The cloisters with lighting

CFF Code of Conduct

Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic

Code of Conduct

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow organises and supports an ample portfolio of research, knowledge exchange, and educational activities. It therefore strives to ensure that all of its events and activities remain an inclusive and diverse space for scholars, students, the wider community of fantasy and the fantastic (creatives, performers, and fans), and the general public.

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic’s Code of Conduct (COC) consists of the following sections:

  • Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Anti-Racism Statement
  • Equality, Diversity, and Accessibility Policy
  • Reporting Bullying, Discrimination, and Harassment Procedure
  • Netiquette for online events

This Code helps the Centre achieve its goal to enable and guide safe relationships between Members of the Centre and Attendees at its activities and events while at the same time discouraging anti-social behaviour and discrimination. With that in mind, please take a moment to review our Code of Conduct.

This Code applies to all interactions between Members of the Centre and Attendees at all our activities and events whether in person or online. Members of the Centre include the Centre’s Core Team, our fellow Research members, Officers, students registered on or attending courses from the University of Glasgow’s MLitt in Fantasy Literature, as well doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers that form part of our research cohort. Attendees include Organizing Committees, Speakers, Volunteers, and the Audience at our public engagement events, as well as all those otherwise participating in them. Activities and events include in person and online conferences, master classes, meetings, lectures, panels, presentations, symposia, and workshops (this list is not exhaustive).

As the Centre is based at the University of Glasgow, this Code abides by the principles laid out in the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy, as well as its Dignity at Work Policy and Procedure and its Accessible Events Policy. We also expect those working at the University of Glasgow interacting with Members of the Centre and Attendees at our activities and events to act and to be treated in line with the principles of this Code of Conduct as well as the University of Glasgow’s policies.

In addition, we are also bound by the Equality Act 2010.

The Code is a living document and we expect it to change over time to reflect the changes in mind-set, attitudes, and priorities in and beyond academia as well as the wider fantasy and fantastic community. We welcome feedback and suggestions for improvement, so please feel free to contact us at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk.

If you would like to report potential violations of this Code of Conduct, please do not hesitate in contacting our Equality and Diversity Officer at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk. Our Officer can escalate issues appropriately with University authorities, discuss them in a totally confidential manner, and/or act as a mediator, according to the wishes of the person raising the issue.

Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy

Everyone involved with Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow is expected to treat its Members, its Attendees, venue staff, and the various communities associated with the Centre with dignity and respect.

As the Centre operates within the umbrella of the University of Glasgow, we are bound by the University’s Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour. This code not only defines what the University (as our base institution) and therefore the Centre consider as unacceptable behaviour, but also delineates how the University seeks to ensure fair and honest treatment across University interactions as well as the welfare and safety of those participating in University activities and events.

According to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS), harassment and bullying can be defined as followed:

  • Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
  • Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is dedicated to facilitating a space free from harassment, bullying, and discrimination for all Members and Attendees, regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, gender identity and expression, nationality, neurodiversity, physical ability or appearance, race, religion, sexual identity or sexual orientation, or fiction/fandom preferences (this list is not exhaustive).

We do not tolerate harassment of Centre Members or Attendees in any form. Behaviour that will be considered harassment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Intimidation and/or stalking, either virtual or in person
  • Unwelcome physical contact, including the use of inappropriate and/or aggressive gestures
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Comments intended to belittle, offend, or cause discomfort, including those in writing
  • Misgendering or deadnaming
  • Photographing or videoing Members and Attendees at our activities and events without their consent
  • Persistent interruption of others and/or sustained disruption of activities and events related to the Centre
  • Sexually graphic or otherwise inappropriate images during in person or online activities and events (e.g. zoombombing) related to the Centre
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

It should be noted that engaging in any of the behaviours above under the guise of “banter” is not an excuse for bullying or harassing behaviour.

