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

British Association for American Studies


Meeting 252


Meeting 252

BAAS Executive Committee Meeting: September 29, 2007

Minutes of the 252nd meeting of the Executive Committee, held at De Montfort University, Leicester on September 29, 2007.

1. Present

H Macpherson (Chair), J Davies (Vice Chair), C Morley (Secretary) G Thompson

(Treasurer), I Bell, P Blackburn, D Ellis, M Halliwell, W Kaufman, G Lewis, S MacLachlan, I Scott.


S Castillo, R Crockatt, P Davies, J Metcalf, T Saxon, J Virden.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

After minor corrections, these were accepted as a true record and will now go on the website.

3. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

Action List Review

4. Chair’s Business

HM extended a welcome to Paul Blackburn who, as the new Teachers’ Representative, replaces Hannah Lowe who did not wish to renew her cooptation because she has embarked on a PhD. HM, on behalf of the Executive Committee, wished her well in her studies.

(a) Promotions/Appointments/Awards

HM offered congratulations to Dr George Lewis, who has been promoted to Reader in American History at Leicester; Dr Neil Campbell, who has been promoted to Professor of American Studies at Derby; and Dr Jenel Virden, who has been appointed to Head of Humanities at Hull.

HM noted that Dr Alan Rice (UCLAN) and Dr Duco Van Oostrum (Sheffield) were awarded National Teaching Fellowships for their contributions to American Studies. Dr Rice’s award was specifically for his work on Americanisation and the teaching of Transatlantic Slavery and its legacies. Dr Van Oostrum’s award was made on the basis of his use of IT and Virtual Learning Environments as resource enhancement and the way that he designed cross-cultural elements in his American sports literature and film module, making it possible for his students to exchange ideas with students at the University of Maine in America and meet professional American basketball players in the classroom.

HM noted that Dr Alan Rice also received a £27k AHRC award for his project, Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic.

HM offered congratulations to other Americanists receiving AHRC awards: Dr Matthew Jones, Professor Peter Messent and Professor Douglas Tallack (all at Nottingham).

(b) Invitations/Events

HM attended a luncheon with former President Jimmy Carter on 21 June at the Rothermere American Institute where he was offered the George Oglethorpe medal.

HM attended the 4th of July barbeque at Winfield House. There she met, amongst others, Bill Barnard, the Chair of Democrats Abroad UK and subsequently sent him information regarding BAAS.

HM was invited to attend an event at Winfield House on 10 July in relation to F. Scott Fitzgerald but had to decline.

HM was invited to a private viewing of the 4 “Landmarks of New York” exhibition (Royal Institute of British Architects and the Embassy) on 5 September but had to decline.

HM was invited to Winfield House on 20 September to meet the new Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission, the Honourable Richard LeBaron, the new Minister-Counsellor for Public Affairs, Mr. Barrie Walkley, and the new Defence and Naval Attaché, Rear Admiral Ron Henderson. Iwan Morgan and Sue Wedlake were also present.

HM attended the JAS editorial board meeting on 28 September along with CM, MH, IB and GT.

HM was due to meet Penny Eagan, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission on 23 July. Unfortunately Ms Eagan had to cancel this meeting. It has yet to be rearranged.

(c) Consultation

HM responded on behalf of BAAS to the last European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH) consultation on journals listing. In her reply, HM noted concerns over the project, including its failure to embrace interdisciplinarity or area studies and its possible stifling of innovation and experimentality. HM asked for the following journals to be added to the history lists: Journal of American Studies; Journal of Transatlantic Studies; Atlantic Studies; Comparative American Studies. HM also requested that American Quarterly was upgraded to an A journal rather than its current status as B. Finally, HM contacted the editors of all of these journals and suggested that they get their publishers to fill out the feedback forms, as these forms required levels of detail on publication that HM could not access herself. Thanks were extended to all of those who also contributed to this consultation. The literature lists will be published next month, and HM already has a long list of possible journals to add if they are not on the list, as a result of this consultation exercise. It is clear that the subject community feels very strongly about this use of ranking systems. The British Academy recently produced a report on Peer Review (circulated document) ‘Peer Review: The Challenges for the Humanities and Social Sciences’ which is available on the Academy’s website

HM also made the case for American Studies as requiring two discipline experts. Dr Graham Thompson was nominated as a possible discipline expert for Literature and Professor Simon Newman as an expert for History.

