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British Association for American Studies


AGM 2012


AGM 2012

British Association for American Studies

Annual General Meeting 2012

 The 2012 AGM of BAAS was held on Friday 13 April at the University of Manchester at 4.00pm.


Treasurer            Dr Sylvia Ellis (to 2015)

Committee            Dr. Michael Collins (to 2015) *

Dr. Bridget Bennett (to 2015)

Dr. Rachael McLennan (to 2015)

Dr. Michael P. Bibler (to 2014) #

EAAS Rep            Dr Theresa Saxon (to 2017)

PG Rep                        Mr John Ward (to 2012)

* Previously elected 2010-12 to an unexpired post; re-elected 2012 for three years.

# Elected for two years to an unexpired post (vacated by Dr Sylvia Ellis)

Amendment to the Constitution:

The Secretary asked the membership to consider the proposal raised in the AGM 2012 Notice (published in the Spring issue of American Studies in Britain) regarding the addition of a post on the BAAS Executive for early career scholars:

To add a 2-year post to the BAAS Executive for early career scholars with an institutional affiliation working on any aspect of American Studies. To be eligible candidates must be within three years of successfully completing their PhD and must be members of BAAS. Former BAAS Postgraduate Representatives are eligible for election, but all candidates must have submitted the final post-viva version of their PhD at least two weeks before the BAAS AGM in order to stand. This Early Career Scholar position is a single non-renewal term; the individual would be eligible to stand for a full 3-year BAAS Executive position at the end of their second year.

This entails a change to the BAAS Constitution (section 6) which as per section 13 must be approved by the membership at the AGM. The Secretary (JG) explained that this change was proposed in order (a) to ensure that the experiences and concerns of early career colleagues were represented on the Exec and (b) that the Exec was able to encourage continuing involvement on the part of graduate students and their constituency as they proceeded through into post-doctoral careers. JG (Exeter) proposed the motion; Dick Ellis (Birmingham) seconded it, and it was carried unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer circulated copies of the Trustees’ Report and the draft audited accounts, which she asked the AGM to approve. Dick Ellis (Birmingham) proposed that the accounts be approved; Heidi Macpherson (De Montfort) seconded the motion, and it was carried unanimously.

TS reported that fully Paid up as members as at April 2012 currently stand at 304 (102 postgraduate). This is a slight overall increase on last year (302 / 104). If one includes members who have not yet changed their Standing Orders, the numbers stand at 406 (123 postgrad) as compared to 2011 where with no change to SO, the figures were: 424 (130 postgrad). TS reminded the AGM, again, of the need to update Standing Orders. Members with out-of-date SOs have already been written to; TS noted that membership needs continual monitoring as SOs sometimes get cancelled without reference to the database administrator and we run the risk of sending out Journals to cancelled members.

In terms of the Accounts, TS noted a deficit of £2,222.

Chair’s Report:

The Chair offered a comprehensive verbal report in which he reflected on recent events. He noted that the opening three and a half months of 2012 have been strange ones, particularly from a US perspective: the good news is that economic recovery looks like it is on the way with American jobs increasing month on month since December, but it is unclear whether this is down to the Obama administration’s policy, a temporary recovery engineered for election year, or part of the cyclical nature of recession and recovery. He observed that interested parties have been treated to – or have had to endure, depending on your perspective – a lengthy series of Republican primaries with three candidates trying to stay in touch with Mitt Romney, accusing him of not being Republican enough, having a health care plan not dissimilar to Obama’s, and waiting for him to make the next gaff.He noted the campaign to rewrite the mangled ‘drum major’ inscription on the recently-opened Martin Luther King Jr statue on Washington’s Mall, a HBO film of Sarah Palin’s VP campaign of 2008, Obama singing Al Green and ‘Sweet Home Chicago’, and David Cameron praising the President for his ‘moral leadership’. Although Andy Rudalevige from Dickinson College has recently lectured in Leicester and Copenhagen on the ‘snarly sort of politics’ that is already emerging in the 2012 election, it is more of a weird sort of political potion that will intoxicate some, poison others, and no doubt leave us all gripped until November.