Unacceptable Behaviour at Events or Activities

In line with University policies, especially articles 37.4.1-37.4.10 of the Code of Practice on Unacceptable Behaviour, the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow will deal with unacceptable behaviour depending on its nature and extent. This may range from:

  • Asking Centre Members and/or Attendees to modify their behaviour
  • Restricting contact with Centre Members and/or Attendees, including banning them from Centre-related activities. These restrictions may be relaxed and normal relations re-instated depending on the gravity of the situation, if the conditions imposed are met, and if an agreement is reached amongst all parties
  • Contacting University of Glasgow authorities if Centre Members and/or Attendees involved in Code of Conduct breaches are also affiliated to the University of Glasgow
  • Contacting the home University/HEI authorities of Attendees if those involved in Code of Conduct breaches belong to another University or Higher Education Institution

Here is a list of examples as to how the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic will address certain Code of Conduct breaches. This list is not exhaustive and may not necessarily reflect all the nuances of real situations. However, we offer it as a guide so that Centre Members and Attendees know what to expect from the Centre in general and the Centre’s Diversity and Equality Officer in particular.

  • Where abusive language – either written or spoken – is used in online or in person interactions within the framework of Centre events and/or activities, the person concerned will be asked to modify their language. Failure to comply with this request may lead the Centre to end personal communication with the individual concerned and require future communication to take place through a third party. If the individual concerned is a student or a member of staff at the University of Glasgow, then the University will be notified of the situation. If the individual concerned is a student or member of staff at another University or HEI, their home institution may be notified of the situation
  • Persistent sending of email messages in the form of spamming will result in the Centre blocking emails from the account of origin. If the account belongs to either a student or a member of staff at the University of Glasgow, University authorities will be informed
  • Centre Members and those working in any capacity for and with the Centre have a right to an environment free from harassment, unreasonable demands, and/or undue persistence that adversely affect their ability to carry out their duties and provide a fair service to all Centre Attendees. Should this happen, the Centre may decide to restrict contact to certain days/times and with a nominated person, or to restrict communication through a third party
  • Where violent behaviour is actual or threatened during in person activities and events, the Centre will contact University authorities, which may include Campus Security, who in turn may deem it necessary to contact local law enforcement. Henceforth, any personal contact with those who have engaged in violent behaviour during Centre activities or events will cease and they will be prohibited from participating in or attending any future events, both online and in person. If those concerned and/or those affected are students and/or staff from the University of Glasgow, then procedures will follow University guidelines. If those concerned are students and/or staff from another University/HEI, their home institution will be notified.

 


Anti-Racism Statement

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow is committed to supporting the fight against all forms of racist oppression, including racist prejudice, bias, the expression of privilege based on racial arguments, as well as racial discrimination, aggressions, and microaggressions. This applies to all of the Centre’s research, knowledge exchange, and educational events and activities, as well as things said to and about Members and Attendees at our activities and events. At the same time, the Centre seeks to contribute to the efforts being made to decolonize academic research in fantasy, the fantastic, and the wider fantasy community.

As an institution originated within the University of Glasgow, the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is aware of the implications of its home institution being a Scottish University with historic ties to slavery and Empire. At the same time, the Centre takes to heart the university’s major new report “Understanding Racism, Transforming University Cultures” and its corresponding action plan. This document is an investigation prompted by a study from the Equality and Human Rights Commission into racial harassment faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students and staff in UK universities. Consequently, the Centre is and will continue to be a space to reflect on and redress the structural disadvantages identified by this report, as well as work towards the achievement of racial justice and equality.

The Centre seeks to ensure that no one is talked over, ignored, or dismissed at any of its events or activities. The Centre is committed to making its events and activities as accessible as possible to people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Problems Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) academics and members of the wider fantasy community and the general public often include, but are not limited to:

  • Having their academic and lived experiences dismissed
  • Being expected to be an authority on non-white characters as well as foreign countries, cultures, and languages portrayed or referenced to in fantasy and the fantastic
  • Being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed
  • A presumption that BIPOC do not belong in Fantasy and/or fantastic fiction, research, and/or fandom and therefore should not be centred in storytelling
  • The use of Social Justice Warrior or SJW as a pejorative term meant to demean or belittle the idea of diversity and inclusion in academia, fiction, or fandom
  • The use of social media to target BIPOC and allies for harassment and abuse as an outgrowth of their participation in committees, panels, discussions, workshops, or when commenting on their participation in fandom
  • Being targeted in person or through social media with acts of aggression, harassment, or retribution for calling out harassers and abusive behaviour

This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated at any of the Centre’s activities or events and will be treated according to the Centre’s Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy.

For full disclosure, this statement on racism was elaborated by a Person of Colour. However, anyone with personal experience with racism is welcome to share suggestions and/or criticisms of this Code of Conduct at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk.


