ISGS: International Society for Gesture Studies

Minutes of the 8th conference of the ISGS in Cape Town, 2018

ISGS General Assembly
Saturday 7th July 2018, at 18:00
in the VOC North Room
The Southern Cape Sun Hotel



1. Welcome and President’s report (Spencer Kelly)

The President welcomed the members who were present in the meeting and outlined his main activities for the Society since the last meeting. These included arranging candidates for the Public Relations position, seeking a host for the next ISGS conference, supporting the local organizers of the Cape Town conference, and emphasizing the importance of supporting ISGS by paying membership dues.

2. Election of the Public Relations Officer

The President introduced the PR Officer candidates, Jana Bressem and Gerardo Ortega, to the General Assembly. The PR Officer is responsible for maintaining and updating the website, as well as public outreach through Twitter and other social networks. Candidates introduced themselves briefly and voting was conducted by anonymous paper ballots. Jana Bressem won the election.

3. Report from the Treasurer (Kensy Cooperrider)

The following membership numbers were reported:

The following overview of the budget was reported (in US dollars):

  Credit Amount Debit Amount
Balance after ISGS 2016 in Paris $23,033.91  
Membership dues (8/17-07/18) $12,604.51  
Payments to Benjamins for journal subscriptions (to date)   $1316.19
Funding for ISGS8 student travel   $7,0000.00
Advances for ISGS8 organization   $1539.66
Expenses (website)   $500.82
TOTAL $45,963.31 $22,929.40
Current Balance $25,732.30  

4. Report from the Editor of Gesture (Sotaro Kita)

The Editor reported that he has actively been the editor since May 2017. The previous journal editor Adam Kendon continued to handle the papers submitted before that date. The Editor informed the members about the changes in the journal. He announced two new associate editors: Olivier Le Guen and Susan Wagner Cook. Another change in the journal is the submission system. The submission is electronic now ( The Editor mentioned the new rule that all stimuli, coding, and coding manuals must be public for empirical studies. These new guidelines reflect a commitment to Open Science (

The Editor also reported the submission numbers. Since May 2017, there were 35 submissions to the journal. Out of these submissions, 2 papers were accepted, 8 of them were sent for revision, 5 of them are currently under review, and 20 of them got rejected. The Editor mentioned that the submissions were not sufficient and the journal needs more submissions. He also invited the members to consider submitting their next papers to the Gesture journal.

The group also discussed a possible Public Relations Officer for the journal. Another discussion point was the Book Series. Adam Kendon continues to edit the Book Series. There was a point about the importance of having a book series that makes the field visible and creates a space for people in the field.

5. Announcement of the next ISGS Conference (Spencer Kelly)

The President announced that Chicago is the official host for the ISGS9 conference. A tentative proposal from Chicago to host an ISGS conference for 2020 was first discussed at ISGS7 in Paris. He also announced the organizing committee as Susan Goldin-Meadow, Breckie Church, Martha Alibali, and Daniel Casasanto. At least some part of the conference can be planned at the University of Chicago. The group discussed that it would be better to have the meeting towards end-July for academics in some countries (e.g., Germany).

6. New ideas (Spencer Kelly)

The President proposed two new ideas. The first one is having International Chapters and Delegates in different continents as a way to create unity among gesture researchers all over the world. The hope is that chapter delegates will organize workshops and mini-conferences in the ISGS off year. Heather Brookes has volunteered to organize and run the ISGS Africa chapter. The President invited others to contact the ISGS Board to discuss other possible chapters.

The second idea was presenting two new awards: An Early Career Award and a Distinguished Career Award (lifetime achievement). The Board also proposed that Early Career Award Researcher can have a mini presentation at the ISGS Conference. These awards can honor people who have significant contributions to the gesture work. The members suggested that the President can approach Benjamins to sponsor the award.

After discussing these two new ideas, the President opened the floor for further suggestions from the group:

- One suggestion was to create new formats in the next ISGS such as a shared data session or debates.

- Another suggestion was to encourage initiating satellite training workshops, tutorials, and/or summer school before or after the conference. There can also be a session with preregistered reports or a special session to promote open science research.

- Another point was having industry engagement. The group discussed that there might be opportunities to create a network with industry. It was suggested that we have a panel at the next conference to discuss various career paths (industry, R1 university, and Liberal Arts college).

- It was pointed out that we need to update our code of conduct and have a procedure for how to submit grievances.

- Finally, there was a proposal that ISGS Board members who have served three terms but have not served on the Board for 10 years can have their service reset. One idea is that they could be eligible to serve in a different position than the ones they had be in prior.

The meeting was adjourned at 19:00.

Notes by Aliyah Morgenstern, ISGS Vice President, standing in for the Secretary General. Documented by Tilbe Goksün, the Secretary General. Submitted on 28 July 2016.