee. Nominations must also include a statement in support of the nominee.

  • What are the deadlines for the various awards?

    The deadline for all awards is August 1.

Caucuses and Scholarly Interest Groups

  • What is a Caucus?

    A Caucus is a group that seeks to address issues of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, and class underrepresentation within the SCMS organization and in the academy at large.

  • Do I have to be part of an underrepresented group to be a Caucus member?

    No. While many Caucus members come from groups that have been underrepresented at SCMS and/or in the academy, what defines the Caucuses is a common political, social, cultural, and academic interest in tackling underrepresentation in terms of membership, scholarship, and networking opportunities.

  • If I am part of an underrepresented group, am I required to join a Caucus?

    No. Members are not required to join Caucuses.

  • What Caucuses currently exist?

    • African/African American Caucus
    • Asian/Pacific American Caucus
    • Caucus on Class
    • Latino/a Caucus
    • Middle East Caucus
    • Queer Caucus
    • Women's Caucus
  • I want to create a new Caucus. What should I do?

    You need to draft a petition to the SCMS Board of Directors. The petition must state the purpose of the caucus and include a list of members interested in creating the Caucus.

  • Are Caucuses automatically approved?

    No. The Board of Directors, at its discretion, may approve or deny the formation of a Caucus.

  • How many Caucuses may I join?

    As many as you would like to join.

  • Who may join a Caucus?

    Any member of the Society who is in good standing may join a Caucus.

  • How can I join a Caucus?

    Log in to the website, select the caucus’s group page and then select the Join Group link at the top of the group page.

  • What is a Scholarly Interest Group (SIG)?

    A Scholarly Interest Group is a group comprised of SCMS members who share an interest in a particular medium, a genre, a methodology, the media of a particular nation or region, or any other subcategory within the rubric of Cinema and Media Studies.

  • What is the purpose of the SIGs?

    SIGs are formed and maintained to provide fellowship and networking opportunities for their members, and to support scholarship, pedagogy, and mentoring in that particular area within SCMS.

  • What SIGs currently exist?

    • Animated Media Scholarly Interest Group
    • Central/East/South European Cinemas Scholarly Interest Group
    • CinemArts: Film and Art History Scholarly Interest Group
    • Cognitive/Analytical Scholarly Interest Group
    • Contemporary Theory Scholarly Interest Group
    • Documentary Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Experimental Film and Media Scholarly Interest Group
    • Film and Media Festivals Scholarly Interest Group
    • French Francophone Scholarly Interest Group
    • Media Industries Scholarly Interest Group
    • Media Literacy & Outreach Scholarly Interest Group
    • Nontheatrical Film and Media Scholarly Interest Group
    • Oscar Micheaux Society
    • Radio Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Sound Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Television Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Transnational Cinemas Scholarly Interest Group
    • Urban Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group
    • Women in Screen History Scholarly Interest Group
  • Who may join a SIG?

    Any member of the Society who is in good standing may join a SIG.

  • How does an SCMS member go about joining a SIG?

    Log in to the website, select the scholarly interest group’s group page and then select the Join Group link at the top of the group page.

  • How many SIGs may an SCMS member join?

    An SCMS member may join as many SIGs as s/he desires. There is no limit.

  • May SIG members also be members of Caucuses?

    Absolutely

  • How many members must each SIG have to remain active?

    Twenty-five.

  • What is the leadership structure for the SIGs?

    Each Scholarly Interest Group elects Co-Chairs who serve staggered terms of three years each.

  • How much funding is allotted to each SIG annually, and for what can those funds be used?

    Scholarly Interest Groups are granted $500.00 each year. These funds may be used to cover travel expenses for invited speakers at the group’s annual meeting or at screenings accepted as part of the conference, exhibit tables for the conference, receptions, etc. If unexpended, these funds revert to the general SCMS fund at the end of each fiscal year.

  • What responsibilities does a SIG have to the SCMS Board of Directors?

    1. Each SIG is responsible for developing its own mission statement and by-laws and submitting them to the Home Office.
    2. Each SIG must submit to the Board an annual report of its activities at least two weeks prior to the spring Board meeting. If substantial activity and/or changes in leadership occurwithin the SIG after the Board’s spring meeting, the SIG should submit an interim report to the Board prior to its fall meeting.
    3. Each Scholarly Interest Group must submit a request to the Program Committee for conference time and space to meet at the annual meeting.
    4. Each Scholarly Interest Group should submit recommendations of screenings for the annual meeting to the Screening Committee.
    5. Each Scholarly Interest Group should submit to the Home Office recommendations for sponsored panels and/or workshops following the notification of acceptances/rejections and prior to the publication of the conference program.
    6. Each Scholarly Interest Group is responsible for working with the Board to develop and maintain its web pages within the larger SCMS website.
  • What is the process by which new SIGs are formed?

    Those SCMS members desiring to form a new Scholarly Interest Group must submit to the SCSM Board of Directors a mission statement, a list of its potential members (at least 25), and a copy of its bylaws. The Board of Directors may approve or deny the formation of a Scholarly Interest Group.

Archives

  • What are the SCMS Archives?

    SCMS, as an established scholarly association, maintains records of its meetings, conferences, publications, and other activities since its original formation as the Society of Cinematologists (1959-1969) through its incarnation as the Society for Cinema Studies (1969-2002).

  • How can I access the SCMS Archives?

    These records are archived at the Stanford University Archive. A finding aid is available and interested scholars should visit the Stanford University Archive website for more information about accessing the collection: https://library.stanford.edu/spc

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