In Britain the political picture could be seen as the same old cronyism, cabinet ministers yet again escaping blame, the threat of strikes, students trying to make their voices heard, and some Vice-Chancellors turning their hand at being government advisors. On these last two points, he noted fissures in the HE sector opening up. If the higher fees are not enough to divide the 2011 and 2012 generation of students and those universities who can charge fees of £9000 a year and those that can’t, then the government’s uneven attempt to both regulate parts of the sector and deregulate others has injected turbulence into the sector, with four 1994 Group universities recently joining the Russell Group and the suspicion that the government would not be unhappy if a handful of other institutions closed.

MH noted that the key issues this year for American Studies have been undergraduate recruitment patterns and the issue of year abroad fees. Along with other Area Studies and Modern Language subjects, there has been an overall decline in the number of American Studies applicants, with a slight increase in those applying for three-year degrees, but the good news is that the decline isn’t as marked as 2006 when undergraduate fees last rose. BAAS’s attempt to lobby the government and vice-chancellors to keep year abroad fees down has been partially successful, at least in the short term, but there is still the distinct possibility that four-year degrees will look too expensive for many school leavers and that more traditional degree subjects will be encouraged by school teachers, HE advisors and parents alike. MH welcomed the British Academy and the University Council of Modern Languages joint statement on the value of year abroad, but added that we must ensure that the American Studies year abroad component does not fade into the background with the emphasis firmly on language acquisition as part of Modern Language degrees. He noted that there is also the spectre of postgraduate fees looming – a topic to which MH will return in future.

MH reported that one BAAS initiative this year was to start an annual schools’ conference focusing on a particular American topic, with the plan to move the conference around UK’s regions. This commenced in February with a day conference on ‘US Politics and Government’ at Pocklington School, York, which featured some well-known speakers:  John Dumbrell, Iwan Morgan and Scott Lucas, and a curriculum session by Tom Virender from Silcoates School, Wakefield. The day was a huge success and MH extended his thanks to the BAAS Teachers’ Liaison Representative, Gareth Hughes, for his work in organizing the event, Pocklington School for hosting it, and the US Embassy for providing sponsorship. MH reported that the Exec seeks a suitable school elsewhere in the country to hold the 2013 schools’ conference and invited members with suggestions of good schools in their areas that could host a similar event to please contact Gareth or MH in the next couple of months.

Also on the positive side, MH observed that there had been some fantastic submissions this year for the range of awards sponsored by BAAS, the US Embassy and the Eccles Centre at the British Library (which remain two of BAAS’s most important external partners); some really strong published scholarship; a new biennial joint initiative with the Irish Association for American Studies to hold a joint Postgraduate & Early Careers Conference (the first of which was held in Dublin this January); and a range of grants awarded by research councils and charities, including:

  • Dr James Russell (De Montfort) has been awarded £98,000 by the Leverhulme Trust for his two-year project ‘Hollywood and the Baby Boom, A Social History’.
  • Joy Porter (formerly at Swansea and now at Hull) has received an AHRC Research Fellowship worth £51,417 for her project ‘The American Indian Poet of the First World War: Modernism and the Indian Identity of Frank “Toronto” Prewett’ and a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for the project ‘The American Presidency and Tribal Diplomacy in the 20th Century’ (£113,950).
  • Dr Faye Hammill (Strathclyde) has been awarded £236,000 from the AHRC for the collaborative project ‘Magazines, Travel and Middlebrow Culture in Canada’.
  • Professor Don MacRaild (Northumbria) has won an AHRC grant of £285,000 for the project ‘Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective, 1760-1950’.
  • Dr Robin Vandome (Nottingham) has been awarded a $60,000 Mellon Foundation fellowship at the New York Historical Society for 2012-13.
  • Professor Bridget Bennett and Dr Hamilton Carroll (Leeds) have been awarded £37,000 from the AHRC for a project entitled ‘Imagining the Place of Home’.
  • Dr Vivien Miller (Nottingham) is the PI of an AHRC research network grant in the Translating Culture stream entitled ‘Translating Penal Cultures’, worth £23,315.


