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Minutes for Board Meeting - March 2009

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
Friday, 27 March 2009, 8:15-10:15 AM
Faculty Club, Harvard University

Present: Beall, Beebee, Bermann, Brodzki, Cohn, Damrosch, Eckhardt, Hayot, Horta, Kadir, Komar, Lewis, Montengero, Patel, Richmond-Garza, Rowe, Saussy, Slaughter, Staib, Yao

1. Approval of minutes from 12/28/08

2. Financial and Membership Update (Richmond-Garza)
Discussion of how to increase the number of institutional memberships

3. Report of the President (Bermann)
Expression of thanks to the University of Texas for their support of the ACLA

4. Report of the Vice-President (Saussy)

5. Report of Finance Committee (Saussy)

a. All three accounts, (2/3 invested in cash and 1/3 in mutuals and equities), have lost less than national averages
b. New donations will be made cash portions
c. Discussion of need for more travel grants and of other uses for that investment

6. ACLA 2009 Harvard (Damrosch via email)

a. Over 2,000 participants from 50 countries
b. Paper acceptance rate was 85%
c. Because of the generous Harvard subvention, $25,000 should be cleared

7. ACLA 2010 New Orleans (Saussy) and 2011 Vancouver (Horta)

a. New Orleans: Dates are 1-4 April for a hotels-centered conference with support from Tulane and other local universities being sought; discussion of attendance expectations, theme to resonate with the location and local multicultural and transnational identity
b. Vancouver: Approximate date 7-11 April for a hotels-centered conference with support from Simon Fraser University, who have officially voted to host and set aside funds and 10 volunteers here at Harvard

8. Approval of language for the new MA and UG prizes

9. Update from ADPCL (Eckhardt)

10. Approval of revision of language and committee structure for the Levin Prize (submitted by Culler, Felski and Finney, unanimously approved)

Change “emphasize literary history or criticism as opposed to theory” to “emphasize history or criticism as distinct from theory” or “have a focus that is primarily literary or historical rather than theoretical.”

In view of the increasing burden of evaluating the large number of books that are nominated for the Levin or Wellek prizes each year and based upon the different areas of expertise recognized by each prize, the current committee unanimously proposes that the board revise the committee structure as follows: The ACLA board will appoint a separate committee for each prize. Each member would serve for three competitions for a given prize, with one person rotating off after each competition and one new member appointed for the next competition, assuring continuity.

11. Discussion of the relationship of ACLA to Comparative Literature (Rowe and Cohn)

a. Discussion of Rowe's proposals to the board regarding the productive new relationship with Duke UP, especially the introduction of electronic subscriptions beginning in summer 2009, and the desire of Duke to facilitate to relationship between CL and the ACLA
b. Discussion of the costs for Duke taking over the management of the membership of the ACLA
c. Discussion of the appropriate per issue charge to the ACLA (currently $18) and of the uses to which the ACLA journal payments are put by both the U. of Oregon and Duke UP
d. Discussion of the place of the ACLA in the agreements between U. of Oregon and Duke UP and in the editing process of CL
e. Discussion of the desirability of having more formal arrangements with multiple, other, or additional journals to reflect the diversity of the field and of how to solicit and review any such proposals
f. Proposal (Lewis, seconded Yao, approved unanimously):

i. Form a new standing committee to oversee the relationship of journal to the ACLA and to report to the board and officers regularly
ii. Initial membership of the board: Brodski, Lewis, and Lionnet
iii. Conduct a member survey about journals

12. Student Representative Report (Beall/Montenegro, postponed)

13. Official thanks to Bermann for her service and inauguration of Saussy as President and Lionnet as Vice President

Meeting adjourned 10:21 AM.