Equality, Diversity, and Accessibility Policy

As partly delineated by previous policies and statements included in this code, the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow is focused on making equality, diversity, and accessibility key principles of all its in person and online activities and events. In order to reach this goal, the Centre abides by the University of Glasgow’s strategy Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion into conferences and events.

Diversity and Equality

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic makes efforts to secure a wide diversity of both Members across the University of Glasgow and of Attendees – including Organising Committees, Speakers, and Volunteers – at its events and activities. This means diversity in aspects such as academic background, age, country of origin, and native language (this list is not exhaustive). Examples of this include:

  • Advertising Centre activities and events across different international platforms and channels, as well as in different languages
  • Striving to include costs for translators and interpreters in funded activities and events
  • Accommodating activities and events according to different time zones
  • Facilitating schedules and subtitled video recordings for Members and Attendees with disabilities and/or unable to participate during specific timeframes due to personal commitments such as care duties or otherwise
Accessibility and Equality

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is working to be as accessible as possible to all needs, including but not limited to:

  • Deafness/hearing impairment
  • Blindness/vision impairment
  • Mental health, including PTSD and anxiety
  • Crowd sensitivities
  • Neurodiversity, including Autism, ADHD, and Down’s Syndrome
  • Mobility aid users, including wheelchairs, mobile scooters, and crutches
  • Recent injury or surgery
  • Chronic pain, fatigue, or other long-term physical impairments
  • Late-term or complicated pregnancy

For this reason, the activities and events hosted by the Centre follow the University of Glasgow’s Accessible Events Policy in conjunction with the University’s Accessible Events Checklist.

Everyone can help

We believe every Member of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic and every Attendee at Centre activities and events can contribute to making the Centre a safe and welcoming environment. Whether you are a Member or an Attendee participating as a Volunteer, Speaker, or a member of the Audience, please consider the following:

Conferences, Panels, and Workshops

If you are a Speaker at any of the Centre’s activities or events, you will be given specific guidelines and these will be made public. Guidelines will include requests to:

  • Keep your mouth visible when speaking for those who lip-read
  • Please use the microphones provided during in person activities and events
  • If online events or activities take place on Zoom, the Host may enable Closed captioning or live transcription of the event

For presentations with PowerPoint slides, please consider the following:

  • If your slides include text, please try to use it sparingly and in bold, large, and sans-serif fonts in contrasting colours. If possible, please read the text of your slides out loud during your presentation
  • Please avoid red or green to either highlight or emphasise anything on your slides
  • If you are Speaking at an online session, please enable the subtitling function for your slides. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the Microsoft Support website Present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint
  • Please avoid dark backgrounds with light-coloured text. These can be tiring on the eyes as well as difficult to navigate for accessibility devices such as screen readers. One alternative is to use the templates provided by PowerPoint, as they are pre-approved for screen readers and other accessibility devices
  • If your slides include images, please incorporate alt text (a brief one or two sentence description to accompany the image) or verbally describe the image during the presentation. This is extremely important both for Members and Attendees with visual impairments and neurodiverse Members and Attendees

If your presentation includes PowerPoint slides or any other document created with a Microsoft Office program, we encourage you to use the Accessibility Checker.

 

For online and in person events:

  • If you would like to make your presentation available in advance as a means to make it more accessible for Members and Attendees, please contact the Centre Event or Activity Organisers
  • Please let the Event or Activity Organisers from the Centre know if you plan to use any flashing images or strobes so that Attendees can be advised in advance.
  • Please issue trigger warnings if your presentation, paper, or workshop includes or refers to sensitive material or subjects.

 

How can I help at events and/or activities organised by the Centre of Fantasy and the Fantastic?

  • Read and follow this Code of Conduct
  • Be collegiate and supportive of others: if you see someone who looks like they need help or encounter a situation which you believe requires attention, please engage a Centre Officer, Organiser, or Volunteer if you feel OK doing so
  • Ask first: the easiest way to avoid issues is to check before doing something
  • Remember that Centre Members and Attendees at Centre activities and events come from all over the world; cross-cultural misunderstanding can easily happen, so consider this in your humour and interactions, both online and in person
Privacy

Centre Members and Attendees may have disabilities and illnesses, both visible and invisible. We ask you to respect their privacy and not to discuss or ask questions about their conditions unless expressly permitted to do so.

