ACH2019 AGM Meeting Notes

July 26, 2019

ACH2019 conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

ADHO governance updates

  • ADHO has been undergoing major structural change in the last 5 years
  • ACH is a Constituent Organization of ADHO — other COs are regional, linguistically based (Humanistica), and/or other (CenterNet)
  • ADHO is growing; mutliple organizations have expressed interest; these discussions are ongoing
  • Over the past year, the ADHO Steering Committee comprised with representatives from every CO plus officers, underwent significant change. Thanks to the Implementation Committee (Geoffrey Rockwell, Chair; Melissa Terras; Christian-Emil Smith Ore; Jennifer Guiliano) for thinking through three different options for reorganization. Voted to go with the One CO – One Vote scenario, which ACH had been very much in support of. In geopolitical power terms: in the past, ACH and EADH had more votes than anyone else. In the new scenario, every CO no matter the size has one vote on the CO Board (COB). The COB will be complemented by a separate Executive Board, leading the implementation of the decisions COB makes.
  • This is an important change for ADHO and ACH. We attempt to represent our membership and work towards a more equitable mission of ADHO as it moves across the globe.
  • Numerous issues, tensions, problems to work through over the next year. MG has agreed to lead COB for the next year, acting in a nonpartisan capacity. Thoughts on strategic directions?
    • Connecting dh communities not currently part of ADHO? Thinking of one non-US cluster in particular, but also in general. What would the process be? MG: we encourage communities of all kinds to participate as ADHO Special Interest Groups. There are other ways to get involved: propose sessions for the conference; join Program Committees for annual conferences.
    • One element of peer review system: ConfTool seems to have been written for scientists. Any thoughts on making it more hospitable in terms of rankings? Groundbreaking research doesn’t happen in the humanities on a regular basis. Worth a look. Jen Guiliano: yes, ConfTool has been re-engineered a bit for 2020, groundbreaking review criterion is gone. On the CFPs are the actual criteria that will be used for review! We’ve gone toward a more amenable system: are you making clear claims? Not, is your claim revolutionary? Check out the CFP and see what you like.
    • Talk about the open review process at ADHO? Will ACH be looking at it for future meetings as well? MG: Jen will be talking about that later. When it was proposed at ADHO, it was as part of a long line of continuing peer review experiments. Recent changes introduced are, frex, rebuttal opportunity. Experiments in peer review continue. Within ACH, we want to see how that goes and think it through.

ACH2019 and Bursary Awards

  • Élika Ortega Presents bursaries awarded to:
    • Kyle Bikoff
    • Kathleen Brennan
    • Tatiana Bryant
    • Corey D Clawson
    • Heidi Dodson
    • Meredith Graham
    • Arun Jacob
    • Zoe LeBlanc
    • Andrea Medina
    • Jeffrey Moro
    • Katharina Tiwald
    • Jewon Woo
    • Setsuko Yokoyama
    • Joel Zapata


  • Jennifer Guiliano presents, representing a team of people. DH2020 will take place July 20-25, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. There will be a workshop day on the Saturday of the conference in addition to the usual two pre-conference workshop days. Eight parallel workshop sessions will run each day, and ten parallel presentation sessions during the conference itself.
  • New formats! Lightning talks, forums requiring audience participation.
  • New subthemes!
    • Digital First Nations, American Indian, and Indigenous Studies
    • Public Digital Humanities
    • Open Data
    • 10% of the review criteria will reward you for submitting in one of the subthemes
  • ADHO has been experimenting with peer review. CDMX was double blind; Utrecht was single blind; Ottawa will be open. Not openly accessible abstracts; reviewer identity and author identity are disclosed to one another at the outset. There will be guides to encourage people to behave courteously.
  • A new installation of Conftool has been made available where we’ll be able to pull a review before the author sees is. Hope not to have to, but won’t hesitate.
  • Co-organizers are in favor of access to childcare, lactation, accessibility companion support. All of this will be hard baked in from the beginning. Can’t promise perfection, but we are aware of all of these things, and are even asking for your food preferences right from the beginning.
  • For the first time in the history of DH for people to nominate or self-nominate for Keynote/Plenary.
  • Questions?
    • Will there be an indication when a review has been pulled? Yes, to the reviewer with a warning (which will be a Code of Conduct violation). Authors won’t know that a review of their work has been pulled.
    • Transparency: wouldn’t it be nice if there was a room for nimble tents activities should the need arise? We’ll be tight on space, but will forward request to set aside a room. Should be able to get one at U Ottawa; Carlton might be a little harder.
    • Concern re open review process: can I recuse myself as reviewer of a particular proposal without the reviewee knowing? Yes; only PC co-chairs will know, will reassign. Also, as we assign reviewers, we’ll be conscious of disparities in rank (very junior scholars reviewing very senior ones). We’re looking at a lot of needed reviews; will be reaching out to you asking you of review. We’ll need your help enlarging pool of reviewers, in part to address rank disparity concerns. If there’s targeting in that way, JG has no problem with triggering the CoC process to protect marginalized scholars.

ACH2021 Call for Bids Announcement — Scott Weingart

  • ACH’s next conference! The second or the 27th, going back to 1973. We’d love to support emerging and regional communities and help them strengthen by co-hosting the 2021 conference. [put link in]
  • Looking to move the conference around as much as possible for accessibility purposes
  • This could be an opportunity for an established or emerging community

Jobs Slam

  • Vika Zafrin hosted. Six job offerers, six job seekers participated


To start which: ACH remains a mystery in its workings to many of its members. What information can we make available for you to help you understand us, participate, and steer?

  • Feel tension between haves and have-nots. Does the ACH have any mechanism for those of us with resources to reach out to those without, for collaboration? Not at the moment, but have been thinking about with the renewal of the conference is a chance to build out these kinds of connections, including across regional organizations. We’d need hands to help build this. Please contact us, and feel free to propose specific things you could do to further the ends you’d like furthered. If you email and don’t hear back, please email again — and know we very much appreciate the offers, we’re just often going in twelve different directions.
  • Knowing that conversations are happening in the Exec about how to open things up, and coming from the library world which is full of committees, I don’t even know what the working groups are. What’s the mechanism for sharing out what the working groups are, what happens at the quarterly meetings, etc? And also: re trying to match people up with needs, what is your preferred method of communications?
    • Definitely opportunities for us to communicate out more. Maybe we can have an open webinar/community meeting online. Re interacting: Twitter and maybe continued Facebook (is FB useful? considering dropping it); the DH Slack; email.
  • How do we get on your email list? Email us

By Tanya Clement

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