Notes from our business meeting, 12/2021

Hello. The Governing Board of the AHSA held a business meeting on 12/10 to discuss recent business. The minutes are below:

AHSA Board Meeting

December 6, 2021 (via Zoom)


Attendees: Sabrina Abrams Fuchs, Sam Chesters, David Gillota, Larry Howe, Beck Krefting, Teresa Prados-Torreira, Rodney Taylor, Todd Thompson, Tracy Wuster

Called to order at 3:06 PM

  1. StAH Report (Larry)
  2. Most recent issue was a general issue, featuring first collaborative year’s work essay
  3. 2022 is last year for Larry and Jim on editorial team; David Gillota will take over as Editor, Sabrina Fuchs Abrams will become Associate Editor, Christopher Gilbert will take over as Book Review Editor; that team will start in 2023still need to identify one contributing editor to work with Jonathan Rossing
  4. CMTS has asked StAH to have a presence on fellowship application selection committees; the editorial board will meet to decide on this
  5. Next special issue—”Black Laughs Matter”—in creation
  • Treasurer’s Report (Todd)
  • Checking account $35, 582, CD $8089
  • Could use some of excess money to redesign website
  • Larry brought up MTC’s automated renewal system; we will look into it and correspond with MTC about it.
  • ALA cfps (Beck Krefting)
  • Rod has written a cfp—“The Function of Race in American Literature and Culture”; Beck is circulating
  • There is room for another panel; discussion ensued about how to situate second cfp; Beck will draft and circulate an open-ended cfp for a second panel
  • Panel submissions due 1/15, panels due to ALA 1/30
  • Organization of American Historians (Teresa)
  • Teresa creating a panel for 2023 conference; created a broad cfp
  • Deadline is 1/1/22
  • Teresa will send something more specific
  • Tracy will send all 3 cfps at the end of the week
  • Yaros Lee Mentoring program update (Sam)
  • Sam checked in with mentees recently; reports are that it’s going well overall given current circumstances (some are proceeding more slowly than they’d hoped but are having positive experiences with mentors).
  • Spring New Book Discussion (Teresa)
  • Can work from Sabrina’s list of new books for book review in last 2 years
  • Tracy seeks 2 other volunteers to help organize these for spring; if anyone wants to join, contact Tracy; Teresa and Sabrina offered to help, though Sabrina noted that there aren’t that many titles coming out
  • Discussion ensued about how new a book has to be to count; could call it “recent” instead of new books; there are some books that are 2 years old that could be considered
  • Tracy brought up what AHSA might do this summer since not doing a conference; discussion about whether we need to do anything with conference coming up, ALA, and new book series
  • First Book Workshop Update (Beck)
  • Beck reports that the workshop is going well
  • Third roundtable this Thursday with 2 editors joining
  • Two upcoming roundtables:
    • Friday, 2/4 in afternoon on responding to reader reports; Judith Yaros Lee has volunteered
    • Next one on publishing book—moving through publication process at latter stages
    • Beck collected volunteers from group to participate in next two roundtables
  • Subvention Funding for Comedy Studies Scholars (non-competitive) (Beck)
  • First book workshop has discussed high cost for subvention for book publishing
  • Beck proposed creating pilot for subvention fund program for assistance with subvention funds for humor studies scholars; 2 calls per year (January and June) for applications and would divide money out based on number of applicants
  • Proposed $2,000 per year for 2 years; assess after two years A) whether it’s financially sustainable and B) whether it is helping the organization
  • As nonprofit, if we have anything that’s competitive, need committee and send to IRS, gets complicated; can decide that something doesn’t qualify if not about humor. Can require it to be “about American humor, broadly construed”
  • Discussion about whether this program would add to incentive for university presses to require subvention
  • Tracy moved to do a two-year pilot; Beck seconded; motion passed
  • Beck will write up pilot and launch in January 2022
  • Charlie Award (Tracy)
  • Jan just responded to Tracy recently; Tracy will post her material on website soon
  1. Brainstorming about Expanded Board (Tracy)
  2. Tracy described idea for one-time board of external advisors (some who are involved and some not), free year or two of membership, to give perspectives, advice, etc.
  3. It wouldn’t cost money but might help improve, transition, and open up organization
  4. Part of the reason is to get people who are in the field but don’t participate in AHSA to offer insights and potentially critiques
  5. Discussion ensued about the positives and negatives of such a process, as well as alternatives and how to frame and situate it
  6. Tracy will draw something up, and we can discuss it more in the future
  1. Plug for MLA in January (Sam)
  2. AHSA has 2 panels
  3. One is with Screen Arts and Culture Executive Committee about Ends of Satire
  4. The other is AHSA solo about discourse communities being subverted by laughter
  5. Tracy will publicize it
  1. For the good of the order
  2. Sam’s term is up at the end of 2022; could Sam shadow Sam in 2022 and be brought on in 2023 (but no 2022 travel funds because not officially a board member).

Meeting ended at 5:23 PM

Minutes respectfully submitted by Todd Thompson, AHSA Treasurer-Secretary


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