JD requested that Dr Thompson and Professor Newman were reminded to be attentive to work in Cultural Studies.

MH requested that HM would make the case for the Journal of American History to be upgraded to grade A in all future correspondence. HM pursued this immediately after the meeting and submitted this request successfully.

HM noted that she had been contacted by Dr Jane Tinkler regarding an LSE Public Policy Group exercise (funded by the British Academy) entitled ‘Maximising the Impact of the Humanities and Social Science Research’. Dr Tinkler has requested BAAS to identify research from recent years and to recommend reports on American Studies and its impacts on policy, government, society and the UK economy in general. Dr Tinkler is running an online survey on the British Academy website to which academics can contribute. HM will distribute the email and asked the committee to reply and contribute to the survey.

(d) Correspondence Written

HM emailed the HOTCUS group (email circulated) in relation to developing relations and alliances between BAAS and the group. She received many welcome replies including responses from Dr Robert Mason, Professor Iwan Morgan, Dr George Conyne and others indicating an enthusiasm to work with BAAS in the future. HOTCUS’s first annual conference will be June 2008.

MH suggested contacting BRANCH in the future and perhaps inviting them to provide a panel for the conference.

HM liaised with the 2007 BAAS Postgraduate Conference organizers on the history of the conference and wrote an introductory piece for their programme.

HM corresponded with Dr Peter Boyle (Nottingham, retired) regarding the renaming of the BAAS Teaching Assistantships and reported that the new name of the awards is The Peter Boyle BAAS Teaching Assistantships. IS noted that all the publicity now includes Dr Boyle’s name.

(e) Correspondence Received

HM has been notified by Martine Walsh (CUP) that JAS is being digitized—the whole back catalogue. To facilitate this successfully CUP will require whole sets of journals and, therefore, are looking for donations of volumes 1-27 (unlikely to be returned). MH noted that the likelihood of finding a full run was slim. DE noted that there is an almost full run of the journal at the Birmingham archives. CM is to inform Martine Walsh of the possibility of locating the required volumes at Birmingham.

HM liaised with Christine Heckman regarding the Putney debates and their influence on the American democratic system. Ms Heckman asked for a list of possible presenters and the final programme is now ready: Wednesday, 31st October 7:30pm at St Mary’s Church in Putney. Formal title of the discussion is ‘Every Man and his Government: The American Premise’. The format will be 4 panelists and one Chair to facilitate the discussion. Participants are:

Bruce Norton (Debate Chair)

Trevor Burnard (U of Warwick)

Simon Middleton (U of Sheffield)

Adam I.P. Smith—(UCL)

Marc Stears (Oxford)

More information on the Commemoration overall is available at

HM noted that she had been contacted by Mark Whalan regarding the South West American Studies Forum, asking BAAS to spearhead a project looking at why there might be a decline in applications to AS subjects.

HM noted that further information on engagement with AS applications would be taken under Development subcom business in relation to the CD-rom project.

(f) Miscellaneous

HM was invited to become a member of the QAA Benchmarking Steering Group for a period of three years.

HM helped BBC Radio 4 editors find a speaker for their Women’s Hour programme on Hilary Clinton as a US presidential contender.

HM corresponded with an individual regarding BAAS pamphlets on the web and the correction of a perceived error.

5. Secretary’s Business

(a) The Secretary circulated an email she had been forwarded from the Treasurer, regarding calls for elections to the Academy of Social Sciences. CM asked any of the committee who might wish to stand for election to contact her via email after the meeting.

