Promoting, supporting and encouraging the study of the United States since 1955

British Association for American Studies


meeting 242


meeting 242

BAAS Executive Committee Meeting: April 14, 2005

Minutes of the 242nd meeting of the Executive Committee, held at Robinson College, Cambridge on April 14, 2005.

1. Present S Newman (Chair), H Macpherson (Secretary), N Selby (Treasurer), C Elliott, J Kleinberg, S MacLachlan, C Morley, M Padget, I Scott and G Thompson

Apologies C Smith (Vice Chair), K Cooper, J Davies, I Ralston, P Thompson, J Virden and T Woods.

In Attendance

George Conyne

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

After the correction of minor typographical errors, the minutes were accepted as a true record.

3. Matters Arising

a) Reference 4d of the minutes of 241 noted that SN was to explore further links with ASA. He plans to use the presence of the ASA president at the 50th anniversary conference to move this forward.

B) Reference 6i noted that HM was to contact EUP about royalty statements; she plans to do so once a new Treasurer has been appointed.

C) Reference 8d noted that GT and CE were going to explore a web-based facility for subscribing to the mailbase. This is ongoing.

D) Reference 13a on drafting a notice for ASIB on legacies will be referred back to PT.

4. Chair’s Business

a) The Chair began by offering congratulations to Executive Committee members Carol Smith and Jude Davies on the birth of their daughter Rosa on 8 April. The Committee wishes the new family well. SN also reported that Ian Ralston, Chair of the Libraries and Resources Subcommittee, has been unwell, and the Chair and the members of the Executive Committee send Ian their best wishes for a speedy recovery.

B) SN announced that appointments had been made to the RAE2008 subpanel (Unit 47) American Studies and Anglophone Areas Studies. The subpanel will be chaired by Professor Paul Cammack (Manchester Metropolitan University). The BAAS Chair, BAAS Secretary Heidi Macpherson, and Executive Committee member Tim Woods have all been appointed. Other members include Dr. Betty Wood, Dr. Diana Paton, Dr. Jonathan Munby, Professor Anthony McFarlane, Professor Christopher Bailey, Professor Helen Taylor, Professor Mark Jancovich, Professor Peter Stoneley, Professor Richard Godden, Professor Scott Lucas, Dr. Susan Billingham and Professor Susan Castillo. The subpanel has had two meetings (3 March, and 8 April). The subpanel reflects BAAS nominations well.

C) As agreed at the January 2005 meeting of the Executive Committee, the Chair wrote a letter to Professor Geoffrey Crossick, protesting the AHRB journal reference list project. On 25 January Professor Crossick sent a circular letter stating, “It is clear that we need to take more time to discuss, develop and refine the proposal… we shall over the coming year engage in consultation and discussion with the research community… to ensure that there is a wide input to the development of this proposal.” See 4j for further discussion of this list.

D) The Chair responded to a request from the AHRB regarding the identification of strategic programmes for the new research council, suggesting ideas for new programmes, and making a strong plea for the funding of research on the Americas (and not just comparative research, which, if privileged, would exclude many members of BAAS). MP attended a framework seminar for the diasporas initiative and was concerned about the comparative element. BAAS should continue to investigate this further.

E) The Chair wrote to Sir Martin Harris in response to a request for assistance in a review of HEFCE funding for the Institutes of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. SN’s letter reflected the Community’s potential concerns about the new Institute for the Study of the Americas, but did so in a constructive manner.