There have been really encouraging initiatives at the University of Northumbria, including six new appointments and plans to start a new American Studies undergraduate degree in 2013, and at the Institute for the Study of Americas, the current staff of which will be joining University College London in July to form the Institute of the Americas, at which point Professor Iwan Morgan will take up the position of Professor of US Studies at UCL. (The ISA at the School of Advanced Studies will continue, at least in the short-term, although it is not yet clear to what extent the United States will feature in its portfolio). There have been new permanent appointments at other institutions including the Universities of Hull, Leicester, UEA, Exeter, and Kent.

MH also noted that the community can celebrate a number of promotions and appointments in American Studies including, to Chairs, Nick Selby and Sarah Churchwell (University of East Anglia), Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire), Celeste-Marie Bernier (University of Nottingham), Faye Hammill (Strathclyde University) and Clive Webb (University of Sussex). We congratulate Brian Ward on his appointment as Research Professor in American Studies at Northumbria University from August and, MH’s predecessor as BAAS Chair, Professor Heidi Macpherson (De Montfort University) for her appointment to the position of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, a position Heidi will take up in July. Congratulations to all.

MH noted that colleagues on the BAAS Executive will be reporting on some of the other work done this year, but wanted to mention particularly the 2011-12 BAAS project, entitled ‘American Studies in the UK, 2000-2010’. He offered particular thanks for the work of BAAS intern Richard Martin (reporting later in the meeting), John Fagg (the Development Chair), the Fulbright Commission, and all colleagues who have participated through interviews or by providing data. The plan is to publish this as an open-access report in June via the BAAS website as a snapshot of how American Studies has developed as a discipline in the early 21st century and as a resources for future scholars.

Finally, MH expressed thanks to BAAS Executive colleagues for a really productive year, particularly Jo Gill (the BAAS Secretary) who joined the Executive last year, her predecessor Catherine Morley who had ensured a smooth change-over, and colleagues who have finished their term of office: Iwan Morgan (who has been our representative at the Academy of Social Sciences), John Fagg (the Chair of the Development Subcommittee), Zalfa Feghali (our Postgraduate Representative), and former BAAS Chair Philip Davies, who steps down as the European Association for American Studies representative after five years in the role. The excellent news for BAAS, is that Phil has been recently elected to the full role of President of EAAS for the next four years, which MH observed will really help to boost the profile of BAAS in and beyond Europe. Many congratulations Phil.

MH’s last word was for BAAS’s outgoing Treasurer, Theresa Saxon. Theresa has been in the role of Treasurer for four years and was a valuable BAAS Executive member before that. MH confirmed that all Exec members have enjoyed working with Theresa immensely and commended her on the professionalism, good sense and glamour that she has brought to the really important role of BAAS Treasurer. Thank you, Theresa.


1. 57th BAAS Conference / Manchester

Tom Ruys Smith began by thanking Ian Scott, Brian Ward, Hannah Mansell and the rest of the Manchester conference team for all their many efforts over the past months and years to get us all to this point. He observed that the conference had been a great success so far and that there was much more still to come on the programme.

2. 58th BAAS Conference / Exeter (2013)

TRS noted that the BAAS Exec had already visited Exeter to view facilities for next year’s conference (18 to 21st April 2012) and observed that arrangements are already in a state of great readiness. He noted that the call for papers was available in conference packs and urged members to start planning papers and panels in good time for the submission deadline of November 1st. He drew members’ attention to the three exciting keynote speakers who have already been confirmed.

