SOCIETY FOR UTOPIAN STUDIES
26th Annual Meeting
Buffalo, New York
October 6, 2001
MINUTES OF THE BUSINESS MEETING
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 by Naomi Jacobs, Chair
of the Steering Committee. Buffalo organizers Lynda Schneekloth
and Philip Wegner received a round of applause for their work
in making this meeting a success, despite the difficult circumstances.
The 2002 meeting will be held in Orlando, Florida. John Barberet
of the University of Central Florida is handling local arrangements.
Discussions are under way for a possible 2003 meeting in San
Diego. We welcome volunteers to host or to serve as program
chair for 2004.
Ken Roemer, outgoing chair of the Awards Committee, reported
on the committee's work. The Arthur O. Lewis Award, for the
best essay delivered by an untenured or independent scholar
at the 25th annual meeting of the Society (Vancouver, B.C.),
was awarded to Rob Breton, for "Work Perfect: William Morris
and the Gospel of Work." The Eugenio Battisti Award for
the best essay in Volume 11 of Utopian Studies went to Eva C.
Karpinski for "Signifying Passion: Angela Carter's Heroes
and Villains as a Dystopian Romance" Utopian Studies 11.2
(2000). The committee recommended that the Distinguished Scholar
Award become an annual award, and asked for nominations. Guidelines
for this award can be found on the Society's website under "Bylaws."
Dan Sabia of the University of South Carolina will chair this
committee for the next round of awards. Submission guidelines
for the Lewis Award were printed in the conference program.
Thanks were directed to committee members completing terms of
service: chair of the Awards Committee Ken Roemer, and at-large
members of the Steering Committee, John Barberet and Rebecca
Totaro. The following nominations were presented: For the awards
committee ( three-year term, 2002-2004), Eva Karpinski. For
at-large members of the steering committee (two-year terms,
2002-2003), Janice Bogstad, for her first two-year term, and
Rebecca Totaro, for her second. There were no nominations from
the floor, and these nominations from the committee were approved
Naomi Jacobs reported for Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, who was unable
to attend, but had sent a detailed report to the Steering Committee.
Jennifer has transferred the Society's financial records to
Quicken, which has made possible a beautifully precise accounting
of our income and expenses. The Society's current balance is
$30,313.69, or about $800 less than last year at this time.
This should be enough to cover the expenses of the Buffalo conference
as well as the next volume of Utopian Studies.
Lyman Tower Sargent reported that membership numbers, as of
October 1, are down somewhat from last year, with 52 institutions
and 218 other members, for a total of 270. However, last year's
total (347) was unusually high. Our decision last year to raise
the institutional subscription rate from $45 to $75, which goes
into effect in 2002, should compensate somewhat for the lower
membership revenues. We have also received about $1000 in royalties
from on-line services this year.
Lyman Tower Sargent reported that he would be resigning as editor
of Utopian Studies, effective the fall of 2004, with the completion
of volume 15. A selection committee will be considering expressions
of interest from individuals who might like to edit the journal,
and who will be able to obtain institutional support for certain
operating expenses. A more detailed call for such expressions
will appear in the next issue of the journal. The journal continues
to flourish, with submissions now coming in at the rate of about
1.5 per week, and the acceptance rate around 10-15%.
Toby Widdicombe, co-editor of the newsletter, announced that
the next issue would set aside the usual bibliographical content
to bring together comments from members about how the events
of September 11 had affected their thinking or teaching about
utopian studies. He asked that 500-word statements on the questions
below be e-mailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
by February 1, 2002.
"How have the events changed the way that you think
about utopianism, practice your scholarship about it, or
"As a utopian thinker, do you believe the statement
frequently heard since that terrible day: 'Things will never
(should never?) be the same again'? In what ways?"
Toby's school, the University of Alaska Anchorage, continues
to provide generous support for the newsletter. Carrie Hintz
and Nicole Pohl are Toby's able co-editors.
On the recommendation of the Steering Committee, Article III,
Section 3, of the By-laws was revised as follows (added language
in boldface): The terms of the Chair of the Steering Committee
and secretary/treasurer as well as the members of all committees
shall be two years, unless otherwise indicated. No one other
than the Secretary-Treasurer shall serve more than two consecutive
terms in any position until an intervening year has passed.
SUS Internet Presence
Peter Sands reported that our utopian studies site on H-NET
should be up and running soon. A new listserve, H-UTOPIA, will
also be established; this will be a moderated list focused on
scholarly discussions. Current subscribers to UTOPIA-L should
be automatically subscribed to H-UTOPIA and may unsubscribe
if they don't wish to participate. Others may subscribe following
directions on the H-NET site. UTOPIA-L will continue in its
current format. The Society's current website will remain at
the University of Toronto unless it seems desirable or possible
to transfer it to H-NET. Any corrections or updates for this
website should be directed to website liaison Peter Fitting.
Directory of Utopian Scholars
We are grateful to Paul Majkut of National University, who has
offered to take over updating the Directory of Utopian Scholars,
with the generous financial assistance of his institution. An
interactive on-line directory will be developed, to which individuals
can enter their own contact information. Members will be informed
once this site is in place.
As there were no other announcements or business, the meeting
adjourned at 1:35.
Chair of the Steering Committee