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Minutes for Board Meeting - March 2006

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
Friday, 24 March 2006, 8-10 AM and 4-5 PM

Prospect House
Princeton University
The board meeting comprised two sessions.
Morning Session:
Present: Kathleen Komar, Sara Armengot, Alwin Baum, Tom Beebee, Caroline Ekhardt, Gail Finney, Agostin Grajales, Margaret Higonnet, Pericles Lewis, William Martin, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Michael Schuessler, and Lois Zamora
Regrets: Sandra Bermann, Beatrice Hanssen, Efrain Kristal, Claudia Brodsky Lacour, François Lionnet, Yopie Prins, Katie Trumpener, Steven Yao
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 AM.
1. Approval of minutes (from the 2/28/05 Washington, D.C. meeting)
2. Brief Financial/Membership Update (Elizabeth Richmond-Garza)
a. Discussion of proportion of faculty to students among membership
b. Discussion of continuity and retention of members through 2009
c. Discussion of desirability of meeting in the northeast in 2009
d. Discussion of hope that eligibility for the Bernheimer award will draw new inst. Members
e. Discussion of successful 501(c)(3) application
3. Report of the President (Kathleen Komar)
a. Distribution of the ICLA CFP
b. Designation of the topics and leaders for the 2006 MLA Sessions (one session on past and one on the future of the discipline of CL)
c. Announcement of ACLA prize winners and committee appointments
d. Discussion of a future graduate complement to Scheiner’s report on undergraduate CL programs and departments, focusing on the role of earlier periods, geographical focus and job placement data
4. Report of the Vice-President/ ACLA 2006 Princeton Update (in absentia, presented in written form from Sandra Bermann)
a. Comments on the size of the conference and its growing pains:
i. Conference has doubled from 2005 to 2006 and it represents the largest ever at Princeton
ii. Financial challenges: a decision was made to exclude only 130 papers which were not suitable; special events were donated; administrative staffing increases became necessary (no full-time consecrated staff; last minute hire to help at the end; crucial role of graduate students on program committee)
iii. Discussion of method of collection and allocation of proposals to seminars (weekly meetings to adjust and place papers; oversight committee of 10 each of whom coordinated a number of seminars and created a core committee of people committed to the conference)
iv. Discussion of how to archive the conference
5. ACLA 2007 Update (Michael Schuessler/Lois Zamora)
a. Introduction of Agostín Grajales (in person) and his colleagues from BUAP
b. Komar and Kristal will oversee the program and Schuessler and Zamora will oversee the logistics in Puebla
c. Setting in historical center with 3 conference hotels (comprising 50% of the 400 rooms, with the Hotel Colonial serving as the conference headquarters); remaining accommodations to be arranged in nearby small hotels with varying room rates
d. In addition to registration, the accommodations and ground transport from Mexico City airport to Puebla will be through the ACLA site
e. Estimated 700 maximum participants
f. The meeting rooms are scattered around town the historical center with plans for 25 simultaneous sessions
g. Arrangements for regional outings in the region
h. Novelist Rosa Beltrán as plenary speaker
i. Student assistants from the US will be needed to assist at the conference
6. ACLA 2008 Update (Alwin Baum for Carl Fisher)
a. Good progress with need to select theme/topic
b. Need to select hotel venues in downtown Longbeach
c. $10,000 has already been committed by California State University at Longbeach and more is expected
d. Proposal to solicit sponsorship for the conference from local businesses
7. Discussion of ACLA Prizes and Institutional Membership Eligibility
a. Affirmation that all institutional members or eligible to nominate dissertations for the Bernheimer
b. Affirmation that books written in English but published anywhere for are eligible for the Wellek and Levin Awards
c. Vote to offer complementary year’s membership, meeting travel and banquet ticket to the winners of the Wellek and Levin Awards
8. Discussion of Travel Grants (selection criteria, number and size of travel grants)
a. Context is the increasingly large number of applicants, from both the U.S. and overseas, from faculty, independent scholars and students
b. Affirmation that among the recommended criterion for selection should be included the following: whether the applicant is chairing a session, importance of presenting the paper to student’s professionalization, whether the applicant is housed in a CL program, and the seniority of the applicant (for student applicants)
9. Preliminary Discussion of Nominations for Fall 2006 Elections
a. Elections will take place for: Vice President, five board members, two graduate student representatives and Secretary-Treasurer to begin terms in Spring 2007
b. Nominations (which should take into account diversity in geography and type of institution) needed for a final ballot which will contain: 2 names for the Vice Presidency, 10 for the board, 4 for the student board positions
c. Richmond-Garza agrees to remain Secretary Treasurer and will request a renewal of the University of Texas’ support for the ACLA Secretariat to last through summer 2011
10. Discussion of future venues (2009, 2010)
11. Update from ADPCL (Caroline Eckhardt)
a. Scheiner report (to be finished in next few weeks) will be submitted to the MLA’s journal Profession
b. Plan for complementary graduate programs’ report and timed in tandem with the publication of the Saussy report
c. Update on the ADPCL’s MLA affiliation application: MLA considers the ADPCL to be too similar to ACLA based on the donated session at the MLA
d. ADPCL will need to submit special session proposal for the 2006 MLA meeting
e. Discussion of whether the ADPCL should reprint its brochure
12. Update from Student Representatives (Sara Armengot and William Martin)
a. The graduate students are working on a jobmarket FAQ with Matt Russell
13. Other business: None
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 AM.
Afternoon Session:
A Discussion between Dr. Pauline Yu, the president of the ACLS, and the Administration of the ACLA
1. Introduction of Pauline Yu by the President of the ACLA (Kathy Komar)
2. Comments from the President of the ACLS (Pauline Yu) on topics and concerns for her, given her commitment to international concerns, and for the ACLS
a. Brief history of the ACLS from its founding in 1919 after the failure of the League of Nations through its current activities especially in the context of international studies with the U.S.’s return to being a member of UNESCO
b. Dr. Yu’s thoughts on connections between the ACLS and the ACLA and how these might be strengthened
i. Discussion of the ACLA’s increasingly international role, given that there is also an ICLA, and the relationship between the two
ii. Discussion of ACLS international initiatives: Current focus of the fellowship program of ACLS on Eastern Europe (peer reviews, conference, societies, centers); incubator for area studies; and desire to revive the China conferences from the 1990s
iii. Discussion of other international initiatives
  • Core fellowship monies dedicated to area studies projects (NEH)
  • Newly announced venture in E. Asian early history (Luce)
  • Forthcoming ACLS report as model for a possible analogous ACLA report on the role of digital technology as a further area of concentration (task force on cyber-infrastructure in the humanities (research and teaching); debate on access to and control of cyber-resources)
  • Small fund for digital multimedia archives (ACLS/Mellon)
  • Enhancement of the ACLS website
  • ACLS’s principal activity is funding research through fellowships through a system of peer review
iv. Discussion of the importance of academic freedom
v. Discussion of the challenge of funding literary research projects and the possibility of connecting literary and linguistic projects to the idea of cultural and linguistic competency as a necessary component of the university
c. Dr. Yu’s advice on how to raise the visibility of the ACLA national scene
i. Focus on “The Humanities and its Publics (ACLS annual meeting topic)
ii. Encourage members to review proposals for the ACLS
iii. Focus on successful grantsmanship for faculty and students
iv. Focus on telling a story to a larger public
v. Invite an ACLS representative to the ACLA meeting to conduct a grant-writing workshop for humanists
d. Discussion of Internationalism and of how globalization is changing our scholarly organizations.
i. Funding of international scholars
ii. Concern with visas and participation
iii. Prizes from people overseas, etc.