F)   SN reported that the following Americanists had been awarded promotions or prizes: Jon Roper has been awarded a Chair in American Studies at Swansea; Michael O’Brien’s two-volume Conjectures of Order: Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860 has been named as one of three joint-winners of this year’s Bancroft Prize in American History, the most prestigious prize for US History; and the Chair has received a British Academy Research Readership (2005-2007) for his project “The Transformation of Working Life and Culture in the British Atlantic World, 1600-1800.”

g) On 7 April the Chair attended an AHRC consultation meeting for learned societies and subject associations at the Globe Theatre, to discuss the implications of the transition to a research council. BAAS was one of thirty learned societies and subject associations invited to participate in this meeting. Other consultations are planned. There is strong support within the AHRC for interdisciplinary research, and the organization is receptive to SN’s suggestion that the assessment procedure for funding applications should be made more accessible to interdisciplinary approaches. ESRC already has an interdisciplinary panel judging applications, and AHRC may well follow this route. The Executive Committee should continue to encourage BAAS members to make more funding applications. At present 50% of Research Leave applications are successful (though this is likely to drop when Full Economic Costing is levied), and 61% of Small Grant applications are successful. SN noted that over the last year, the AHRB, the British Academy and the ESRC have granted £345,000 to American Studies projects.

H) SN reported that the AHRC is introducing new projects and awards, including various strategic programmes such as the upcoming Diasporas and the Landscapes programmes; Network Grants (£20,000 over 2 years) and Workshop grants (£10,000 over 1 year), which could be used to run a series of seminars. These are intended to encourage and promote interdisciplinary work, and are in part meant to aid the development of larger projects and funding applications; there are also grants of up to £2,000 for Research Student Conferences (under the Collaborative Research Training Awards scheme). There is a deadline of 27 May for this award, so the Development Sub-Committee Chair, PG Representative and the organizers of the next BAAS postgraduate conference should investigate and apply. Postgraduate funding will be changed so that the number of doctoral awards (612 last year) will be increased to match the number of master’s awards (920 last year). Full Economic Costing of AHRC research support will be in place within a year, and AHRC funding has been increased to allow for this. For example, Research Leave will include actual overheads, and pay for “real” salary not just at the lowest level; the matching fund requirement will still be in place. Some concern remains, expressed by G Crossick, that the QR funding stream may be under threat. Officials at the AHRC do not want this to happen.

i)   SN also reported that the AHRC has begun an evaluation-based subject review of all of its subject domains. Expert panels of 6-8 academics will be established not to evaluate individuals or departments, but rather to assess the health of a discipline, and whether the AHRC is enhancing high quality research through its programmes. American Studies is not part of this at present, though the AHRC is likely to turn to BAAS when this subject review is set up.

J)   In relation to the AHRC Journals Reference List, SN reported that now that the AHRC is about to become a fully-fledged research council, it is answerable to the Office of Science and Technology of the Dept. of Trade and Industry, and there is consequently an absolute, non-negotiable requirement for a numerical assessment of the success of funding. The AHRC has avoided the use of citation indexes common in the sciences; the Journal Reference List was actually designed simply to illustrate the successes of British academics, not to be a list that was comprehensive in scope. It is meant to represent a “Snap shot list” to show that research money is working and to offer evidence that British academics are being published. The Committee is not entirely convinced by this explanation, and sees three problems: journal innovation may suffer; monographs and edited collections are not being represented as research; and the academic community does not trust a list (85% of Heads of History wrote to the AHRB to say such a system would not work). SN noted the concerns raised but also reiterated the fact that BAAS must have a positive input into the dialogue with AHRC about how this should go forward. More negotiations are scheduled to take place this autumn.

K) In relation to the Cambridge Conference, SN offered thanks to everyone involved, and on behalf of the entire Executive Committee, offered BAAS’s thanks to Professor Tony Badger, Dr. Sarah Meer and Mrs. Ann Holton for their work in organizing this conference, which commences the fiftieth anniversary celebrations.

L)   SN raised the unresolved issue of conference fees for plenary speakers, since different conferences have had different practices in relation to this: sometimes these costs were rolled into conference costs and other times they were not. It was agreed that when institutions invite their own special lectures, this should be part of their conference budget. SN reported that for the JAS speaker, CUP offers 750 pounds sterling, an amount that covers airfare but does not generally cover fees. The Eccles Centre speaker is almost always a local member of BAAS who will be at the conference anyway. Accommodation costs of the last speakers (Eccles/JAS) at Manchester were paid as part of conference budget. The Committee felt that the JAS Speaker is a conference expense on the conference account, so it was proposed that in the future, these fees should be rolled into conference budget. After a short debate, this was agreed. It was further agreed that Shelley Fisher Fishkin would be reimbursed her conference fees. NS was to look into whether it was possible to use the dollar account to do this. SM reminded the Committee that conference organizers should continue to seek funding from external sources for these expenses wherever possible, especially to offset the astronomical rise in conference costs.