3. Future conferences

TRS confirmed that in 2014 BAAS will be heading to the University of Birmingham, and in 2015 to Northumbria University. He noted that BAAS are still looking to finalise a venue for BAAS 2016 and asked interested parties to contact him for information about the process.

4. Conference Subcommittee

Finally, TRS offered sincere thanks to Theresa Saxon for all of her work on the Conference Sub-Committee.


John Fagg noted that two further reports on areas that fall under the Development Subcommittee remit – Libraries and Resources and EAAS – would follow later in the meeting. In addition, as announced at last year’s AGM, during 2011-12 BAAS in association with the Fulbright commission have employed Richard Martin to write a report mapping the development of American Studies in the UK between 2000 and 2010. With the support of many members of the American Studies community who have contributed written statements, given interviews or offered information and suggestions, Richard has produced a rich, detailed, stimulating piece of work. RM’s summary of the project is below; the draft of his report will then go out for wider consultation. JF noted that RM has reported to the subcommittee throughout the year – and that the subcommittee provided advice and steers – but that on the whole, their role has been watching RM progress in a diligent, efficient, intelligent and independent manner – while also completing getting his PhD and doing large amounts of teaching. JF offered his congratulations!

1. Allocation of Conference Grants

In his final Annual report as Chair of the subcommittee, Will Kaufman, raised concerns about the BAAS’s financial ability to continue to support conference funding applications, with specific regard to annual and bi-annual events held by organizations with specific disciplinary or period focus within the American Studies field. The subcommittee has discussed this at length over the past year and has agreed – with certain caveats regarding the way money is spent and the way that BAAS support is signposted – to continue to support such activities where possible.

A second, related, concern regarding Conference Funding is the year-on-year escalation in funding requested and allocated:

2009-10: £3370

2010-11: £4195

2011-12: £4640

The 2011-12 figure includes funding for significant new events in the PG BAAS calendar (addressed below). Increasing professionalization (or other factors) mean that the subcommittee is receiving applications for events significantly ahead of time – some of the funding agreed in September 2011 is for events to be held in summer 2012 so the year-on-year comparison is slightly skewed. Nonetheless – the increase in applications does require careful attention and the subcommittee will institute new procedures over the next year to ensure that our levels of funding allocation remain sustainable.

The good news side of this story is that the number and range of strong applications for funds to support one-day symposiums, annual conferences, outreach events and a Film and Cultural Festival is evidence of the health and vibrant research culture of American Studies.

Over the last 12 months the subcommittee has allocated funding to 3 one-off events that have now taken place:

“American Imagetext” (UEA); “Orality and Literacy” (a Transatlantic themed meeting of the London Nineteenth-Century Seminar Series at Birkbeck); “Ranking American Presidents” (Northumbria).

And funding to 5 further one-off activities that are ‘coming soon’:

“Transnational Networks and Nineteenth-Century Periodical Culture” (Birmingham); “Markets, Law, and Ethics, 1400-1800” (Sheffield); “The First International Djuna Barnes Conference” (Birkbeck); “Audre Lorde’s Legacy” (Kent), and “Melville and Americanness” (UEA).

Support has also been given to:

The APG/BAAS Colloquium and the Congress to Campus event at the Eccles Centre; the 13th Scottish Association for the Study of America Conference at the University of Glasgow and “American Frontiers” (BAAS Postgraduate Conference 2011) at Birmingham.

Funds have also been allocated to forthcoming standing events:

“Joining Places, Joining People” the British Group in Early American History Annual Conference to be held at St Andrews.

2. Postgraduate

The BAAS Postgraduate Conference “American Frontiers” at Birmingham, organised by John Horne, Rebecca Isaacs and Katie Barnett, was a real success with a Keynote from Liam Kennedy, 9 panel sessions and 80+ delegates. The conference organisers also built an excellent website and were engaged in publicising and building sustainable research networks.

