2008 Annual Meeting

The 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies took place at the Hilton Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA on May 8-10, 2008. That evening, guests enjoyed an opening reception at the Andy Warhol museum hosted by VisitPittsburgh and, later, attended informal sessions on "Student Representation in Learned Societies" and "Barriers to International Scholarship."

The Board of Directors met on May 8. The Council met on May 9, during which Charlotte Kuh, treasurer of the ACLS Board of Directors, and Herb Mann, chair of the Investment Committee, reported on ACLS finances. Voting members (Delegates of the member societies and members of the Board of Directors) approved the ACLS budget for FY09 and the following elections to the board:

  • Nancy J. Vickers, president, Bryn Mawr College, was elected to a three-year term as treasurer.
  • James J. O'Donnell, provost, Georgetown University, was reelected to a second three-year term as secretary.
  • Charlotte Kuh, deputy executive director, Policy and Global Affairs Division, National Research Council, outgoing treasurer, was elected to a one-year term as member, completing the term of the incoming treasurer.
  • Richard Leppert, Regents Professor and Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Minnesota, was reelected to a four-year term as member.
  • Earl Lewis, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies, Emory University, was reelected to a four-year term as member.

For current membership, see Board and Committees.

Also by vote of the Council, the Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) was admitted as ACLS's 70th member society. The RSA represents over 1,000 scholars and teachers of rhetoric, including individuals working in fields such as composition studies, English, communication, philosophy, linguistics, history, political science, sociology, and visual arts. For more information, visit the RSA website.

In her "Report to the Council," President Pauline Yu discussed the global interest in the workings of higher education in the US and the  role of ACLS and its member societies in maintaining the dynamism of the American academy.

As in recent years, the Council meeting concluded with a presentation by ACLS Fellows on "Emerging Themes and Methods of Humanities Research." This year's speakers were Jonathan Levy, Early Career Fellowship Program, 2007, 2008, doctoral candidate in history, University of Chicago; Tina Gianquitto, Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, 2008, assistant professor of liberal arts and international studies, Colorado School of Mines; and Louise Meintjes, Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, 2007, associate professor of music and cultural anthropology (joint position), Duke University.

The Delegates, meeting earlier in the day, heard a report from Saul Fisher, director of ACLS fellowship programs.

Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, spoke at luncheon.  

The topic of this year's program session was "Learned Societies and the Future of Publishing: When will the Internet revolution arrive?" The panelists were Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; Donald Brenneis, professor of anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz; James Chandler, Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Professor of English, University of Chicago; Michael Keller, Ida M. Green University Librarian, Stanford University; and Tara McPherson, associate professor of cinema and critical studies, University of Southern California.  The session, moderated by James O’Donnell, provost, Georgetown University, and secretary, ACLS Board of Directors, included questions from the floor.

In the evening, the 2008 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecture was delivered by Theodor Meron, appeals judge and former president, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and Charles L. Denison Professor of Law Emeritus and Judicial Fellow, New York University Law School.  The meeting concluded with a buffet supper in Judge Meron's honor.

The Conference of Administrative Officers (CAO) held their spring meeting on May 10.