(b) CM noted that her main role revolved around information flow. She helped direct people with research and grant queries to the appropriate sources; directed potential PhD candidates to appropriate members of the subject community; updated the BAAS Externals List; updated lists for BLARs and the new Teachers’ Representative (as well as welcoming the new Teachers’ Rep); fielded enquires for bibliographic assistance from many A-level students; directed queries regarding awards to Ian Scott; contacted the Charities Commission with details of the new committee members; and liaised with Dick Ellis regarding the JANET registration process.

(c) CM liaised with Chili Hawes of the October Gallery in London regarding publicity for an exhibition of Native American Art. Unfortunately, she had to decline an invitation to the opening of the exhibition.

(d) CM reported that she had attended a luncheon with former President Jimmy Carter on 21 June at the Rothermere American Institute, along with HM and MH, on behalf of BAAS.

(e) CM reported that she had been invited to attend the Fulbright College Day event on 29 September but had to decline as it clashed with the BAAS Executive Committee meeting.

(f) CM noted that she has been invited to a Fulbright Commission reception on Monday 15 October to celebrate the achievements of the Fulbright Summer Institute. Unfortunately she will have to decline the invitation.

(g) CM reported that she attended the JAS Editorial Board Meeting at the Royal Society on Friday 28 September long with HM, GT, IB and MH.

(h) CM (and MH) has also been in touch with Dr Alison Kelly, the new Editor of ASIB, regarding the final handover of the newsletter.

6. Treasurer’s Business

(a) The Treasurer circulated a report to the committee noting that the bank accounts (as at 1/10/07) are as follows: General Deposit, £23,723.49; Short Term Awards, £11,576.58; Current, £537.99; Library and Resources, £727.87; Education and Development, £5,031.11; Conference, £969.96; making a total of £42, 567.00. In addition the RBS Jersey has £14,973.10 and the US Dollar Account has $5,761.25.

(b) GT reported that BAAS membership numbers are on the increase with fully paid up members for 2007 standing at 481 including 172 postgraduates. This compares favourably to the position last year on this date, which was 420 members (140 of which were postgraduates). When those who haven’t so far updated their Standing Orders are included, the numbers rise to 550 (with 192 postgraduate). Again, this compares favourably with the September 2006 numbers of 497 (of which 161 were postgraduates).

(c) GT noted that he will shortly send out a Gift Aid letter, renewal forms and membership numbers to the membership. The Gift Aid forms will, it is hoped, result in a substantial amount of revenue for BAAS. He added that he was unsure about the issue of category in the membership number, i.e. in terms of the change in membership status. This is something that will have to be closely monitored.

(d) GT reminded the committee that membership of BAAS is for a calendar year and he noted that members are not often aware of this. The committee agreed that this was something to highlight on the website.

(e) GT attended a meeting with Professor Tony McEnery and Alicia Greated at the AHRC regarding the restructuring of the AHRC (see circulated flow chart document); GT observed that the language of the restructuring document centres on terms such as ‘fit for purpose’ and ‘streamlining administration’ etc. One of the 5 key principles driving restructuring is ‘the reduction of real or perceived barriers to interdisciplinary research.’ GT noted six key points from his discussion with Professor McEnery:

1. Greater reliance on peer review college;

2. The panel structure for research leave and postgraduate research as it now stands is to be eliminated– what was peer review panel is now the prioritisation panel;

3. Rolling application programme rather than set deadlines;

4. Setting up of a new academic advisory board drawing from subject associations (we may need to nominate someone from the committee);

5. The AHRC will make internal decisions on smaller awards (under £200,000), i.e. before it goes to the prioritisation panel;

6. Wish to return to the idea of larger awards involving some kind of interview and presentation element. GT noted that the AHRC funding landscape is to change significantly over the next few years and he encouraged committee members to attend upcoming consultation meetings in the next few weeks; MH has attended some of these meetings and compiled a report which the Secretary will circulate to the committee.