M)     For the Kent Conference, SN recommended approaching the British Academy. Although conference grants (up to £1000) are usually not awarded to annual conferences, there is some leeway here: the Conference Subcommittee Chair and Kent conference organizer should investigate and apply (perhaps for expenses of visiting international speaker). SN also suggested that GC should contact Colin Nicolson in History at Stirling who has experience with this.

N) In the absence of JV, who was at the EAAS meeting, it was agreed that we would discuss the 50th Anniversary celebrations under the Chair’s business. The fiftieth anniversary year begins with the Cambridge conference and concludes with the Kent conference: we need to continue to discuss other possible events to mark the anniversary, as well as long-term strategies for commemorating it, such as travel and other awards, endowments, etc. SN noted that a better postgraduate conference is already being explored, and that the accountant would still like us to explore options for setting aside funds in relation to the BAAS accounts. GC asked about particular expenses for the second 50th anniversary conference, and NS noted that roughly £5000 is designated to support the anniversary celebrations. Discussions included a series of high profile speakers and other events, additional support for conferences, and opening short term travel awards for employed academics as well as postgraduates. This met with a lot of approval, and it was agreed that the Short Term Travel Awards should be renamed the Postgraduate Short Term Travel Awards and an additional award could be named the Founders’ Research Travel Awards, named after the founders of BAAS. It was proposed and agreed that 5 awards at £500 should be awarded in the first instance. The Committee would seek to continue to award approximately 10 Postgraduate Short Term Travel Awards even if Embassy funding was not forthcoming. Continuation of the Founders’ Awards may depend on securing additional funding resources, but this could be linked into a drive to encourage members to give more. Gift Aid monies could also go towards BAAS awards.

o) The Chair reported that there were problems with the BAAS logo that he encountered when he had a trophy made for the inaugural book award. There is currently no high-resolution version available. There was some discussion about creating a new logo, but in the end, it was agreed that BAAS should look into the professional creation of high quality version of our existing logo. GT agreed to take this forward since he has the existing logo. Thanks were extended to him.

P) The Chair circulated a letter from Samuel A. Floyd, Director Emeritus of the Center for Black Music Research of Columbia College, Chicago (CBMR). This organization is interested in expanding its outreach through regional CBMR chapters in Europe, and is interested in collaboration, and possible joint membership. SN sent a holding message as joint membership seemed unlikely, but it might be possible to set up a website link. IS is to pursue this further, gathering more information about CBMR before a final decision is made.

5. Secretary’s Business

a) The Secretary reported that this past quarter had been another very busy one, with a great deal of correspondence undertaken in relation to the 2005 conference (and even in some instances the 2006 conference). As before, her role as Secretary mainly revolves around information flow, and most of her time is taken up receiving information or responding to email queries.

B) HM circulated a hard copy of an email (previously circulated electronically) from David Mills about ESRC funding.

C) HM reported that in response to her request for a Committee Member to attend the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences/College of Learned Societies Annual General Meeting, CM had agreed to do so. CM then offered a short report on the meeting, noting that our nominee, Jude Davies, had been elected to serve. CM reported that the meeting itself, which lasted over 3 hours, included discussions about the nature of the Academy, and that this was complicated by the use of different terminology: college, committee, academy. CM was offered an imprint of an article in Higher Education Review which explains everything, which she circulated, and she offered a written synopsis of the meeting for the BAAS records. The meeting included a PowerPoint presentation by Ian Diamond on the use of metrics in the social sciences for the next RAE. There was also a discussion about postgraduate awards and fellowships from the ESRC. Thanks were offered to CM for attending on BAAS’s behalf.

