In 2010, Screen Studies Association of Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand (SSAAANZ) sprang up in response to the (then) current position of screen studies programs and film and television studies research and scholarship in Australian and New Zealand universities.
A response to academic pressures
We formed in the face of academic pressures emerging from:
- Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) ranking of journals.
- The mandate by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to develop national discipline specific learning outcomes within Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA).
- The rationalisation of teaching divisions and organisational units in universities.
In addition, the re-emergence of Communications and a push towards strengthening research in universities have each impacted on screen studies programs and research in ways that are not always advantageous for the future of scholarly work in the field.
We identified a need for an international conference
The lack of a professional association meant that screen studies scholars in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand did not have an annual discipline-based conference. This limited the possibilities of screen studies scholars sharing (and promoting) their research. It reduced opportunities to establish research networks. It also meant our screen studies community lacked a discipline-based forum to discuss issues in and resource implications for curriculum and program design.
Ability to provide national and international advocacy and promotion for Screen Studies
As a professional organisation, SSAAANZ argues for the importance of the discipline at a national level. We also play a role in arguing for the value of particular research methodologies, the development and upkeep of research archives, and the recognition (and funding) of journals.