(f) GT noted that the question of institutional membership has arisen again and it has now been clarified that schools and libraries are to be classified as an institution: they may join BAAS for free and receive one copy of ASIB (but not JAS); and they may send one representative to attend the BAAS conference for the member rate. The rationale behind this is to include and reach out to schools and colleges. GT proposed that this new category of membership would be called ‘Schools, Colleges and Libraries Membership.’ The committee approved this. GT is to change subscription forms, add to the website and then to promote and advertise to schools.

7. Development Subcommittee (HM reporting on behalf of RC)

(a) RC has written to the US Embassy requesting funding totalling £11,380. He has received preliminary confirmation of the funding for the Ambassador’s Awards for a total of £2,830 (£1000 for the Postgraduate Award, £500 for the Undergraduate Award, and £250 for the School Essay). RC also requested funds for the BAAS Annual Conference (including administration, publicity, travel and expenses, and subsidies for five secondary school teachers to attend), STAs (£3000), and a contribution towards the cost of Postgraduate attendance at the BAAS Annual Conference (5 grants totalling £2000). RC expects a response on these latter requests imminently.

(b) RC received three requests for funding:

1. Professor Simon Newman wrote with a request for £300 towards the 9th Annual SASA. On the recommendation of the Development Subcom, this amount was agreed by the committee; 2. Michael Kindellan requested £300 for the ‘Problems of Major Form: 19th and 20th Century Long Poems’ conference at Sussex in February. The request asked either for speaker fees or postgraduate participation. On the recommendation of the Development Subcom, this amount was agreed by the committee to cover postgraduate participation; 3. PD requested £300 for the Congress to Campus events in November 2007, as per previous bids, which is 4 x £75 for speakers’ fees. On the recommendation of the Development Subcom, the committee agreed that this be funded subject to a bid being written up on the official form, so that there was an audit trail.

(c) PB offered many good ideas on liaising with schools, many of which will be taken forward.

(d) HM, on behalf of the committee, congratulated Dr Sara Wood on the quality and variety of the work that has been done on the CD-Rom which includes downloadable powerpoint presentations, graphics, quizzes and video clips and photos (amongst many other features) – all aimed to promote American Studies. The CD also includes six essays on specific subjects and many interactive features. The CD-Rom will be ready by the end of the year and the committee discussed the issue of the number of CDs which BAAS would wish to purchase – the last figures for costs are 20,000 at 33.3p, 5000 at 50p, and 10,000 somewhere on the sliding scale. There was a lengthy discussion amongst the committee regarding the way in which the CDs might be disseminated. At the Development Subcom meeting in the morning PD had noted that there were 3,800 Secondary schools to whom BAAS might send materials in bulk. A more targeted approach would be to send to universities for open days (and/or to distribute to students) or, alternatively, to send the CDs to sixth-form conferences. GT argued that BAAS would need to discuss an upper rather than a lower figure as the CD had been designed with a shelf life of 5years. GT also raised the issue of storage; DE mentioned that LLAS would be happy to send out the CD but not to store. DE added that Birmingham would be willing to store. HM noted that BAAS would need to have a strategy on how many CDs to send to institutions; DE suggested sending them out when events are held, e.g. Careers Advisory events; HM observed that BAAS would need some market research on who might be using the CD and their needs rather than distributing the CDs on a ‘first come first serve’ basis where CDs could potentially be wasted; HM suggested that some CDs would need to be reserved for universities (again, numbers raised as an issue). HM stressed that BAAS needed to show the membership that the organisation was active in Schools and the CD was a good way of demonstrating the hard work BAAS was putting into promoting the discipline. DE stressed that we need to be lavish with the CD as the relevant bodies had been with the languages model in the past and were now reaping the benefits; IS highlighted the difference in the disciplines between the languages model and area studies, particularly that students had prior knowledge of what languages were. HM suggested that BAAS send out a message via heads of subject departments (and/or admissions officer) and mail-base and to the Schools requesting information on how many CDs individuals or institutions would require – HM will coordinate this move.