D) HM reported that actions taken over the last quarter included ensuring that information about the AGM and voting was distributed via the mailbase, and that the information would also be available in the conference packs; she expected to make several announcements at the Conference drawing members’ attention to the elections.

E) She has also distributed calls for papers, conferences, etc. through the listserve; answered queries about travel grants and other awards; updated BAAS records with national surveys/records especially in relation to the STAs and other awards; liaised with the Accountant over the list of Trustees’ names; forwarded information to the treasurer regarding membership queries, especially from lapsed members; and answered a variety of odd queries.

F)   The Secretary noted that she had helped direct people with research queries to the appropriate sources, and these are becoming ever more varied. She raised the issue of a BAAS experts list. Although membership applications currently have a tick box for interests, this is too general to be of much assistance for specific queries. It was agreed that HM should direct most people to the American Studies Research Portal and send a message out on the mailbase to members asking them to update their entries.

G) HM reported that she has been following up a copyright request for the old BAAS textbook series edited by Mick Gidley, which has proven to be quite complicated.

H) HM reported that she has chased information for Ken Morgan about his appointment as BRRAM editor, offering a copy of the minutes that announced this to MAP.

i)   The Secretary noted that while she has responded to queries about declining American Studies, she has also helped to advertise new jobs, and there is an increasing number of US queries about postgraduate study. She generally directs potential students to the website links, and offers advice as applicable.

J)   HM reported that she was going to have a meeting at the Conference with Ray Ryan from CUP to discuss their American Literature and Culture Series.

K) HM noted that BAAS Archive negotiations have gone very smoothly now, and all of the archival records are now up to date. She will liaise with GT to have the archives list placed on the website.

L)   Finally, HM noted that she had been commissioned to write an article for Prospects on the current state of studies of American culture in Britain, so any feedback would be welcome.

6. Treasurer’s Business

a) The Treasurer reported that he had also had a busy quarter, particularly with renewals. Current membership figures stand at 600 members, including 194 postgraduates. This includes 216 who have not fully renewed for this year.

B) Balances on 13.4.05 are as follows: Current account: £1013; Conference: £17,226; Lib. Res.: £766; Ed. Development: £5189; STA: £23,789; Deposit: £26,640, making a total of £74,623. In addition, the RBS Jersey has £14,778.40, and US dollar account has $3260. More people are paying dues in dollars.

C) NS tabled the annual accounts, for approval at the AGM. He drew the Committee’s attention to the amount of £9823, and reiterated the position of the Accountant that we should take care to ensure that BAAS does not appear to maintain a surplus. The Committee acknowledged the concerns of the Accountant but reiterated our position that past conferences operated at a loss, and it was important that we had funds in place to protect the Association from this. The new Treasurer will take forward the plans to convene a small working party on finances, drawing on all of the subcommittees. (Members of this working party were agreed as JK and IS in the September 2004 minutes).

D) NS to check the registered address of BAAS, which currently is noted as DeMontfort. HM gave NS the Charity Commission information and forms to pass on to the new Treasurer.

E) The Treasurer reported that, via the web, people have again attempted to take money out of the BAAS account. In order to avoid future problems, it was agreed that it would be wise to take the Standing Order mandate off the webpage, since it has the details of the bank account. In its place, there will be a link to the Treasurer, who can send forms directly to individuals who express interest.

F)   SN reported that Phil Davies had asked if BAAS had made any progress on paying subscription fees by credit card, and NS noted that this was still ongoing. Concerns were expressed about the fact that credit card details expire, and this may make a lot of work for the Treasurer. Direct debits would cost us £15,000 a year, so this is not a viable option.

G) NS reported that Gift Aid is in progress, and he will liaise with the new Treasurer about it.

H) JK suggested that we record our thanks to NS for all the work he has done. NS noted that we should also thank Mrs. Margo Hunter, who ran the membership database.

