Information, GSA Virtual Conference 2020 (update 10/5, incl. Zoom video info)

10/6/2020 update

**Registered conference attendees may now watch those sessions that were recorded by clicking on the title of the session in the program. The technical problem has been resolved, and the site will be available for appromixately a month after the conference.**

***CLICK HERE FOR THE GSA VIRTUAL CONFERENCE LINK: *GSA Virtual Conference*. This website is available to registered attendees only.***



We look forward to welcoming you to the GSA Virtual Conference 2020, Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 11am-4pm Eastern Time.

  • You can find a PDF of the schedule *here* (as of 9/28/2020). Note that you cannot search for individual paper titles on OpenWater at this time (only panel titles and by name), so keep the PDF open in a tab to search by title.
  • Conference Link: *GSA Virtual Conference*. This website is available to registered attendees only.
  • You can register for the conference here.
  • Community Fund: If you are a Community Fund recipient,  you can log in to the conference website using your GSA ID and password. You can donate to the fund *here* and help someone attend the conference, and information for applying for the funds can be found *here*.

We will update this page regularly. If you have a question that is not answered here or on the FAQ page, feel free to contact Executive Director David Barclay ( or Operations Director Benita Blessing ( 

Known technical issues (check here for known issues and status reports)

  • 10/2: The first person in the "room" must let all others enters through the waiting room, including all other hosts. Most panels have more than one host/co-host; once the first person enters the Zoom room, others cannot let themselves in early. (Click on the "participants" icon at the bottom of the screen and you'll see who is in the waiting room.) If you are locked out of your room, you can click the blue icon at the bottom right of your screen to request access or you can email the Operations Director. 
  • 9/28: Currently, individual paper titles cannot be searched in OpenWater (session title or name work). We will link in an updated panel to the conference that you can use to cross-reference.
  • 9/25: Some users have reported an error message when logging in to the Virtual Conference website.
    • In some cases, this is resolved when members use their GSA login ID (and not the email address, unless that is the same as the user ID).
    • If you reset your password through the OpenWater system, do not change that password again - use it throughout the conference. Others still report error messages, and IT at OpenWater is working on resolving those problems. When we have more information, we'll post it here on the next business day. Sometimes switching the browser solves the problem.

Session information, **Zoom** (please check back for updates)

  • Zoom update: You can use the web version of Zoom for the conference, but the application offers better connectivity. Consider upgrading to the most recent version if you already have the app. Directions with images here: *Zoom, OpenWater, and GSA*
  • How to: You can find informational videos for tips on how to present on Zoom under "Guides" on the OpenWater website linked above. (Note that for logistical, technical, and financial reasons we are offering live sessions and live playback during the session for prerecordings only. Recorded sessions will not be available before the session.) Further information will be provided in this space.
  • Recording: Most sessions will be recorded and available for approx. 30 days after the conference for registered conference attendees. Registered attendees must verify that they consent (or do not) to their session being recorded during the registration process. The moderator will ask for verification of consent at the beginning of the session. If the session is recorded by accident, just email the Operations Director ( and request that it be deleted.
  • Pre-recording videos or uploading slides You can share your screen during the session (the host can activate that function) and/or upload them. *Directions for pre-recording/uploading videos/slides*
  • Zoom Moderators (or in some cases commentators) will serve as Zoom hosts. Moderators will be provided login information and a "script" before the conference, with tips such as reminding everyone to turn off their microphone when not speaking and how to push someone out of a room should that become necessary. Although we do not anticipate any troublemakers, as at all our conferences, we do occasionally have unwelcome guests. Despite all our best security efforts, in person and now virtually, there can be security breaches. You can find directions for the Zoom moderator and a checklist to begin the session here.
  • Technical support during the conference is available within 1-2 minutes under "support" on the OpenWater website menu or you can click on the "help" widget on your screen. We will also have a GSA "drop in" information desk available.

Session information, general (please check back for updates)

  • Only registered individuals may attend the conference. It is not possible to share the link with anyone; you will use your GSA memberships credentials to sign on. 
  • Like a more traditional in-person conference, the registration fee is the same for those who are presenting and those who are not. Your registration helps defray the costs of this conference, and includes opportunities to attend more than 175 sessions, Interdisciplinary Network events, Special Events (such as Arts Night, a film screening hosted by the DEFA Film Library, a book launch, and our first-ever virtual GSA Cocktail Hour), meeting new members at the new member session, and a stroll through our exhibitors' gallery of over 20 publishers and partner organizations. Registered attendees also have access to the recorded sessions for 30 days after conference end.
  • There is no special Zoom link that you need to worry about. Once the conference begins, registered attendees can click on the session that want to go into. Moderators of the session (who are usually the Zoom hosts) will be able to enter 15 minutes in advance of the session and there is waiting room and that person can let in panelists who want to check their mics, etc. At the beginning of the session (and during it) registered attendees can just click on the session and will automatically be admitted.
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Special events and other sessions


  • If you are a registered exhibitor and have not already done so, please send contact information (name, mailing addresss, and email) for members of your organization to attend to Operations Director Dr. Benita Blessing (