S-USIH Meeting 11.17.2011

S-USIH Business Meeting. 11/17/11

2011 Annual Conference, CUNY, NY

Introduction to business meeting

Call to order

Suspend Robert’s Rules

Andrew Hartman

Thanks to Ray Haberski for grubby work

Thanks to all of those in attendance for listening to the meeting

All actions will be done after the meeting by email

Thanks to the constitution committee for the constitution and bylaws

Paul Murphy and James Levy did most of the work.  They submitted the constitution and bylaws to the group

Mike O’Connor revised the constitution that was ultimately approved

Budget approval in August

Difficult to do this without money—most was projected on the conference because those participating would join

$6000 project for the year

We will probably not have that much money to use

Budgeted for postage, bank account, incorporation, publications, website

$2000 for next year’s conference

CUNY had been generous in its relationship with us

Advertisement in a professional journal to announce the society’s birth

Affiliation with other historical societies

Requirements with most of these societies does not allow us to do this yet—years of existence prevent S-USIH from doing this.

Mike O’Connor


Report from the treasurer

November 13: $2016.97 up to $3800

People have paid their dues who are participating in the conference

We have not spent much from the budget

Better enforcement before conference

We anticipate few people joining between now and May

Like to have 25-50 members who are not linked to the conference join

Most expenses were over-estimated

Revised the current budget

On track to meet all demands and maintain $1000 in the bank

Outstanding money held by CUNY

CUNY collected $3200 beyond what we spent on the conference

Sponsored reception this year

$4878 expenses on the conference

135 participants—150 registered

$9000 CUNY has taken in for the conference

$3500 above expenses to go to the society

make the conference self-sufficient

Put $3000 into a conference budget that would roll over from year to year

Mike will present formal proposals later

Budget initiatives already approved

Hope to have reserve of $1000

Ray Haberski

Report submitted

James asked about clarification of why these changes are proposed

Need to post minutes of the ExCom on this subject in addition to the constitution, bylaws, and proposed amendments.

The amendments are the only thing

Ben Alpers

Two members to publications committee (one elected, another appointed by chair)

Tim and Ben members currently

Now looking for a third publications committee member

One applicant

Interested applicants should send Ben an email

Choose third member by middle December



Won Cliopatria award

Codify procedures for the blog

Rules for what the blog represents

Newsletter comes out quarterly

Distributed by pdf, a hard copy for the conference

Principle function of newsletter to pass along news and items related to the members of the society

Late February next issue

Next big decision is the journal

E or physical?

Book reviews

More comprehensive and regular book reviewing

Create a stable of reviewers

No journal then on the blog

Journal, then they reviews go into the journal

Participation ThatCampAHA discussing the publications and electronic media

David Sehat

Appointed Allison Perlman to the committee

Preliminary decisions

At CUNY again in 2012

Success of conference is dependent on being in NYC

Financial consideration: CUNY will continue to be generous to the society and not charge for rooms

$4-6000 for rooms if we move somewhere else

Dates: earlier in October

Questions from floor

Lucy Knight: publications committee, is it the right size?

Constitution stipulates a maximum of 3 people

Ben: a committee but not an editorial board.  So an editorial board should be much bigger

Membership Committee

Ad hoc committee set up by president and approved by excom

James Levy, Paul Murphy, and Lauren Kientz-Anderson

Meaningfully commit to two founding principles: inclusiveness and outreach

James Levy took the floor

Outreach to new members

Expanding the traditional group in intellectual historians

More scholars of color and more women

Took their charge to expand the group in these two ways

Diversify in these ways

Focus on broader ranges of scholars

Secondary teachers, independent scholars

Outline a few strategies

Report submitted and will be included in the minutes

Targeted recruitment

Branding—website, info sheet, business cards

Nomenclature: what do people understand about intellectual history?

Let the excom take up this last issue

Survey the members about the idea of diversity

Study groups


Marilyn Fisher: liaison to other societies?