Conf organisers were supported by Zalfa Feghali in her final year as BAAS PG rep – Zalfa’s other major achievement in this role this year has been to establish and co-organise the first joint Irish Association for American Studies (IAAS) and BAAS Postgraduate and Early Career conference. Zalfa worked with Louise Walsh and Katie Kirwan, her IAAS counterparts to organise a very successful event that took place on January 13-14 at Trinity College, Dublin with the theme “Transgressive and Transgression” and plenary lectures from Martin Halliwell and IAAS Chair Philip McGowan of Queen’s University Belfast. This event accounted for the significant new allocation mentioned earlier as BAAS matched IAAS’s contribution and provided £600 to support the event. The plan is for this to become a biennial event with the next conference to be held in the UK.

Finally, on PG activity, the Development Subcommittee instigated and administered a new bursary to support Postgraduate Students who give papers at the EAAS Conference. Rachael Williams (Nottingham) and Kristin Brill (Cambridge) both received £200 towards travel and accommodation for the Conference in Izmir, Turkey (see EAAS Report below).

3. Schools Liaison

JF noted that BAAS were fortunate to welcome Gareth Hughes from Pocklington School in Yorkshire to the Exec this year. Gareth has brought energy and initiative to the role of Schools’ Liaison. The most significant area of activity has been the BAAS American Government and Politics Student Conference held at Pocklington School on February 6th . Recognising the success of similar events pitched at A Level students and held (almost exclusively) in London, Gareth instigated an event covering topics in American Politics for Sixth Forms in the North of England. With financial support from the American Embassy, the day included talks by John Dumbrell, Iwan Morgan, Scott Lucas and Tom Verinder as well as an introduction to BAAS from Martin Halliwell and a roundtable session to close the day.

Conceived as a ‘pilot’ and the first of a series, this event and those planned for the future as designed as a means of engaging sixth form students with the discipline and expanding BAAS’s outreach network.

4. Special Report: “American Studies in the UK 2000-2010.”

Richard Martin delivered the following report:

Report to the BAAS AGM, 13 April 2012

Media coverage of American Studies in the UK during the decade 2000 to 2010 often focused, in rather simplistic terms, on the subject’s perceived decline, a decline which was habitually read as a reaction to American foreign policy in the period. In this regard, Polly Toynbee’s 2004 article in The Guardian has become notorious.

However, a detailed analysis of the development of American Studies in the early twenty-first century produces a much more complex picture. Consider, as a starting-point, the following four statements by leading members of the American Studies community in the UK and beyond, all of which were made in response to this project:

  • Firstly, from Simon Newman, former BAAS Chair: “My experience of research and teaching in American Studies over the past decade has been very positive. Institutional and national policy and structural changes have, in the end, meant very little.”
  • Secondly, from an international perspective, Shelley Fisher Fishkin from Stanford University, who has served as the President of the American Studies Association in the United States: “I have the highest admiration for American Studies in the UK. The kinds of questions British scholars of American Studies are asking, and the approaches they take to answering them, are strikingly fresh and interesting.”
  • Thirdly, Iwan Morgan, from the ISA in London: “Interest in America amongst students has increased. Interest in American Studies amongst students has declined.”
  • Lastly, Judie Newman, another former BAAS Chair: “People say the problem with American Studies was Bush, but we’d had Nixon and Reagan in the past.”

It is clear, then, that a range of factors must all be taken into account when assessing the undoubted changes seen in American Studies in the UK between 2000 and 2010 – including intellectual trends, economic fluctuations, changes in higher education policy, shifting institutional priorities, and personal experiences. Furthermore, a variety of issues must all be assessed to gain a broad understanding of the health of the discipline – including the number of undergraduates enrolled on degree courses, the vibrancy of postgraduate study, the development of new research centres and organisations, and the strengths and weaknesses of British scholarship.

