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Minutes for Board Meeting - April 2004

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
Friday, April 16, 8:00-10:00 AM

Library, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Attending: Higonnet, Komar, Richmond-Garza, Bermann, Damrosch, Kristal, Eckhardt, Finney, Moebius, Palencia-Roth, Prins, Saussy, Siebers, Thuerwachter, Zamora
Regrets: Carr, Lionnet, Trumpener

1. Approval (in long and abbreviated format for web-posting) of minutes from the 2/28/03 San Diego meeting.

2. Financial Report (Elizabeth Richmond-Garza)

  • Confirmation that there are 31 institutional members of the ACLA in 2004
  • Transfer of funds from UT accounts to Highlander investment accounts unanimously affirmed:
    • i. $10,000 + earmarked donations to Bernheimer
  • Fundraising and Travel Fund Donations
    • i. Letter to be sent by Higonnet/Eckhardt soliciting institutional membership from those not yet members
    • ii. Letter to be sent by Higonnet soliciting contributions to the Bernheimer and to the graduate student travel endowment
  • Investment report

3. Report on the Ann Arbor 2004 Conference (Siebers) :

  • 512 participants
  • Successes:
    • i. Streamlined registration introduced without the use of lists through the use of visual badge cues for meals, registration, etc.
    • ii. Email contact used for all correspondence
    • iii. Email-receipts to be sent to everyone the Monday after the conference
    • iv. More air in the afternoon and the introduction of more plenary sessions offered: traditional plenary lecture, Saussy report roundtable, graduate student session
    • v. The funds cleared this year, which will be returned to the ACLA, should be analogous to last two years
  • Problems:
    • i. Conflict between data entry and correspondence (there was some duplication of submissions by would-be presenters; some papers that seem like seminar CFPs)
    • ii. ACLA's handbook for conference organizers (especially details like suggested deadlines, etc.) not very useful
    • iii. The first registration deadline proved not to be much of an incentive despite reducing the registration fees (only ~100 people registered by the early deadline), which led to concerns about banquet numbers, breakfast numbers, number of break out sessions, etc.
  • Complaints
    • i. 3 of 21 rooms set up in rounds to be ready for luncheon rather than theatre style
    • ii. Not all late A/V requests could be accommodated
  • Assistants for the conference were regular staff, contributed by the UM Humanities Institute (for which the conference was made the major project for 2004), except for one who was being paid extra
  • The only charge to the ACLA was a small fee for website design
  • Recommendations for future conference organizers:
    • i. Request funding for extra staff (whether graduate student or otherwise. Edward Chusid was employed on behalf of the conference full-time for a full year
    • ii. Rearticulate seminar format as a concept, a 3-day experience, especially to seminar organizers
    • iii. CFP should make clear that one presentation only per person
    • iv. Recommend that participants circulate abstracts/papers before conference
    • v. Insist that explicit requests for A/V must be made in advance
    • vi. E-form for submissions should state these matters explicitly
    • vii. Arrange a form of electronic payment; this is especially important for the10% of participants who are international
  • Discussion of the matter of institutional affiliation: unanimous approval that there should there be a maximum number of people from a single institution on a given panel, perhaps no more than 50% of the participants should be from the same institution
  • Thanks and applause for Siebers for his fine work

4. Report on the Penn State Conference, 11-13 March 2005 (Eckhardt)

  • CFP is out
  • The conference will be held in classrooms not hotels
  • The preliminary website is up , and the official one is coming soon
  • Discussion of the management fee: electronic payments/website/etc. will contributed by Penn State; Eckhardt will do the remaining work herself

5. Report on the Princeton Conference, 24-26 March 2006 (Bermann)

  • Preliminary meeting rooms have been reserved
  • Website designed through Princeton's IT office
  • Request approved by Princeton for $10,000 and staff funding
  • Committee to be formed and to meet during Princeton's ìreading periodî to begin thinking about a topic which will be chosen by end of the year
  • Plenary speakers will be arranged in collaboration with other Princeton departments and their Humanities Center
  • Discussion of the problem of inexpensive hotels in the area and the need for transport to less dear hotels in the area
  • Discussion of hiring professional conference planners