8. Postgraduate Business (HM reporting on behalf of JM)

(a) HM noted that JM has copies of posters for the BAAS Postgraduate Conference and the committee was reminded to encourage their postgraduate students to attend. Manchester has currently 60 delegates currently registered for the BAAS Postgraduate Conference and they are hoping for 80 attendees (amongst which JM hopes there will be 5 6th Form students). The full conference programme is now online. JM received £300 from the US Embassy towards the conference. Sue Wedlake will attend the conference and Elizabeth Boyle (Editor, US Studies Online) will also attend with a view towards publishing a selection of papers in future editions of the journal. PB will attend the dinner in advance with Lizabeth Cohen; other Exec members were encouraged to attend the conference and the dinner with the plenary speaker.

(b) Jo Gill at Exeter is interested in hosting the next postgraduate conference.

(c) JM requested that the postgraduate lunch would be held on the first full day of the BAAS Annual Conference in Edinburgh (rather than the second day as is tradition). This is proposed to facilitate the formation of friendships and contacts among the postgraduate delegates. The committee agreed this. SM to inform RM (organiser of the 2008 conference).

9. Publications Subcommittee (MH reporting)


A new BRRAM title on ‘Records relating to the Liverpool Slave Trade in the Liverpool Record Office’ has been issued on four microfilm reels. KM was the special editor for this project.

Filming has been completed for a BRRAM title on ‘The American Correspondence of Arthur C. Murray with Franklin D. Roosevelt,’ based on manuscripts at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. The special editor, Dr Tony McCulloch (Canterbury Christ Church University), expects to complete his introduction by December 2007. This title should therefore be released early in 2008. The Canadian Papers of the 4th Earl of Minto are to follow the Murray correspondence, with Dr McCulloch as special editor.

KM and RV are pursuing an offer by Dr Natalie Zacek (University of Manchester) to prepare a BRRAM on the manuscripts of Samuel Martin, a sugar planter in 18th-century Antigua. Dr Zacek’s CV was circulated amongst the Publications Subcom for their approval, which was unanimous. MAP has a formal agreement from the British Library to publish this title, but the contracts for this project still need to be signed.

KM and RV are still awaiting agreements from Rhodes House Library, Oxford over publication of further United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel papers, principally in relation to Canada and the West Indies. These manuscripts are extensive. The USPG archivist has agreed that the documents can be filmed at MAP in Wakefield, but a decision on this is still awaited from Rhodes House. Once an agreement has been reached, we can try to identify appropriate special editors.

In June 2007 Nigel Le Page, the Managing Director of MAP, visited Jamaica to discuss the possible microfilming of records held at the University of the West Indies, Mona; the National Library of Jamaica, Kingston; and the Jamaica Archives, Spanish Town. These meetings elicited a promising response. RV has followed up the visit with letters to the relevant archivists, in the hope that manuscripts already filmed in Jamaica could be released by MAP, some in the BRRAM series. KM has sent RV a detailed list of items from British archives relating to Jamaica that have been filmed and deposited in the Special Collections at UWI, Mona. MAP hope to release some of these microfilms in the BRRAM series.

KM observed that the back catalogue of BRRAM titles only sells intermittently. In order to increase sales of this material, KM has supplied RV with the names of several high profile universities and research libraries in the USA that are not currently standing order customers but whose microfilm holdings are directly related to the material we are filming for BRRAMs. These are: the Huntington Library; the John Carter Brown Library; the Newberry Library; the UCLA Research Library; and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. MH asked the committee to list other libraries that might possibly be interested and forward to him via email. In turn, he will forward to KM and RV.

