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Minutes for Board Meeting - December 2002

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
28-29 December 2002

Sheraton New York Hotel

28 December 2002

Presiding: Dr. David Damrosch
Attending: Saussy, Moebius, Komar, Siebers, Sussman, Eckhardt, Hayton, Miyashiro, Richmond-Garza, Ungar
Regrets: Higonnet

Richmond-Garza (Secretary-Treasurer):

  • Report on Finances, Web, Online credit card arrangements, and general redesign of webpage and letterhead

Eckhardt (ADPCL):

  • Report on the compilation of a list of CL programs and departments, and progress towards becoming an affiliated association to the MLA
  • Reaffirmation of increasing institutional memberships with funds to go to the ADPCL
  • Reconfirmation that $3,000 for 2002/03 will be transferred from the ACLA to the ADPCL

Hayton (ACLA 2003 at San Marcos):

  • 678 presenters, 71 panels, 2/3 are 3-day seminars and several have multiple sessions
  • Comments on impact of CA weak economy on profits and costs
  • Confirmation of conference arrangements:
    • Guarantees from United as conference carriers
    • 2 slots for ADPCL
    • 2 hours for board meeting
  • Daily Schedule
    • 2 A.M. sessions
    • 1 P.M. session
    • Evening events

Siebers (ACLA 2004 at Michigan):

  • Conference to run from 15018 April 2004
  • $12,000 subvention secured from U Michigan; hotel reservations made
  • Discussion of the need for post-9/11 contingency plans and a stable conference database

Discussion of Future sites:

  • 2005: Paris
  • 2006: perhaps Princeton
  • 2007: perhaps Mexico City

Lifetime Achievement Award to be awarded to Henry Remak at the 2003 conference

State of the Discipline Report

  • The follow-up to the Bernheimer report
    • Saussy (chair) to form a 10 member committee with its first meeting in San Marcos and a draft report for the MLA 2003. Committee to include:
      • Apter, Ungar, Prins, Gardier, Greene, Rice, Hales, Chow, Hirsch, Finney, Boym, Viswanathan, Pollock, Hassan, Irlam, and CL journal editors
  • Proposal to introduce project at one of the ACLA sessions at 2003 MLA

MLA 2003 Session Topics:

  • Introduce Saussy, Report
  • Teaching World Literature Session

Future Projects:

  • An ACLA-sponsored source book on CL with Natalie Milas at Cornell
  • Proposal to discuss new projects at the 4/4/03 board meeting

Proposal to investigate the closing of the Comparative Literature program at Alberta

Meeting Day 2 - 29 December 2002

(Held Jointly with MLA Comparative Division Chairs)

Presiding: Dr. David Damrosch
Attending: Saussy, Moebius, Komar, Sussman, Eckhardt, Miyashiro, Richmond-Garza, Ungar (ACLA); Ferris, Kadir, Lezra (MLA)
Regrets: Higonnet

Topics and General Notes on the Discussion:

  • Follow-up on 1950s founding of the CL programs and departments
    • There is a need to talk with the MLA about increasing the visibility of CL, even of just tracking where and what the CL programs are nationally
  • Period/language alone are used to define divisions and sessions at MLA, except for European Literary Relations and the Comparative Divisions, but much interdisciplinary work being done at MLA and CL topics around MLA sessions
  • The result is the invisibility of CL, despite its being everywhere and despite intercultural translation being seen as productive areas of contact
  • There is a need to identify CL-relevant MLA sessions so that CL can redefine itself vis-a-vis MLA, since a formal division has 3 sessions whereas an organization has only 2
  • Discussion of MLA divisions as being intellectual and/or hiring structures
  • Discussion of how to work within the status quo through
    • optimizing visibility of the official ACLA sessions
    • identifying areas already in MLA which can be included as part of a comparative rubric
    • retitling existing entities (comparative studies and religion, for example) and creating new ones (vernacularity, comparative poetics, etc.)
  • Discussion of whether changes in nomenclature are substantive changes

Suggestions for Collaboration:

  • Charge committee of heads of executive committees and of departments/programs to inventory MLA sessions and titles in order to present joint conclusions to the MLA Executive Committee
  • Use of division sessions to reach out to areas not usually included
  • Co-sponsorship/linking of sessions between ACLA and MLA
  • Formation of a subcommittee to identify under- or un-represented topics

Topics for San Marcos:

  • Investigate sponsorship of CL forum to launch the 10-year report by Saussy at MLA with linked sessions (Saussy, Damrosch). Forum would be about CL as a discipline and other things could be discussed; possible respondents from Bernheimer report committee: Pratt, Riffaterre, Appiah
  • Inquire about use of 5 preferences on MLA membership form to track MLA interests in comparative topics
  • Report to ACLA Executive Committee about CL division and special sessions from the MLA program for past 10 years (graduate student, 1 week at $15/hour, Columbia University)