6. Positive note on initial negotiations for a Puebla Conference 2007 (Zamora)

  • Working in collaboration with Dr. Enrique Castillo, of the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
  • Direct flights exist from Houston, or a flight to Mexico City can be followed by a bus to Puebla
  • Need to divide who does program in the US and who handles the local logistics
  • Question of hotels reservations and the use of credit cards and the availability of enough rooms in Puebla
  • Discussion of use of a professional conference planner to assist with local logistics
  • Planning committee formed of Komar, Kristal, and Zamora

7. Membership Report (Richmond-Garza)

8. Report of the President (Margaret Higonnet)

  • 2004 ACLA panels at the MLA December 27-30 2004 in Philadelphia:
    • Title: ìComparative Literature in an Age of Globalization: Presenting the 2004 ACLA Report on the State of the Disciplineî
    • Presider: Haun Saussy, Yale University
      • Linda Hutcheon, U. of Toronto, ìCongenitally Contrarianî
      • Jonathan Culler, Cornell U., ìThe Triumph of Comparative Literatureî
      • Zhang Longxi, City U. of Hong Kong. "Penser d'un Dehors: Notes on the ACLA Report, 2004î
        • Title: ìPoetry and Interdisciplinarityî
        • Presider: Sandra Bermann, Princeton University
          • Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University, ìAmericanizing AimÈ CÈsaire: 'Cultural' Poetics and the Dematerialized Textî
          • Carlos Alonso, University of Pennsylvania, ìPoetry as Interpellation: Apostrophe in Nicol·s GuillÈnî
          • Glenn Freeman, Cornell College, ìLyric Voice and Cultural Performanceî
          • Respondent: Roland Greene, Stanford University
            • 2004 is an election year and the nomination cycle will be:
            • Use of e-ballot with nominations due by 1 Oct. 2004
            • Need for 12 nominations from the board: 2 nominations for vice president, and 2 for each of the 5 board slots which will come open
            • Nominations should include CV, signature of nominator, and nominee's confirmation of willingness to serve
            • Open nominations should also be solicited from membership on 1 Sept. 2004
            • Election of 2 graduate student representatives
            • Balloting on 15 Nov. with a deadline of 5 Dec. for voting
              • Announcement of ACLA Prize Winners and new appointments to prize committees
                • Revised schedule for Aldridge prize submissions and selection: Beebee will be to be asked to move 15 Nov. deadline to 1 July
                  • Discussion of enlarged committees to allow deeper reading of fewer texts for each person
                    • Discussion of asking an academic press to start a Bernheimer series
                      • Announcement of new MLA series ìWorld Literatures Reimaginedî oriented toward developing and less-taught literatures, as well as cross-cultural studies
                        • Planned publication of the list of departments and programs in Comparative Literature in PMLA directory set for Sept. 2004

                        9. Report of the Vice-President (Komar)

                        • Fundraising efforts/membership drive using older past-members list
                        • Need for a very specific purpose to be successful with a call for donations: in memoriam as a possible idea

                        10. ACLS Guidelines for a Code of Professional Conduct (Richmond-Garza): deferred

                        11. Report on 10-year review of Comparative Literature (Saussy)

                        • 9 out of 12 chapters written
                        • Half of authors present in Ann Arbor for the roundtable plenary

                        12. Secretariat's Analysis of Comparative MLA Sessions 1992-2002 (Richmond-Garza): Summary to be emailed to the board

                        13. Financial Report from ADPCL (Eckhardt)

                        • Presentation of budget, brochure
                        • Announcement of 04/18/04 morning meeting
                        • Postponement of the Colorado conference on the undergraduate curriculum and proposal to build it into MLA 2005 meetings already in place
                        • Proposal for MLA 2005 that the ADPCL should prepare an articulated double plenary session or a forum (which would be open to public and includes workshops) w/lots of time for discussion

                        14. Student Representative Report (Thuerwachter)

                        • The graduate student list serve is proving really useful
                        • The ADPCL session will be very interesting and helpful

                        10:30 AM meeting adjourned.