1st PoSoCoMeS – MSA Working Group conference (21 September – 1 October 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that is not covered in this list, please e-mail PoSoCoMeS.

1. Where will the conference take place? Will there be any local events in Chișinău?

The conference will take place exclusively online. Even after the move to an online format we were hoping to organise a number of events locally despite the pandemic, but the hygiene and distancing rules currently in place in Moldova are making that impossible. However, please do check out the Moldova section of our website for specially produced online excursions, an overview of Moldovan memory debates and a list of conference events related to Moldova or Romania.

2. What is the conference language?

The conference language is English, without exception. Please note:

  • The Soviet Garden, the documentary screened on 21 September, is in Romanian and Russian with English subtitles, and the introduction by and discussion with director Dragoş Turea will be in English
  • Kulshat Medeuova’s plenary lecture on 22 September will be streamed in Russian (with English subtitles), followed by a discussion in English
  • Unlike previously announced, the discussion on Nikolay Epplée’s Russian-language The Uncomfortable Past on 24 September will also take place in English.

3. What are the dates of the conference?

The conference will run over two weeks, four days a week (Monday through Thursday): 21 September to 24 September and 28 September to 1 October.

4. Why is the conference so long?

One of the few advantages of switching to a purely online format is that sessions and lectures can be spread out so that no two events clash with each other. We want to give you an opportunity to participate in all the sessions you are interested in without having to choose.

5. Only one hour for four papers? Isn’t that too short?

No paper presentations will take place during the conference sessions. All the presentation videos will be uploaded in advance and you should watch them beforehand. Unlike plenary events such as lectures, discussions and the film screening, the purpose of the live online conference panels that make up the bulk of the programme is to discuss papers that have already been presented. There is one discussant per session, but of course the presenters and everyone else who joins the discussions will also have time to participate.

6. Are all the presentations, conference sessions and other events public?

No. Some presenters are happy to make their presentation videos public, and those will be available through the PoSoCoMeS YouTube channel. Some of the plenary events and conference panels are also public and you will be able to access the Zoom registration links through our website without registering. However, many presenters have decided to restrict their videos to conference participants only, and some of the conference panels and plenary events are also restricted to registered participants. In the online programme, public events are marked 🟢. For information on how to register and access the restricted parts of the website, see below. Please also note that restricted presentations will no longer be available to view after the conference, even if you are a registered participant.

7. Do I need to register for specific sessions?

Yes, you do. Here is how:

  1. Find the event in the online programme.

  2. Check if the event is public (🟢) or restricted. If it is restricted, make sure you are a registered conference participant (see the next section) and are logged in.

  3. Click on the panel title in the programme to go to the registration page for that event and follow the instructions. Once registered for the event, you will receive a Zoom invitation link. At the start of the event itself, use that link to join the conversation. Please note that, unless you are a panelist or discussant, you will not be visible or audible to others. However, you will be able to ask questions or post comments using the Q&A function at the bottom of your screen, and in smaller panels moderators might choose to turn on your video and microphone so you can ask your question ‘in person’.

  4. Note that there is also an embedded Google calendar at the bottom of the page that allows you to import events automatically into your own calendar. When doing so, please double check whether the entry adjusts to your time zone: keep in mind that all times are given in Eastern European Time. Instead of using the Google calendar you can also register for the Zoom sessions (see the previous paragraph) and then let Zoom import them into your calendar.

8. What software do you use for the conference session? Do I need to download anything?

We will use Zoom for all conference sessions. You do not need to download the Zoom software to participate as you can use the Zoom browser interface. However, note that more functions might be available if you do download and install the (free) software. There is no need to sign up for a paid account.

In the event of a Zoom outage, we will use Google Meet as an alternative. (This is only if Zoom is down worldwide or very widely, not if an individual participant is experiencing difficulties with Zoom.) If that happens, please check your e-mail inbox: the session moderator will have a list of participants who registered for the session and will send invitations to a Google Meet session to their e-mail addresses. In that case we will also add the Google Meet link to the entry for this event in the online calendar . Please note that you need a Google account in order to participate in a Google Meet session. You do not need to download and install any software.

9. Where can I follow the conference on social media?

On Twitter, Facebook (our account and the event) and YouTube.

10. Will I be able to watch recordings of the conference presentations and sessions later?

Restricted presentation videos will no longer be available to view after the conference, even if you are a registered participant. Likewise, restricted conference sessions will not be made available after the event (though some of them may be recorded and archived). Public presentations will remain available on our YouTube channel unless the presenters specifically ask us to take them down. All public events, including most plenary lectures and discussions, will be recorded and uploaded to our YouTube channel.