Lucy Knight: pointing out new group around biographers—connect with them


Lillian Barger

Petition regarding gender and women in intellectual history

Proposed a study group on these topics

Produce a white paper for the members of the society

Question: Lucy Knight

What is the next step?

Andrew: proposal submitted to excom for excom to act on

Are there other study groups?

Andrew: the excom can take up proposals and petition but are not under a charge by the constitution and bylaws to act

James: how do we get ideas acted upon by the excom?

Tim: there is way to get the excom to act

Mike: anyone can raise anything at anytime for consideration

Lucy Knight: what input does the membership have? What are the right ways for the membership to have input?  With the stipulation that the society needs to make decisions in an effective way.  Every member should recruit one member of color and women to the society.  Membership is a resource.

Graduate Student ad hoc committee

Appointed David Weinfield and Julian Nemeath

Julian’s report read by Andrew and included in the minutes

David Weinfield took the floor

Slightly different than Julian’s proposal

Database of all students study intellectual history

Initially self-reporting

Year in program, title of project, field, advisor

Goals: sense of what people are interested in—help for the conference and putting people in touch with each other; help define US intellectual history is

Question from floor: include MA students as well?  Maria Federova

Question from floor: collaborating with the membership committee and offer that they join

Question from floor: reception for graduate students at conference

Question from floor: rates for different kinds of members, including graduate students

Andrew: the sliding scale of the fees is something we will address


Book award

Ben and Mike: society should have a book prize; draw attention to the society and to the field; provide some accolades for the winner

Don’t want to give the award to book getting attention from other awards

Give the award to best book by the membership

Might encourage membership because people would like to be considered for the award

Also give awards to other forms—later

$250 for the award

Merle Curti award is $1000

President support and excom approval

January 15 there should be a report from an ad hoc committee to develop and submit the proposal

Ben: dissertation and an article prize

When should we award the prize? Conference or not at the conference

Advantage at the conf: members here, NYT here

Advantage not at the conf: publicity at another time of the year such as at the AHA or OAH like other groups do

If we are affiliated with the AHA, for example, we could do announce the award

Need to consider the dates of how this process is scheduled

Host a roundtable session on their books—announce at AHA and roundtable at the annual conference

Require to attend the conference?

It is a choice.

Tim comment: a laborious activity

Winner previous year’s prize is on the committee

Ethan comment: dissertation prize has more benefits than a book prize?  Do we need such a prize to get people in US intellectual history into the profession

Keynote Honorarium

Mike’s suggestion: exchange with Pauline Maier

Should we not try to treat our keynotes with something greater than what we do?

Increase the budget for this by $250

Cover the expense of begin in NYC

To present ourselves honestly and respectfully

Avoid having keynote speakers spending their own money

Address to committee from floor

Paul: endorse the proposal put forth by Lillian and to encourage more such study groups

Ben: white paper on publications committee that can put forth the findings of the study group

James: urge coordination through the ad hoc committees; process and procedures regarding proposals

What is the process by which we deal with changes to bylaws and constitution?

Why not discuss these changes here?

Membership input and voting are two different things.  Membership should discuss the changes before the vote happens.

Increase input in the changes in a way that is systematic.

Proposed change: post changes to by-laws and constitution two weeks before any meeting.

Major issue is branding—making appeals to historians in other fields

What do we do to transcend the category of intellectual history?

Defining US intellectual history as something broader that what it is considered to be now.

Andrew: the vagueness of our founding principles might allow for broader interpretation.

James: to define ourselves through diversity on the web page.

Chronological problems US intellectual history

Andrew: attempting chronological diversity

David Sehat: would like to hear ideas about how to do this given the structural issues involved in the orgs that already attract pre-Civil War scholars

Tim: minutes of the meeting should be as expansive as possible—not just terms

Andrew: excom must review and approve revised budget

Adjournment at 10.43