Minutes 9 23 09

UMass English Graduate Conference Committee
Meeting Minutes for 9/23/2009

Objective: First meeting of the year to plan the Spring 2010 English Graduate Conference
Present: Daniel Biegelson, Julie Burrell, Amanda Carr, Linh Dich, Kajsa Henry, Thomas Hopper, Ruth Lahti, Sarah Magin, Kate Marantz, Elise Swinford

- Co-chairs Julie Burrell and Ruth Lahti open meeting by introducing themselves; also introduce Amy Brady (who could not make it to this meeting) as another organizer as link to EGO
- Amanda (2009 conference co-chair) talked about the success of last year’s conference and how it differed from the ones before: interdisciplinary and regional conference. We will keep these characteristics this year.
- Ruth discussed current funds (approx $640 carried from last year) and key goals for this year’s conference: attracting more English department colleagues, more UMass participation and attendance, building infrastructure for next year, establishing ties with EGO.
- The group discussed reasons for holding an interdisciplinary conference again this year – increases abstract submissions, and more likely to get funding from CFHA
- Julie introduces the suggested themes of performance and performativity and opens the floor for brainstorming and discussion
o There was discussion about whether the theme was too broad or too narrow; we decided that the theme engages a broad spectrum of interests while at same time we can make the CFP specific enough to indicate certain fields; also, it is a timely theme
o The group decided that we can look at grad course offerings from Spring 09, Fall 09, and Spring 10, and frame performance/performativity within the CFP to attract English grad students
o Some suggested titles for the conference – Performing Identities, The Politics of Language and Performance – we decided to wait until the CFP had been drafted to pin down a title at next meeting
- A group volunteered to draft the CFP – Julie, Elise, Linh, and Thomas. This group will have a draft ready for the larger group to finalize at the next meeting and will post the CFP mid-October with a deadline sometime in January
- The group aims to hold the conference in late March or early April; Julie and Ruth will investigate other conflicting events (visiting scholars, Juniper, nearby conferences, NEMLA, Renaissance Center – Thomas will look into) and have dates to propose at the next meeting
- Another possibility - we have one or two undergrad panels from the Five Colleges in order to boost attendance of both students and faculty – will email head of undergrad studies to find out how to get this info out; we will discuss this more next meeting
- Emails were collected from group, and a doodle chart will be sent out to determine the best time for a meeting

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