February 2009 President’s letter


February 2009

Dear Colleagues,

We live in exciting times and a changing world – hopefully for the better.  2008 was a productive year for EMW and will continue to be this coming year.  The mission statement drafted by Susanne Woods and presented to the membership for approval in 2008 has been approved and is part of Section 1 in the EMW constitution.  Thanks so much Susanne for your hard work and initiative on this issue.

The ongoing discussion about the location of the Annual General membership and Executive Board meetings, which have been held at ATW and the Sixteenth Century Studies conference, continued.  It was suggested that some members have a preference for RSA where we have been meeting more informally with great success.  It was agreed that along with the ballot this year we will include this open-ended question: Which conference/s do you normally attend: ATW, SCSC, RSA?  How often: most years; every other year; intermittently; never.  So please think about this question and use Section II of the ballot to let us know your thoughts.  Informal meetings of the EMW Executive Committee members who will attend SCSC in Geneva in May 2009 and RSA in March 2009 will continue this year.

The next EMW Executive and General meetings will be held during ATW November 5-7, 2009 – it will be EMW’s 15th anniversary and special events are planned.  Because there are many plenary speakers at ATW, there will not be an EMW Plenary Speaker for 2009.  Rather EMW will sponsor a reception to mark the 10th anniversary of the Ashgate series “Women and Gender in the Early Modern World.”  Erika Gaffney will be the guest of honor; as well, series editors, Abby Zanger and Allyson Poska will organize a panel which will include themselves, Erika Gaffney, and series authors.  Other events are planned for ATW; Jane Donawerth, Adele Seeff and Karen Nelson will organize a “career building” event for graduate students and younger scholars which will include a panel.  Susanne Woods proposed that EMW plan a session for mid-career colleagues about involvement in administrative roles; it will take place 4:30-6:30 on Saturday, November 7.  Hope all of you will be able to attend to help make it the best ever.

Ongoing collaboration with Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal continues.  While subscriptions continue to grow, its editors, Jane Donawerth, Adele Seeff, and Diane Wolfthal, suggested that we bundle the EMW membership with subscription to the Journal; this would be a box to check off on the membership form.  So this is something else for you to consider. Volume three of the journal is out; submissions have been accepted for Volume 4 which will also introduce a Forum: Material Culture.  As well, the editors are considering broadening the focus of the Journal to include articles in other languages other than English.  Your opinions and thoughts are welcome.

The Executive Committee concluded its discussion of the appropriateness of the name of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and reached a consensus that the name should not be changed to include a reference to gender.  We continue to seek ways to increase the involvement of graduate students in the Society.  At SCSC this year, there were three EMW sponsored sessions for graduate students; they were well-attended and successful.  Any thoughts and/or ideas you might have will be most welcome.

Jane Couchman continued in her role as EMW Secretary in 2008 and should receive a round of applause for her commitment and exemplary work for our organization – thanks, Jane! Patricia Phillippy (Department of English, Texas A & M University) has agreed to serve as EMW secretary.  As well, I want to thank Mihoko Suzuki for her hard work as President.

The Chair of the EMW Nominating Committee for 2009 is Al Rabil (arabil@nc.rr.com). Please contact Al if you want to nominate someone for an EMW Committee, or to volunteer to stand for election to a Committee yourself.

And I would like to welcome Anne J. Cruz as incoming Vice-President (Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Miami); please send  proposals for conference sessions to her (ajcruz@miami.edu) in order to secure approval as EMW sponsored sessions.

It is a great honor for me to serve as SSEMW President for 2009.  I look forward to working with all of you and please do not hesitate to contact me, make suggestions, or ask questions.

Very best wishes for 2009

Katherine A. McIver




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