Utilising 14 new interviews, 16 written submissions, and a range of additional data and commentary, this report endeavours to examine both how American Studies was reconsidered intellectually in the last decade and how its leading institutions, organisations and publications changed, too. I want to thank all of those people who agreed to be interviewed, who submitted written contributions and who sent me information. My report doesn’t seek to be a comprehensive account of all these issues; rather, its objective is to contribute to a wider debate about the historical and institutional development of the discipline in the UK and to provide a resource document for future researchers.

The final version of the report will be published as an open-access document on the BAAS website in June; we’ll be inviting comments on a draft version in May.

Today, though, I want to very briefly highlight some of the report’s key findings:

  • To begin with, throughout the last decade, there’s been a great deal of concern over the number of students entering American Studies degree programmes. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) indicates that there was a 19.7% increase in the number of students enrolled on American Studies courses between 1996/1997 and 2001/2002. This was followed by a 36.7% reduction in student numbers between 2002/2003 and 2010/2011. These numbers include both undergraduate and postgraduate students. These figures are analysed and explained in detail in the report, particularly in the context of tuition fees and any potential impact from the decade’s political events. 
  • In terms of political impact, one theory, often anecdotally expressed, is that American Studies enjoyed an ‘Obama bounce’ in the wake of the 2008 Presidential election. On first glance, UCAS figures seem to support this idea. Two years of substantial decline in American Studies applications in 2007 and 2008 were followed in 2009 by an increase of 21.6%. However, this trend must be seen in the context of other increases in related subjects and in overall university applications. For example, consider the following table, which compares the application figures for American Studies with those for English, History and Politics. In 2008, applications to all four disciplines, as well as overall applications to all degree courses in the UK, were in decline, though American Studies suffered the most prominent dip. Subsequently, applications to all four disciplines, as well as overall applications to all degree courses, then rose substantially in 2009, though again the movement was much more pronounced in American Studies. Application figures for 2010 onwards also suggest a consolidation of the discipline after a lean period earlier in the decade, a trend supported by admissions data from individual departments.
  • In terms of institutional developments, the report notes how the number of departments offering American Studies degree courses has fallen in recent years. There has been particular concern over the progress of American Studies in post-1992 universities. At the same time, the report acknowledges that American modules in other departments remain popular and important new research and teaching centres have opened. Here, there is particular discussion about the opening of the Rothermere American Institute in Oxford in 2001, and the merger that created the Institute for the Study of the Americas in 2004.
  • The report includes a summary of how definitions of American Studies and the composition of attendant degree programmes have changed during the last decade. Indeed, the very idea of a single, coherent definition of American Studies is not something that seems to appeal to many members of the community, though there is also concern about more fragmented disciplinary models. In particular, the report observes how transnationalism has become a key critical term, though again it also examines how its impact and importance remain the subject of debate. The question of language, especially knowledge of Spanish, remains for the most part an unresolved question in this debate.
  • It might not strike you as a surprise to hear that the report’s investigation into  the RAE assessments of 2001 and 2008 concludes that national mechanisms for measuring research quality have failed to fully account for the work produced by British scholars in American Studies.
  • In terms of American Studies organisations, the report examines how BAAS has broadened its activities and reshaped its priorities. It also looks at the significant growth in the last decade of other organisations focused on specific areas of American Studies – organisations such as HOTCUS and the Society for the History of Women in the Americas.
  • Finally, one worrying finding to emerge from the report is a distinct gender imbalance in some aspects of American Studies scholarship. For example, over two-thirds of articles published in the Journal of American Studies between 2000 and 2010 were written by men. It should be noted the gender imbalance seen in the published articles in JAS closely follows the gender imbalance in submissions. By contrast, US Studies Online – the BAAS postgraduate journal – had an almost 50/50 gender ratio in its articles published during the last decade.

This, then, is a very brief overview of the major points of discussion that the report raises. Obviously, many details and nuances have been omitted here. As I said, a draft version will be available in May, but in the meantime do feel free to either email suggestions to me or to come and grab me at some point during the conference.