11. Will the conference be documented in writing?

A conference report will be published in the PoSoCoMeS newsletter. If you are planning to write a conference report for a different publication, we would be grateful if you let us know. If you are interested in writing such a report (in any language) but do not have a publication venue yet, get in touch and we will put you in contact with editors.

1. Do I need to be a member of the MSA to register?

If you are a presenter or discussant at the conference, please register using the e-mail address you used to submit your paper and we will approve you. (See question no. 4 below for instructions on how to register and access the restricted section of the website.)

Having said that, PoSoCoMeS is a working group of the Memory Studies Association. If you are not yet a member of the MSA, we strongly encourage you to join. Membership is handled directly by the MSA, not by our group. Please go to the MSA website to sign up or renew your membership, and e-mail the MSA if you run into any trouble. If you are in a low-income country (especially Moldova) or can’t afford the membership fee for any other reason, please write to the MSA explaining your situation and asking for a fee waiver. The Association has been lenient in such situations in the past. However, please do not abuse that system: the MSA cannot survive without fee-paying members.

Conversely, all MSA members in good standing can join the conference even if they are not presenters. In order to do so, please make sure your e-mail address is displayed in the members-only directory (you need to be logged into your MSA account for this). Then use that e-mail address to register for the PoSoCoMeS website and we will approve you.

2. Can I attend the conference if I’m not a presenter or discussant?

Yes, you can – as long as you are a member of the MSA. See the answer to the previous question for information on how to join.

3. Is there an additional conference registration fee?

No. Participation in the conference itself is free.

4. As a presenter, discussant or MSA member, how do I register for the conference?

  1. (If using a smartphone, click on the ≡ menu symbol above.)

  2. At the top of the screen you are seeing right now, press the Log In button (red text on a grey background).

  3. Make sure you use either the e-mail address from which you submitted your conference paper or the address displayed in the MSA members’ directory.

  4. You can also use a Google or Facebook account to register. In that case, make sure your account is linked to the e-mail address you used to submit to the conference or the account displayed in the MSA members’ directory.

  5. If you use the correct e-mail address, we will approve your registration. This might take up to 24 hours, so please don’t register just before an event you would like to participate in.

  6. Once approved, if you experience any problems opening restricted parts of the website, please write to us describing the problem and mentioning the email address displayed in your profile.

1. May I change the title of my presentation and/or my affiliation?

Only until you send us the presentation video. Afterwards it will be sent for editing and we will add a title screen with the presentation title and affiliation we have on file for you. So please make sure the information in the online programme is correct before sending your video.

2. How do I make changes to the programme if my personal information is wrong?

To make any changes you need to email your session moderator ASAP.

3. How do I record my video? What are the length limitations? Should I use a title screen? What language should I use?

For detailed video recording instructions, please refer to the document that you have received from your session moderator. Videos should be no longer than 20 minutes; if your video is longer you will have to cut or re-record it. There is no need to use a title screen or to mention your name or the title of the presentation as we will add these details in a standardised format before uploading. All presentations should be in English only.

4. What if I missed the deadline to submit my presentation video?

Contact your session moderator to make arrangements.

5. Where will my presentation video be uploaded?

If you told us that you would like to make your video publicly available, it will be uploaded to the PoSoCoMeS YouTube channel. If you opted for restricting access to conference participants, it will be hosted elsewhere and will only be viewable as an embedded video in the restricted part of our website. In this case the video will no longer be available after the conference.

6. How do I restrict access to my presentation video? If I do so, who will be able to watch it?

If you would like to restrict access, please let us know when you send us your video presentation (not later: public and restricted videos are hosted on different platforms and moving them around would take a lot of time and effort). If you do opt for restricted access, the only people who will be able to view your video are registered conference participants and MSA members, and only until the end of the conference.

7. As a panelist, do I need to register for my own panel?

Your session moderator will register you. You should receive a Zoom invitation link. If you have not received such a link by 14 September, please e-mail your session moderator.

8. Are there opportunities to publish conference papers?

If you are presenting a paper and are interested in publishing it, let us know and we will suggest a list of journals. Likewise, if you are an editor of a peer-reviewed scholarly journal interested in publishing papers from the conference, feel free to contact us. Offers from predatory journals or spammers will be ignored and possibly reported.

9. I’m feeling overwhelmed!

So are we. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine! And we’re here to help.