7. Development Subcommittee (IS reporting)

a) IS reported that he went on behalf of the Committee to the Languages, Linguistics and Areas Studies Subject Board in early February in London (they meet two times a year). This was, he reported, an interesting meeting, and he plans to discuss with JD the role that JD felt BAAS might have within it, and his own experience on the board. It was clear that the LLAS are concerned with representing Area Studies, but this is not yet fully implemented, particularly in relation to funding initiatives and projects. IS plans to write a full report for the next Executive meeting. He noted in particular that the LLAS has diverse constituent members and that it is sometimes hard to find a common ground for these constituencies. It is also important that the rationale for the funding of projects become clearer.

B) IS reported on the names of award winners who will be announced at the Banquet. These will be placed on the website and are listed below:

Peter Parish STA: Catherine McGowan, University of Edinburgh, “Origins of the Convent Narrative in America”

Marcus Cunliffe STA: Catalina Neculai, University of Warwick, “A Critique of Urban Regime Changes in New York 1970s-90s”

Malcolm Bradbury STA: Jeffrey Farley, University of Glasgow, “The Interaction between Sources of Jazz Information”

John Lees STA: Yvonne Ryan, UEA, “The Leadership of Roy Wilkins, Head of the NAACP”

Ambassador’s STA: Sinéad Moynihan, University of Nottingham, “The Hard-Boiled Crime fiction of Robert Skinner”

Winners of the £500 BAAS STAs for 2005:

David Watson, University of Dundee

Patrick Flack, University of Cambridge

Holly Farrington, Middlesex University

Anne-Marie Evans, University of Sheffield

James Burton, University of Nottingham

BAAS Ambassador’s Postgraduate Essay Prize:

Winner: Camilla Cox, University of Nottingham, “African-American Cultural Artefacts in the Antebellumn Period”

Honourable mention: Tim Nelson, University of Hull, “Fighting on JFK’s New Frontier: Marvel Comics’ Cold War”

BAAS Ambassador’s Undergraduate Essay Prize:

Winner: Thomas Herron, University of Durham, “Forging an Identity in the New World: Charles Brockden Brown and the American Declaration of Literary Independence”

Honourable mentions Jackie Cahif, University of Glasgow, “The Irrelevance of the American Revolution to the poor of late 18th Century America”

Gary Cape, UCLAN, “Celebration or Critique? John Dos Passos’s Modernist Response to the American Metropolis in Manhattan Transfer

Francesca Ziolkowska, University of Edinburgh, “The Dust Bowl As Historic Fact and Artistic Representation”

Ed Flett, University of Bristol, “The Glass Eye: Hollywood, Film, and the Impact of the Mechanisation of production on the perception of the work of Art”

BAAS Ambassador’s School Essay Prize

Winner: Gillian Harrison, Haydon School, Pinner, Middlesex, “Assess the Impact of Affirmative Action”

BAAS Postgraduate Essay Prize:

Winner: Andrew Wyn Jones, University of Glasgow, “Singing the Body (Politic) Eclectic? Problems of Nationhood within the American Poet Laureateship”

Honourable Mentions: Rachael McLennan, University of Glasgow, “Dark Unpackings: Narrating Southern Female Adolescence in Jill McCorkle’s The Cheer Leader, Sylvia Wilkinson’s Bones of My Bones, and Thulani Davis’s 1959

Joanne Hall, University of Nottingham, “I’ Hobo: Textual Travels and Apocryphal Autobiographies”

The Arthur Miller Prize:

Peter Nicholls (University of Sussex) ‘George Oppen in Exile: Mexico and Maritain’, Journal of American Studies 39 (2005), 1-18.

c) IS noted that the breadth and quality of the essays that were presented this year was very impressive, and as a result, the Subcommittee made a decision to declare not only the winners, but also highlight honourable mentions, to whom certificates will be sent. IS extended thanks to all of the judges, noting contributions from particular members. He also thanked the US Embassy for funding, and individual institutions who encouraged their students to apply. There was a good response to the publicity, and gratifyingly a number of individuals corresponded and said that the prizes were a good idea. The success of these awards and prizes inevitably created more interest, which means that it will be necessary to draw on a wider pool of judges in 2006.