(b) Edinburgh University Press (EUP)

Mark Hulsether’s book, Religion, Culture and Politics in the Twentieth century United States has now been published and it is co-published in US with Columbia UP (thereby increasing the print run by 2,500 extra copies).

CS informed MH that the editorial process has started on Celeste-Marie Bernier’s book, African American Visual Arts from Slavery to the Present.

(c) Journal of American Studies

MH reported that John Matlin had stepped down from his role of Editorial Assistant at JAS and is to be replaced by Dr Bevan Sewell.

MH also drew the committee’s attention to the fact that a new manuscript review form has been drawn up which will be useful to manuscript reviewers; a copy of this new form had been circulated at the JAS editorial board meeting on 28 September 2007.

MH mentioned that it had been noted that JAS had been low on 20th Century History submissions; the committee was asked to disseminate that more articles are needed in this area; further to this the committee was asked to encourage submissions in art, music and philosophy.

MH also noted that there had been 3% drop in paper subscriptions to the journal but a rise in electronic subscriptions, which was to be expected and will be a continuing trend.

MH noted that in terms of the JAS Editorial Board Professor David Seed’s term has come up for renewal. As Professor Seed is happy to be renominated, the committee is happy to ratify this (MH is to discuss further with SC).

Emily Miller Budick’s term has come to an end and a replacement is required in the area of 19th Century American Literature.

(d) American Studies in Britain (ASIB)

CM and MH visited Dr Alison Kelly to complete the handover of files and information in August completed in summer.

The deadline for the next edition is 15 January. Submissions should be sent to Dr Kelly at her work email only:

CM reported that there had been slight problems with dispatching the current edition as the postal company which she had formerly used had gone out of business. This will shortly be remedied and the Autumn edition of ASIB will be dispatched within a fortnight.

(e) US Studies Online

MH reported that the plan to go to three issues per year (rather than the current two) has been put off until 2008.

Elizabeth Boyle has written to MH to report that the next edition of US Studies Online was going well due to a collection of very good papers from the Nottingham BAAS Postgraduate Conference.

Elizabeth Boyle will also attend the Manchester Postgraduate Conference this month with a view to sourcing future articles for the journal.

(f) BAAS Website

As of yet there have been not been any serious expressions of interest in taking over the running of the website. Further discussion under BLARs business.

10. Conference Subcommittee (SM reporting)

Business mainly concerned the Edinburgh Conference:

(a) RM has received between 60-70 proposals already so far; the deadline for proposals is 15 Oct and he is, as is seemingly customary, expecting to receive a deluge of proposals around this date.

(b) In terms of plenary lectures, it is now confirmed that the Eccles Lecture will be offered by Professor Peter Dickinson on John Cage (Music).

(c) RM has also sent out the final CFP for the conference.

(d) The costs for the conference have now been finalised. It will cost £300 for BAAS members; the retired members’ fee will be covered by Gift Aid revenue. RC has a bid outstanding which will cover the postgraduate subsidy.

(e) Accommodation with different standards of en suite is available; RM is to make decision on how this will be offered to delegates (following further discussion with the Conference Subcom) when the conference registration document is drafted.

(f) A conference committee at Edinburgh is now in place but there are gaps on it to be filled; the Edinburgh support team is also now in place.

(g) RM raised the issue of the cost of placing the conference paper abstracts. GT suggested that cost of postgraduate help for this should be rolled into the overall costs for the conference.

(h) The entertainment at the Edinburgh conference will be a céilidh The Conference Subcom also raised the issue of BAAS disco as possibly too expensive to continue for future conferences.

(i) The dates for the Nottingham 2009 conference are 16-19 April. The Nottingham accommodation is booked and it is all en suite.

(j) The issue was raised regarding the necessity for conference organisers to regularly attend the Conference Subcom meetings. SM noted that the official timetable for conference organisation suggests that organisers start attending meetings two years in advance of the conference.

11. Awards Subcommittee (IS reporting)

(a) The MA Teaching Assistantships have been advertised. All publicity now includes Peter Boyle’s name. IS confirmed that interviews will be held in December.

