2013 AGM Minutes
September 19, 2013
Secunda Board Room
4th floor, Sobey Building
Saint Mary's University
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Present: Meaghan Beaton, Cheryl Suzack (visiting), Michele Lacombe, Elizabeth Mancke (visiting), Karl Turner, Mark Davis, Renate Eigenbrod, Marilyn MacDonald, Gwen Davies, Herménigilde Chiaisson, Peter Thompson, Sharon Myers, Aritha van Herk (visiting), Nicole Neatby, Christl Verduyn, Andrew Nurse, Martha Langford, Graeme Wynn, Colin Coates, Julia Harrison (via teleconference), Jamie Trepanier (via teleconference).
Colin Coates called the meeting to order at 12:25.
1. Adoption of agenda
The agenda was moved (Nurse/Beaton) and adopted.
2. Adoption of minutes from AGM: September 29, 2012.
The minutes of the last AGM were moved (Thompson/Nurse) and adopted.
3. Business Arising
4. President's Report (Colin Coates)
Colin began by explaining (for the benefit of those who had not attended as CSN meeting previously) the need for the organization. He noted that the CSN has a scholarly mission and that the withdrawal of the Association for Canadian Studies left Canada unrepresented on the International Council for Canadian Studies (ICCS). Without the CSN, there would be no organization that supported Canadian Studies at the postsecondary level or that represented Canada at international Canadian Studies meetings.
Colin reported on the work of the CSN. Over the last year, the organization has:
• Nearly completed the process of renewing its web site (although more work still needs to be done to make it more fully bilingual)
• Continued to fill its role as an Associate Member of the International Council of Canadian Studies (ICCS)
• Hosted the Annual General Meeting of the directors of the ICCS (the presidents of the national and regional associations) at York University. This invitation was made in order to support our international colleagues after DFAIT funding cuts
• Established new prizes for best book in Canadian Studies (won this year by K. Johnston for Stage Turns) and best PhD dissertation (won by S. Burton). Colin also took this time to thank the adjudicating committees.
• Nominated those prize winners for ICCS prizes
• Made grants to graduate students for travel to international conferences related to Canadian Studies
• Produced a series of constitutional changes (on which members can now vote on-line) that streamline the organization.
5. Secretary's Report (Julia Harrison)
Julia reported that the CSN now has 14 institutional members and 95 regular or student members. This is an increase in both categories showing slow, steady growth (which is good). Colin noted that the CSN would like to have 100 members in the near future so it can apply for full membership in the ICCS in 2013-2014.
6. Treasurer's Report (Julia Harrison)
Copies of the Reader's Report were circulated. Julia noted that this report is not an audit because a full audit is not needed for an organization like the CSN and is remarkably expensive (a full audit would, in fact, absorb a significant portion of the CSN budget). The CSN remains in a good financial position. There were some minor changes to how expenses were reported. Administrative assistance, for example, is listed under advertising/publicity because this reflects much of the work done by Karli Whitmore. (Previously these expenses had been paid by Trent University and thus were not recorded in the CSN financial statements). Future expenses are expected to be distributed similiarily. The CSN, for example, expects to maintain its commitment to helping fund international conference travel for grad students because this helps both students and builds international connections. The adoption of the Report was moved (Verduyn/Wynn) and accepted.
7. ICCS representative Report
As per the ICCS constitution, the President of the CSN serves as the representative to the ICCS, and Colin attended the Annual General Meeting in that capacity. Colin noted that he serves on an ICCS sub-committee that is helping to restructure that organization in light of funding changes that have occurred in the last year and a half. Colin saw this as an opportunity for the CSN and for Canadian Studies. It was a chance to contribute to the international vibrancy of Canadian Studies and its institutional reorganization. He fully believed that the CSN could play an active role and wanted it to.
8. Student Report
A written report was available (attached). Jamie noted that three students took advantage of CSN travel grants to present at international conferences, that student numbers in the CSN were increasing. He noted again a new CSN prize for best MA thesis, mémoire de maitrise or Major Research Paper would be announced in the future.
Colin noted that executive terms were staggered for continuity. Andrew Nurse was completing his term as VP and Christl Verduyn was completing her term as ICCS Liaison. The ICCS Liaison executive position was now redundant (as the President automatically becomes ICCS representative, as indicated above). The ICCS Liaison position would, therefore, change to "Member-at-large."
There was a healthy interest among members who expressed an interest in standing for election to the CSN executive. This is a good sign for the continuity of the CSN. In the end, only two nominations were received, and both were acclaimed: Christl Verduyn (Canadian Studies, Mount Allison) as the new Vice-President and Peter Thompson (Canadian Studies, Carleton) as the new Member-at-large. Both were congratulated and warmly welcomed.