Richard Martin


Speaking on behalf of Ian Bell (who was absent due to ill health) and Sylvia Ellis (who was involved with arrangements for the BAAS elections), JG began her report by thanking all those involved in judging the various prizes given this year. She also thanked Louise Cunningham (Keele) for her tireless work in administering the awards. JG noted that BAAS works with partners at the Eccles Centre (British Library), the Arthur Miller Centre (UEA) and the American Embassy in funding and administering the awards, and expressed BAAS’s gratitude for their continuing support.

This year, again, BAAS will award substantial number of awards. JG reported that, for 2012-14, the new GTA Award in Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi had been won by Jodie Free (UEA) and that the GTA Award at Virginia has been won by Myles Oldershaw (also UEA). Both would be in attendance at the Gala Dinner the following evening, as would Ted Ownby (Mississippi) to present the award.

JG noted that early information about Awards available for 2012-13 was in the Conference pack.


George Lewis began his verbal report by reporting on some of the highlights of the year in relation to the Publications subcommittee.


The latest edition of ASIB had carried the first of the planned series of BAAS Fellows’ interviews, with Professor Helen Taylor. Two other BAAS Fellows have already confirmed their willingness to be interviewed for future editions.

2. U.S. Studies Online

The new web address for USSO has been confirmed as Issue 20, the post-graduate conference issue, will help to launch that site when it goes live at the end of April. Three of the four journal articles for Issue 20 have been received and edited; the fourth is due on 20 April.

3. Journal of American Studies

GL reported on recent developments at the Journal of American Studies, now under the editorship of Professors Celeste Marie Bernier and Scott Lucas. These include changes of editorial emphasis and of submission and review processes. This year JAS has moved to an average page length of 280 pp. per issue, supplemented by extra features (such as reviews) available in the online version. Other innovations include the introduction of “Round Table” debates on particular issues. Martine Walsh at CUP has confirmed that two of the five board members whose terms expire at the end of this year, Marjorie Spruill and Richard Crockatt, have agreed to serve for another term. GL and the editorial team agreed to seek replacements for the three others with specialists in similar fields.

Libraries and Resources:

Dick Ellis reported on the Libraries and Resources subcommittee’s continuing work in auditing the position of American Studies in libraries to assess the possibility of sharing resources on a regional basis and noted that several universities (including Cambridge and Birmingham) had expressed an interest in collaborating on a consortium bid to ProQuest in order to acquire access to their Twentieth-Century Newspapers archive). Discussions are ongoing. He also reported on the departure of BLARS members (including Donald Tait and Kevin Halliwell) and their replacement by Jane Rawson (RAI, Oxford) and Susan Reid (Dundee). BLARs had hosted, as usual, the opening session of the conference (this time on intellectual copyright). At Exeter in 2012, BLARS will contribute to the opening session on Impact, Public Engagement and Knowledge Transfer.


PD reported on the success of the recent EAAS biannual conference in Izmir, Turkey and congratulated Martin Halliwell for his excellent plenary lecture, sponsored by the Eccles Centre. Numbers were down on recent years, possibly reflecting the non-central location and tightening academic budgets, but the international turnout was still good and the quality of workshops was high. Conferees seemed pleased with the conference (and the pleasant weather, picturesque location and fine sea food of Izmir may all have helped).

The Rob Kroes prize winner was announced (Frank Mehring) and the ASN Book Prize winner (Brigitte Dawes). The EAAS Board confirmed Jenel Virden (Hull) as joint Senior Editor of the European Journal of American Studies and John Dumbrell (Durham) as an associate editor. The Association for American Studies in South East Europe was accepted as a new member of EAAS. Adina Ciugureana (Romania) was elected Treasurer, and Philip Davies (BAAS) elected President, both for four year terms. The next conference of EAAS will be held in The Hague from Friday 4th to Monday 7th April 2014. The call for workshop proposals will be made later this year.


Jenel Virden (Hull) reminded members of the European Journal of American Studies and encouraged them to submit articles.

The AGM concluded at 5.30pm.