(b) The ongoing issues regarding the Teaching Assistantship in English at New Hampshire (to complement the award in History) have been resolved insofar as the two best applicants for the literature assistantship will each be offered places at either the University of New Hampshire or the University of Virginia.

(c) IS is currently in conversation with California State University at Fresno regarding a Teaching Assistantship Award.

(d) IS mentioned the need for a 3-person interview panel and this is subject to an ongoing email discussion amongst the committee. It was noted by HM that officers are required to sit on specific awards panels.

(e) IS has contacted Clare Elliot regarding a call on the mail-base for BAAS Awards judges more generally.

(f) The Awards Subcom has seen a draft of the awards guidelines which are to go on the website in the next week; the need for references for the STA prize has been highlighted in the new guidelines.

(g) Members of the Awards Subcom have seen electronic versions of all the Awards publicity – this will go out in hard and electronic copy. The cost has been confirmed at marginally under £500. Electronic copies are to go out in the next week and hard copies in next few months.

12. Libraries and Resources Subcommittee (DE reporting)

(a) DE began his report by offering thanks to his predecessor Ian Ralston, to the BLARs committee and to BAAS more generally for their very hard work.

(b) The issue of institutional membership had originally been raised by DE and the BLARs committee and had now been resolved (see 6.f under Treasurer’s Business).

(c) BLARs are very happy with the transfer of budget issues to GT.

(d) DE reported that the Resources in American Studies Journal, whilst always struggling for funding, looked in good condition this year with income from the US Embassy; the Editor has set a film theme for next edition (interested contributors are requested to contact Matthew Shaw at the British Library)

(e) BLARs has proposed a panel proposed on web research (e.g. Intute) for the Edinburgh conference. Alternatively they can offer a panel on open access and intellectual ownership, etc. The committee agreed that it would be more timely to take the latter through to Nottingham 2009.

(f) DE raised the issue of the BAAS website, mentioning that there was a feeling in BLARs that the BAAS website is a very important resource and crucial to teachers and academics alike. However, concern was expressed that it needs reinvigoration (while recognising that this is an increasingly onerous task). DE suggested that this has become such a complicated task that it may now require paying someone to put some work into it.

(g) GT responded that the entire committee will need to have a discussion about what the website is to do and what we want it to do. This is very important as expanding and improving the website will limit who can do it (in terms of IT expertise). The committee will also need to decide whether we want to pay for it. This, in turn, raises issues regarding the other unpaid jobs such as the editorships of American Studies in Britain and US Studies Online.

(h) IS mentioned that this was raised at Leicester and the committee discussed the possible need for further personnel on the BAAS Executive Committee to handle these increasingly time-consuming jobs. GL suggested a one-off revamp and then the appointment of key staff to keep this regularly updated.

(i) HM asked BLARs for a specific proposal with detailed points to focus discussion. DE agreed to head up a discussion regarding what is required of the website, areas for potential improving, etc.

(j) DE also raised the issue of the BLARs identity, signalling a need to address what BLARs is about in terms of its remit and vision. This will enable BLARs to outline a trajectory for the future. DE and GT to confer on setting up a discussion board on the BAAS website for the committee and BAAS members to contribute to this discussion.

13. EAAS

(a) PD re-circulated the call for papers for the EAAS Oslo conference.

(b) PD also added an announcement of the BAAS conference and the American Politics conference to the EAAS newsletter.

(c) The fee for Oslo set at 95 euro (approximately £62 – this excludes accommodation). A full list of participants will be printed in the coming week.

14. Any Other Business

The Eccles Centre have recently circulated a poster promoting American Studies; two copies send to every school in the country. More available if needed (contact Professor Phil Davies)

15. Date of next meeting

11 January 2008 at Nottingham. Subcommittees will commence at 10.30am

Dr. Catherine Morley
Office Phone: (01865) 484977