d) IS distributed a document containing two requests for funding. One was from Sheffield for the BAAS Postgraduate conference in November, and second application was from R.J. Ellis (Birmingham) for a colloquium, “Becoming Visible: Women in Public in the 19th Century America”, to be held in June. The Sheffield bid did not specify an amount. Birmingham asked for 10×50 pound sterling bursaries for postgraduates to attend the colloquium. NS noted a precedent of offering £100 which was recently raised to £200. In relation to the Sheffield bid, CE noted that the organizers wanted to link it to the 50th anniversary celebrations, and there was some discussion about Embassy funding for related internet projects, which CE will discuss with the organizers. After a long discussion, it was agreed to support the postgraduate conference with grant of £200, and that BAAS would make an additional £300 available for postgraduate subsidies, to reduce the cost to individual students. IS is to write to the organizers about this plan. It was agreed to offer £250 for postgraduate bursaries to the “Becoming Visible” colloquium. This was more than was usually offered to event organizers.

E) In the absence of IR and KC, IS asked to postpone a full discussion of the Schoolteachers’ Initiative until the summer meeting. He did, however, draw the Committee’s attention to the Teachers’ meeting on Saturday.

F)   IS noted that contrary to our fears, the BAAS postgraduate essay was very successful this year with a strong applicant field. Thus the Development Subcommittee will revisit the issues around the various prizes at the summer meeting, and will ensure that new submission dates are advertised.

G) Thanks were offered to Ian for all his hard work in organizing the prizes.

8. Publications Subcommittee (HM reporting)

a) Carol Smith was unable to attend the meeting but offered a comprehensive written report that HM read out on her behalf. The report indicated that some progress had been made with reviewing the relationship between BAAS and MAP for the BRRAM series. Dr. Roderick Vassie sent CS the existing agreement (dated May 1990) signed by M Heale to act as a basis for future revisions. The free advertising spot in ASIB and BAAS members 10% discount as agreed at our last meeting was mentioned. The Subcommittee will return to this item at the next full meeting in June, with the hopes that a new agreement could be signed and negotiated on behalf of BAAS by CS and SN.

B) The report noted that the EUP BAAS series continues to do well and that EUP remain happy with sales and list. A proposal from Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier (African American Visual Arts) was accepted by the EUP editorial board meeting. Further research into funding for illustrations will be undertaken. The manuscript of The Civil War in American Culture by Dr. Will Kaufman has now arrived with CS (one whole year early) and is being edited. A call for new titles was placed in ASIB.

c) Thanks were offered to JK, SN and Susan Castillo for all their hard and delicate work over the nominations for the vacant positions of the editorial board of JAS. As per the agreed procedure between BAAS and CUP, nominations and CVs were brought to the meeting to replace Prof. Hart, Prof. Tallack and Prof. Badger, who have all been thanked for their sterling work. The Committee considered and approved the nominations of Prof. Emily Miller Buddick (who is a re-nomination); Prof. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, Prof. Peter Williams (who offers specific expertise in religious studies and architecture) and Prof. Werner Sollors. HM will write to Joe Mottershead at CUP as per the agreed guidelines to recommend our nominations to the Syndics. Further nominations will be required later in the year, so CS invites Committee members to offer suggestions to her and to JK, SN and SC for discussion at the next subcommittee meeting.

D) Also in relation to JAS, the report noted that an advertisement for the new editor and associate editor of JAS was part of the conference pack and would be announced at the AGM. It will also be advertised in ASIB, on the web, and on the mailbase.

