The Society For Utopian Studies


26th Annual Meeting
Buffalo, New York
October 6, 2001

  1. 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.

  2. Future Meetings
    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.

  3. Awards
    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.

  4. Elections
    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 by acclamation.

  5. Treasurer's Report
    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.

  6. Membership report
    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.

  7. Utopian Studies
    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%.

  8. Utopus Discovered
    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 by February 1, 2002.

    1. "How have the events changed the way that you think about utopianism, practice your scholarship about it, or teach it?"

    2. "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.

  9. By-laws revision
    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Other business
    As there were no other announcements or business, the meeting adjourned at 1:35.

Respectfully submitted,
Naomi Jacobs
Chair of the Steering Committee



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