Let Us Know if Something Is Wrong

If you see that something is causing a problem, let Centre Officers, Organisers, or Volunteers know, and we will take care of it to the best of our ability as quickly as we can. If you spot an issue that we have overlooked and know how to fix it, please tell us. We are happy to help!

We are continually reviewing and updating this policy, so if you have any comments, suggestions, requests, or if you would like to volunteer to make our activities and events more accessible, please contact us via email at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk.


Reporting Bullying, Discrimination, and Harassment

As delineated by previous elements of this Code of Conduct, the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic takes incidents of bullying, discrimination, and harassment, as well as reports on Code of Conduct breaches, very seriously. The Centre will help in any way possible to make sure that these incidents are dealt with promptly and that those who file reports are not victimised.

Because the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic operates according to University of Glasgow policies, the Centre, through its Equality and Diversity Officer, can aid those wishing to raise a complaint depending on the preferred outcome of those affected and the severity of the incident. Centre Members and Attendees who wish to report an incident during in person or online events and activities can either:

  • Contact the University directly and log a formal complaint. This is done through the University of Glasgow’s Complaints Handling Procedure
  • Contact the Centre’s Equality and Diversity Officer to make an informal complaint. The Centre’s Equality and Diversity Office will act as a mediator and seek out alternatives to resolve the incident according to the wished outcome of those affected. If this does not resolve their concerns or the Centre considers that the incident is too serious to be resolved informally, then it will advise those affected to lodge a formal complaint with the University through its Complaints Handling Procedure

A useful guide as to how affected parties may contact the University of Glasgow to raise concerns or report an incident can be found under the University’s Procedures. According to University legislation, the Procedure used depends, first, on the nature of the issue raised. Second, different Procedures exist according to the role of those raising concerns: students, former students, or staff at the University of Glasgow; or visitors and local residents.

Students and Staff at the University of Glasgow
Visitors at an event set or promoted by the University of Glasgow

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic is aware that its activities and events bring together members from the wider community of fantasy and the fantastic, including academia and fandom, under the umbrella of the University of Glasgow. It is therefore possible that misunderstandings and conflicts may arise between individuals who are not based at our university and as such may not be bound by University policies. If this is the case, the Centre’s Equality and Diversity Officer can accompany those affected and upon their request, make efforts to contact University authorities for advice as well as the institutions of the Attendees involved in the matter.

Informal complaints

Before Centre activities and events: You can report violations of the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic’s Code of Conduct via email at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk. Our Equality and Diversity Officer will continuously monitor this address.

At and after Centre activities and events: If someone has bullied, discriminated, harassed you, breached this Code of Conduct in any way, or if you have witnessed or become aware that an incident or a Code of Conduct breach has taken place during the Centre’s activities and/or events, please ask that person or persons to stop – as long as it is safe to do so and if you feel comfortable enough to make the request. To help us identify patterns of behaviour, we would be grateful if you would also report the harassment as set out below.

If you do not want to speak to the person(s) directly, or if you engage with them and the Code of Conduct breach does not stop, please report the issue as soon as possible to either Centre Officers, Organizers, or Volunteers. Alternatively, you can report by email at arts-fantasy@glasgow.ac.uk. Our Equality and Diversity Officer will continuously monitor this address.

Bullying, discrimination, harassment, and other Code of Conduct violations reduce the value of Centre events and activities for everyone – we want you to enjoy everything the Centre has to offer, so please do speak to us if needed.

What will happen if you make a report?

When taking an in person report during or after any of our activities or events, Officers, Organizers, and/or Volunteers will first ensure that you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff to make sure your report is managed properly. Once you are safe, we will ask you to tell us about what happened, and what you would like to happen next. We understand this can be upsetting, but we will handle it as respectfully as possible and try to support you. You can also bring another person to support you if you wish.

If you submit a report by email, the Equality and Diversity Officer will respond to you as quickly as possible, and proceed at their discretion, based on the content, context, and wishes expressed in your email.

However you choose to report an issue, you will not be asked to confront anyone, and the Centre will do its best to protect your identity. Details of your complaint will only be disclosed to the team who is dealing with it. We will keep you advised of the progress we are making in handling the issue, and of any action we decide to take. We will take into account your views when deciding on that action.