E) There was a discussion about the delay in printing of the last issues of ASIB. This was due to the printers suffering from repeated break-ins, and our status as a small client meaning that our needs were given a lower priority. Thanks were offered to GT and CE for remedial action in identifying and overcoming the problem; apologies would be offered to the AGM. GT recommended that in the future, hard copies of the conference registration form should be sent separately from ASIB to avoid any potential problems. This was agreed. It was also noted that it may be necessary to seek a new ASIB editor if GT were to be elected to the position of Treasurer. Should this happen, HM would then take charge of advertising the post in the same way as the US Studies Online editorship was advertised. [This subsequently proved to be necessary.]

f)   It was reported that Elizabeth Rosen was offered and accepted the position of editor of US Studies Online. She and CM have been in touch regarding the handover after Easter. The other candidates were thanked for their interest and informed they were not successful. CM reported that her final issue is coming out next week, and that Elizabeth Rosen will be attending the Conference.

G) In relation to the BAAS book prize, it was reported that there had been 9 eligible entries, with the winner to be announced at the Conference Banquet. [The winner was subsequently announced as Professor Richard King.] Thanks were offered to Prof. Davies, Prof. Castillo and Prof. Lucas for the exemplary process they followed in arriving at their decision; they will be publicly thanked at the AGM and PD will offer a speech at the banquet, which will be published in ASIB. Timings of this award need to be reconsidered for next year. CS will write to all entrants informing them of the decision shortly.

9. Conference Subcommittee (SN reporting)

a) TW as Chair was unable to attend, but SN read out his emailed report. The report noted that there had been little business to report apart from the running of the 2005 conference. The Cambridge team was thanked for their organization of the conference.

B) It was reported that Kent’s CFP was collectively revised to shift emphasis slightly away from Benjamin Franklin. This version was circulated at the conference and will go on the website shortly. The next conference will be held at the University of Kent, 20-23 April 2006.

c) Subsequent conferences will be held at the University of Leicester (2007) and the University of Edinburgh (2008).

10. Libraries and Resources Subcommittee (IR reporting by email)

a) IR was unable to attend the meeting, but he offered a written report which HM read out. The main emphasis for the work of BLARS this academic year has been on the re-launch of the former Libraries Newsletter, now entitled Resources for American Studies. The journal will be in a larger format with a wider range of reviews and articles that will be of value and interest to librarians, lecturers and postgraduate students. Thanks were offered to the US Embassy for the support they provided in order to make this possible. Colleagues who felt that they could contribute an article or review of a new database or other form of electronic resource, or a hard text review, were urged to contact the magazine editor, Dr. Matthew Shaw at

B) It was also reported that there has been one significant change to the membership of the committee this year. After many years as Secretary of BLARS, Richard Bennett resigned due to personal reasons. On behalf of all the Committee, sincere thanks were recorded to RB for all the work that he undertook. To date, the post of Secretary remains vacant. It is hoped that this will be resolved at the next meeting in May

11. EAAS

a) There was no EAAS report as the EAAS representative was attending the EAAS meeting, held at Clare College Cambridge, prior to the BAAS Conference. Any business will be addressed firstly at the AGM and subsequently at the next Executive Committee meeting.

12. Fiftieth Anniversary Planning

a) This business was addressed above under the Chair’s report. A fuller report will come to the next Executive Committee meeting.

13. Any Other Business

a) CE drew the Committee’s attention to the postgraduate meeting on Saturday and urged members to encourage every postgraduate to attend.

B) CM noted that a BBC book world programme on Joyce Carol Oates, to be broadcast 20 May, is looking for student voices (preferably undergraduates) to participate. All queries should be directed in the first instance to CM. This information will go out on the mailbase.

C) SN offered thanks to the officers and the whole Committee for making this first year of his position so memorable; thanks were also offered to SN in return for his leadership over the year.

14. Date of next meeting

Saturday 18 June at the University of Glasgow, in order to facilitate handover of the Treasurer duties as well as archive discussions between the Chair and the Secretary. The September meeting is likely to be held in London.

Dr Heidi Macpherson, Secretary

Phone (office): (01772) 893039 or 893040