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Minutes for Board Meeting - December 2005

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
Tuesday, December 28, 2005, 8:00-10:00 AM

Kalorama West Room of the Churchill Hotel
1914 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC

Attending: Komar, Bermann, Richmond-Garza, Armengot, Beebee, Eckardt, Finney, Fisher, Hanssen, Higonnet, Kristal, Lionnet, Martin, Prins, Saussy, Schuessler, Yao
Regrets: Brodsky Lacour, Lewis, Trumpener


Meeting called to order at 8:15 AM

1. Approval of minutes from the 03/11/05 Penn State meeting (Elizabeth Richmond-Garza)

2. Financial, Fundraising and Membership Report (Richmond-Garza)
a. January initiatives: reminder letters to be sent to membership as a whole and to all who register for the conference; institutional membership drive for spring 2006; faculty membership drive for 2006
b. Consensus decision to add general contribution line to renewal of membership to encourage donations
c. Discussion of faculty travel grants and consensus decision to add a travel grant link to the website
d. Report on 2005 conference (Carey Eckhardt): praise for sessions organized by journals so as to encourage publication and journal participation in comparative literature; fiscal challenges of taking on conference with less than two years advance; success of being able to contribute $4,500 to ACLA fund-raising; challenges of creating uniform formats for abstracts resulted in their not being not posted on-line; need to centralize conference at the Secretariat and on the Secretariat webpage as its size and complexity increase.

3. Report of the President (Kathleen Komar)
a. Report on upcoming conference sites: 2006 Princeton, 2007 Puebla, 2008 Longbeach
b. Discussion of ICLA conference in 2007 in Brazil and the opportunity to make stronger connections between the ACLA and the ICLA especially through joint members of the two organizations
c. Announcement of the publication of the Saussy state of the discipline report as being in time for a launch at the Princeton conference
d. Discussion of doing further research, jointly with the ADPCL, on CL graduate programs in US: numbers of programs, level and nature of activity; configuration; role of study of earlier periods, appointment status of faculty, etc., so as to know the field better.

4. Report of the Vice-President (Sandra Bermann)
a. Announcement of prizes to date for 2006: Aldridge, Bernheimer, Horst Frenz; Wellek TBA

5. Report of Finances Committee (Haun Saussy)
a. Investments are stable with modest increases in value

6. ACLA Princeton 2006 update (Sandra Bermann)
a. Thanks expressed to Carey Eckhardt and Tom Beebee for their assistance
b. 1,350 paper proposals have been received to date, not including some chairs, who may be presenting; 150 seminars have been organized; the location is proving ideal for people to attend.
c. Discussion of logistical challenges: the marked increase in the size of the conference is presenting challenges in terms of: finding sufficiently large venues for main events; raising more funds from the home institution in advance of the conference; balancing the number of graduate student registrants (with their reduced registration fees) against the budget
d. Announcement of second portion of board meeting so as to meet with Dr. Pauline Yu, president of the ACLS (Friday afternoon)
e. Discussion of predicted attrition of 20% in early February and of their being no refunds last year for those who are unable to attend
f. Discussion of analysis after the conference of the level of representation of earlier periods on the program

7. ACLA Puebla 2007, 19-22 April (Michael Schuessler)
a. Presentation of Lois Zamora's letter about the conference arrangements and of the preliminary flyer and announcement that the University of Houston has contributed another $2,000 towards planning the conference
b. Assurance of an agreement being finalized with university in Puebla in the course of two on-site visits (in the summer 2005), resulting in a hall being reserved for the banquet and other arrangements having been made for the host hotel, the Hotel Colonial
c. Discussion of creating a page within the ACLA page to allow reservations and advance payment for other smaller hotels that do not accept credit cards; the limited A/V equipment in Puebla; the good bus route from Mexico City to Puebla
d. Another meeting is arranged in Puebla to secure meeting spaces and arrange tours arranged to regional sites of interest
e. The plenary speaker will be Rosa Beltrán.

8. ACLA Longbeach 2008 (Carl Fisher) and discussion of future venues
a. A downtown hotel site will be used with the details finalized in spring 2006
b. $10,000 has been contributed by the Dean of Liberal Arts at Cal State Longbeach and event planners in place.
c. Discussion of possible MLA 2006 session topics: Comparative Literature and History (Lit as/and history, value of continuing to research non-contemporary materials) : the role of the study of older periods, whether on their own or tied to modern topics, and the place of history in Comparative Literature today; Technology and CL in the future.

9. Discussion of Bernheimer Prize competition
a. Consensus decision that foreign dissertations are eligible for the Bernheimer prize, if their institutions are institutional members.
b. Consensus decision that in the case of a conflict of interest for chair of the committee, when a dissertation is nominated from his/her home institution, that the chair should recuse him/herself from the particular dissertation evaluation

10. Update from ADPCL (Carey Eckhardt)
a. Update on Corrine Scheiner's project on the undergraduate study of Comparative Literature
b. Update on the ADPCL's appeal to the MLA to reconsider the ADPCL's request to become an affiliated member of the MLA and the ACLA's donation of one of its two sessions to ADPCL in the interim.

11. Student Representative Report (Sara Armengot/William Martin)
a. Update on the increasing graduate student communication across institutions and departments; the conversations on the graduate student list serve; the session on the job search; the completion of an FAQ for graduate students from Matt Russell

Meeting adjourned at 10 AM.