10. Future AGMs
Colin reported that the next AGM will be held in Charlottetown at UPEI (2014). A location for 2015 had not yet been selected but Wilfrid Laurier, McGill, and Carleton have all expressed interest in hosting it.
Several members spoke on the importance of both the CSN and connections with international Canadianists. A number noted the remarkable scholarly work done by our international colleagues and their desire to see meaningful exchange between domestic and international Canadianists. Colin fully agreed and noted that this is one of the key goals of the CSN.
CSN-REC 2012 AGM Student Executive Member Report
Report submitted by Jamie Trepanier for CSN-REC AGM, September 2013
It has been a year of growth and activity for the graduate student membership of the CSN-REC, Graduate student membership increased from roughly 30 students to 44 this past year. Several of our members took advantage of the network's graduate student support policy to attend international Canadian Studies conferences. The CSN-REC provides up to $1000 to assist graduate students with the costs of attending international conferences. The policy is detailed on our website which spells out qualifications and the application procedure. This has been an important initiative that allows our graduate student members to make international connections with others working in Canadian Studies. Over the past year, the CSN-REC sponsored three Canadian university graduate students to attend international Canadian Studies conferences.
In October of 2012, for instance, Caitlin Gordon-Walker attended the Central European Association for Canadian Studies' (CEACS) 6th triennial conference held at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. The conference was structured around the theme "Democracy, Diversity, Dignity: The Canadian Space." Caitlin's paper addressed representations of multicultural nationalism in Canadian museums, drawn from research undertaken as part of her PhD dissertation.
In June of 2013 Meaghan Beaton attended the 41e Colloque Annuel International de l'Association Française d'Études Canadiennes, at the Université Rennes 2, France. She presented a paper on the contested landscape of the memory of the Cape Breton Miners' Museum, the research of which was drawn from her doctoral work in Canadian Studies at Trent University. She noted that the conference allowed her to make valuable connections with international and Canadian scholars, particularly from Quebec.
In July, Melissa Sharpe-Harrigan attending the Understanding Canada / Concevoir le Canada, conference held at Trier University in Germany. She presented a paper entitled: "Understanding Immigration: A Perspective from a smaller level of scale," which challenged approaching settlement from a federal level of scale, and used local examples from Windsor, Peterborough, and London Ontario to demonstrate how the local might subvert federal program aims.
All three students reported that attending these conferences have helped to make valuable connections with faculty, scholars, and fellow students working in Canadian Studies, and they have emphasized the importance of having Canadian graduate student representation at these gatherings as a demonstration of the continuing interest in Canadian Studies - in Canada and abroad. I would therefore strongly encourage our students to take advantage of these funding opportunities to ensure that we continue to make these connections with others working in our field.
In addition to funding our graduate student members at Canadian universities, the CSN-REC has also instituted a policy for funding international graduate students to attend Canadian conferences. No international students took advantage of this opportunity this past year; I will work to improve our communications to international Canadian Studies programs about this opportunity in the coming year.
The CSN-REC has been working to develop a series of prizes for our student members. The first to be implemented was the award for the Best Dissertation in Canadian Studies. This prize is awarded annually to an outstanding interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation completed at a Canadian university on a Canadian subject that best advances our knowledge and understanding of Canada and Canadian Studies, and is defended during the preceding calendar year. The first recipient of this award is Dr. Samantha Burton, for her dissertation entitled "Canadian girls in London: negotiating home and away in the British World at the turn of the twentieth century," completed at McGill University in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies. Burton's research examines the ways in which Canadian women artists who lived as expatriates in Britain managed multiple and often competing ideas about home in their writing and artwork in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Focusing on a small group of professional, white, English-Canadian painters, including Emily Carr, Elizabeth Armstrong Forbes, Mary Alexandra Bell Eastlake, Helen McNicoll, and Frances Jones, she reveals links between Canada and the greater British Empire that have tended to be lost in nationalist art history narratives.
The network is also unveiling two additional student prizes this year. The first is a prize for an interdisciplinary MA thesis (or equivalent) or major research paper, and the second is a prize for an interdisciplinary undergraduate essay written by a full-time or part-time undergraduate student enrolled in a Canadian Studies Program.
All three prizes are selected by a three-member interdisciplinary panel drawn from the CSN-REC's Executive Members and its Advisory Council. Details about the prizes, the application process, and eligibility are found on the network's website.
These prizes are an excellent way to recognize and promote the important work accomplished by our student members.
I look forward to serving with the CSN for the coming year. I hope to encourage more graduate student participation and graduate student specific activities at the annual meeting/conference of 2014, in addition to helping represent graduate student members on the various issues facing the CSN executive in the coming year.