However, please be aware that if the incident is not resolved, if you report a serious criminal matter, or the Centre believes that you or someone else may be in danger, it might need to contact the police. If so, we would take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.

The Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic has the right to take any actions needed to keep the Centre along with its activities and events a welcoming environment for all Members and Attendees. As previously stated in our Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy, measures taken may include warning those concerned, mediating solutions between affected parties, or taking any other action the Centre considers necessary, up to and including expulsion from events and activities at our discretion and contacting University and/or civil authorities.

If during in person activities or events you wish to take further steps following your report and the Centre’s response, the Centre will be happy to help you contact University authorities – which may include Campus Security – or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the run-up to and duration of our activities and events. Above all, we want you to feel valued, safe, and included!


Netiquette for Online Events

  1. This Netiquette complies with the guidelines set out by Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic’s Code of Conduct
  2. The Centre acknowledges concerns regarding the circulation of recorded talks or written papers online. Speakers and Attendees will be asked for their permission to be recorded during any of the Centre’s online activities or events prior to such recording taking place
  3. Speakers may choose to upload their paper or presentation to the platform of their choice and provide a URL link to be made available to Attendees. Alternatively, they can provide the Centre Organisers with a version of their presentation in advance for accessibility purposes
  4. We are aware that platforms such as Zoom are not available globally and we are working on different alternatives to accommodate Attendees to all our events and activities. If you have any concerns in this regard, please contact the Centre

Policy for Participation in Online Sessions (Conferences, Panels, Workshops, and Public Engagement Events)

  1. The default setting for Attendees should be to have microphones muted. This is to avoid background noises that may disrupt the sessions
  2. For conferences and panels, Speakers will unmute to engage in presentation and/or discussion
  3. Workshop organisers will instruct Attendees regarding the specific dynamics of their events
  4. When the event platform and settings allow Attendees can whether they wish to engage or not with the video component of the event. Both video options (on or off) are valid
  5. If the Attendees’ video and audio has been muted, they can communicate and pose their questions via the chat function or the Q&A section. Otherwise, questions for sessions, panels, keynotes, or workshops will begin only once the moderator and/or organizers invite questions. Do not interrupt either Speakers or Moderators to pose questions
  6. Screen sharing will be enabled only for Organisers, scheduled Speakers, and/or Moderators. Once Speakers have finished with the presentation, they should end the sharing of their screen
  7. Attendees are welcome to post comments in the chat function of the platforms used by the Centre during sessions, panels, keynotes, or workshops, as long as they abide by our COC
  8. Q&A sessions and discussions must comply with our COC
  9. During online Centre activities and events, all backgrounds in Zoom, Discord, YouTube, and so on must adhere to our COC
  10. Presenters will be able to request that Attendees refrain from live tweeting about their specific presentation for any reason. Attendees are expected to honour this request
  11. Depending on the severity of the incident, violations to the Centre’s Netiquette will be regarded as outlined by the Centre’s Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying Policy. This can result in warning those concerned and asking them to modify their behaviour; restricting contact with Centre Members and Attendees, including banning those concerned from specific online sessions or from Centre activities and events altogether; and contacting University of Glasgow authorities

Blocking Policy for Social Media

If necessary, this is a measure the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic will consider in order to ensure a safe and welcoming space for all Members and/or Attendees at our activities and events. The Centre will block individuals from our social media outlets for the following reasons:

  • Breaking any of the elements of the COC when engaging with our Social Media platforms (which are extensions of the Centre). This applies both to direct engagements with our social media accounts and to engagements with other users in our virtual spaces
  • Patterns of repeated disruptive or bad faith engagements with our social media accounts and/or other users in our virtual spaces
  • Repetitive messaging engagements through social media rather than the appropriate channels for formal complaints, requests for information etc., once those channels have been made available to you

We will attempt to communicate with any individual if they infringe this policy prior to formally blocking them.


Credits

This Code of Conduct is based on Worldcon Dublin 2019’s Code of Conduct and their Accessibility Policy and Glasgow in 2024’s Code of Conduct. Both of these events have credited Geek Feminism Wiki’s Conference Anti-harassment/Policy example as the source of their own COC. Our Netiquette is based on the IAFA’s Netiquette.

The following is a list of official University of Glasgow websites, documents and procedures referenced throughout this document: