Notes from 2014 Annual General Meeting

We are pleased to post notes from the 2014 AGM, which took place at the Digital Humanities conference in Lausanne, Switzerland on July 9, 2014. Please let us know if you have corrections or additions!

WELCOME

  • Hello to Bethany over our webcasting connection!
  • Introductions of the officers and Executive Council

UPDATES

  • Over the past year we continued to provide support for DH endeavors
    • DHSI student bursaries (leveraged to find additional funding!)
    • contributions to Balisage through the occasional funding process
    • DHQ contributions additional to ADHO’s
    • Humanist contribution
    • ADHO-level SIGs and efforts
  • Membership in ACH and ADHO, and institutional subscriptions to LLC, allow us to do what we do. Please check with your library and confirm that your institution is subscribed to LLC. This would help the organization a lot!
  • Our mentoring activities have slowed down a bit, but the portfolio is now turned over to Brian Croxall, and will be reinvigorated. Mentoring is for jobs, for projects, for professional development, therapy as needed… And there’s also the job slam that we run at the annual general meeting!
    • On an informal note, if you’re free Thursday evening of the conference, we’re again running a newcomers’ dinner. Small groups go out to dinner, consisting of a mix of DH conference veterans with people who are at their first or second conference. This is a way to meet people, start networking. There’s an open Google Doc for signups.
  • Microgrants (Susan Brown updates):
    • This is the third year we’ve run the program, rewarding young scholars and students for their contributions.
    • This year, four projects were awarded microgrants (http://ach.org/2014/07/09/ach_microgrants_winners_2014/)
  • Affiliations (Jen Guiliano updates)
    • For the first time, ACH is announcing an affiliations committee whose aim is to broaden our relationships with other professional societies, organizations, and initiatives.
    • MLA is a long-standing partner at whose conference we offer sessions and other events
    • A new partner is the American History Association, at whose January conference we’ll be sponsoring four panels
    • We’re interested in doing more, and are calling for nominations. Please help us identify potential organizations for us to affiliate with, generating more cross-polination in fields related to DH. We are looking for ACH members in good standing to be on the committee for two-year terms — email tweet Jen at the contact information here. Official nominations process is also posted on the ACH website.

JOBS SLAM

Tanya Clement ran the annual jobs slam, which has become a tradition. Job seekers and job purveyors each had 30 seconds to present themselves and available jobs, respectively.

THANK YOU TO BETHANY NOWVISKIE

Stéfan led the Executive Council and the rest of ACH in expressing our huge thanks to Bethany Nowviskie as outgoing president. Bethany will be sticking around as immediate past president, and continues to be as involved as ever in the work. Thank you so much, Bethany!

REGIONAL ECOLOGIES

The bulk of the meeting was spent in discussion of ACH’s regional status (or not) in the context of ADHO, the possibility of regional SIGs, and the possibility of regional conferences. The following is a summary of the discussion, anonymized for the sake of participants’ comfort.

  • In some ways we are a regionless association in the context of ADHO. There are regions of the world that won’t be hosting the DH conference any time soon, and it would be expensive to go there anyway — as members, what do you think of the question of regionality
  • ACH is not confined to a region, but we’re advocating regional conferences. How does that play together?
  • Though ACH isn’t confined to a region, humans do have regionality. One of the purposes of this discussion is to see: where are the places where ACH members might want to actually meet physically, that are maybe more convenient than the regions where the DH conference is held? So: ACH is dispersed widely, but regionality is worth talking about for logistical purposes.
  • So, how would you feel about an ACH conference, and where might that be hosted?
  • Positive! I’ve benefited from having our Canadian thing at Congress. It’s not as competitive, it’s cheaper, students have really benefited. If ACH were able to do that for other groups of people—Eastern [North American] seaboard, Mexico, whatever, we should be supportive of that.
  • One of our core values (bursaries, training opportunities, travel support to conferences) is training of emerging scholars. If there’s a dearth of opoprtunities for them to present their scholarship in a particular region, one of our responsibilities is to provide them with opportunity to present what they’ve done. We can’t pay for everyone to go far away, but maybe we can help them hold regional events.
  • Two questions: with the regional conferences, what exactly are you thinking in terms of support, what kind and extent of support are you thinking about? And: at least in the U.S., we are seeing groupings of DH (Boston area, New York area, Chicago DH colloquium). Is it possible for ACH to work with existing regional groups to help them put on a conference or provide graduate student bursaries to those rather than put on something new?
  • To your second question: yes, absolutely. We’ll need to have conversations.
  • The grand total of revenue for ACH is on the order of $12,000. We do a lot with that. As much as we’d like to support events more substantially, we just can’t. There’s a form on the ACH website for occasional support. We’ve supported events on the order of $250-750. It’s a financial investment, but we can also offer non-monetary support (advertisement on our website, peer reviewers, etc).
  • There’s also a level of expertise. How do you constitute a PC, deal with logistics, etc. ACH has a lot of engagement with that. We are cash poor but expertise rich. It’s not just the ACH imprimatur, but people who can offer advice and models for new events.
  • We should support unconferences. They’re easier to organize.
  • In my area, we’ve had several unconferences. Maybe next year instead of an unconference we should have a conference? Unconferences are valuable, but in our experience you get many people who are interested and want to know more, and it’s nice to come here and hear experts talk. Both should be supported.

CLOSING

Stéfan closes the meeting. Anyone wishing to be more involved with ACH? Please talk to us!

By Vika Zafrin


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