Minutes of the REELC/ENCLS Executive Committee 2011-2013 meeting, Paris, July 22, 2013

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MINUTES OF THE REELC/ENCLS EC 2011-2013 meeting, Paris, July 22, 2013

(Minutes taken by Asun López-Varela and Lucia Boldrini.) 

Present: Marina Grishakova (GC); César Domínguez (GC-elect); Bernard Franco; Brigitte Le Juez; Asun López-Varela; Sanna Nyqvist; Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser; Lucia Boldrini (ex-officio, previous GC); Jola Škulj (ex-officio, Web coordinator); Aleš Vaupotič (ex-officio, Webmaster); Fabien Pillet (Co-opted: mirror site, bibliography).

  1. Presentation of the volume of Proceedings of the 4th REELC-ENCLS Congress, held in Skopje and Ohrid, Macedonia, 2011. The editor, Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser, was congratulated. Lucia Boldrini will write the review of the volume and a state of affairs on REELC/ ENCLS for CLCWeb, possibly including proceedings from Clermont-Ferrand and Vilnius.
  2. Nominations for the election of the EC, to be held during the General Assembly at the 5th REELC-ENCLS Congress, Madeira, Sept 26-28 2013. Notification will be sent to all members that nominations for the 2013-15 EC should be sent to Marina Grishakova by Sept. 6th. before Madeira Congress takes place The email should specify that EC members will be expected to be active, share the work, and take on tasks related to the REELC-ENCLS activity. Marina Grishakova will check how many current EC members can stand again and how many have reached the maximum of 2 terms. The 6th of Sept. will give the current EC sufficient time to search for new or more apropriate range of candidates if not enough came forward, or the range were not sufficiently representative of geographical and linguistic areas. Maria Teresa Nascimento (Madeira Congress organiser) will be asked to contact all participants and remind them that participation in the Congress automatically makes them REELC-ENCLS members, but if they want to continue to receive information and be active members they should register on the website (free).
  3. Regulations concerning elections of the EC members and GC (point 3, 5, 6 in Lucia Boldrini’s list of items for discussion in Paris): Lucia had reviewed the regulations, as requested in the videoconference (in June 2013), and because it is useful to review them after they have been in place for 4 years, to check that they are working well.
    The EC thought that it would be best to  maintain the term of office as 2 years, renewable once,  for a total of 4 years, as it is now. Three terms service is ruled out, though of course this can be reviewed again in the future.
    The EC however proposes to shorten from 4 to 2 years the time between an EC member stands down from the EC and the time when he or she can stand again. This is in the interest of retaining the services of those engaged, useful, and capable members of the EC that would possibly be ideal General Coordinators but who may lose touch with the Network if out of the loop for too long.
    The EC also wishes to clarify that periods spent as ex-officio or coopted member does not count as term of office, and that such members can stand for election if they have not been officers before, or if 2 years have passed since their last term as elected officers.    
    The EC also proposes that members of the EC who are inactive for prolonged periods (6 months? A year?) with no justification should be contacted and invited to become active or be deemed to have left the EC; in this case, representation may be passed on to the next in the list of most voted non-elected nominees.
    The EC also reviewed the system of nomination of a member of the EC as GC elect, and continues to think this is useful. Although there is always the risk that the designated GC may not be elected, or - as has happened - that the GC withdraws, in that case the system would revert to what it used to be: the new EC nominates one amongst its members to act as GC.
  4. Congress organisation (document circulated in advance of the meeting): guidelines for organisers. As some colleagues haven't had a chance to look at the guidelines for congress organisers, EC members are invited to do so and make suggestions if anything is missing or needs to be edited. This should make things easier for future organisers and spare the Network some confusion.
  5. EC communication.
    Internal communication needs to be more frequent. We had had several discussions, but we lost those due to the website crash, which also delayed our resuming the discussions.  Video conference was very useful but it can be difficult or expensive for some to access. Skype doesn't always work well. Brigitte Le Juez will investigate the Google facility, Lucia will find out about BigBlueButton. Marina: Google plus groups.
    We also need to communicate our activities better to the membership. We should resume the habit of updating the specific forum on the website with all our initiatives.
    The questionnaire to consult members on various issues should be revived, as should the different questionnaire that Marina had suggested, with interview-like questions for high profile European comparatists.
    We should also be more proactive in seeking to publish in existing national or international journals, as guests, with special issues. (we are currently doing this on CLVWeb)
  6. Funding options.
    César Domiguez proposed that we should follow the model of euroclio to apply for EU funds. He will look into what is required. César will also organize a seminar in Brussels on teaching CL in Europe (March or May 2014?), to which we can invite EU council members, in preparation for the bid.
    If funding fails, membership fees may be the only solution. Identifiable activities to undertake with the amount derived from membership fee were discussed (i.e. potential journal). Whether membership fees would help or prejudice any funding application to EU or other bodies was raised, but in the experience of Asun and others (as evaluators of EU projects) it should not interfere.
    If adopted, a Treasurer should be nominated; bank location, legal status of REELC/ENCLS, local fiscal and legal conditions would also need to be discussed, and the best location selected to make things as easy and convenient as possible.
    The introduction of fees would need to be voted on by the GA and this can only happen when a concrete, detailed proposal exists, including level of fees, where to base the account, how the fees will be collected, how a treasury would operate, etc.
    The GA at Madeira will be invited to comment on the issue of fees (but not to vote, as there is no concrete proposal as yet). All colleagues in the EC are invited to inquire in their countries, in the next few months, about the conditions for having an account.
  7. General Assembly in Madeira:
    Brigitte or Bernard will chair as Marina cannot be there.
    Items will include:
    • a) biennial report by CG
    • b) reports on  2015 Dublin congress
    • c) membership fees
    • d) report on newsletter and invitation to send items and make suggestions for sections that can be added, or format.
    • e) report on the plan for bibliography, and invitation to everyone to check it and send items to Bernard
    • f) online or email / remote voting; alternative methods (such as developing our own, or buying a commercial one)  pros and cons, and the solution we propose: to vote using email, or by post, of course in person at the congress, and trust the electoral officer with preserving the secrecy of the vote and not manipulate it) (Lucia will find exact details of IJJQ voting, which is by email or post, and report to Aleš and Brigitte in time for GA). Lucia and Aleš will prepare a motion proposing the introduction of  remote voting is approved, to be put to the vote for approval by the GA.
    • g) a report on the website by the webmaster, on what's happened and future plans.
    • h) report on our review of the regulations and a vote on the change we propose;
  8. Projects, applications, joint activities
    • a) COST application received a puzzling response of not having followed the headings, when the consensus was that the headings were correctly followed. This will be investigated; the proposal can be resubmitted in September.
    • b) Bibliography is being carried forward by Bernard, who received everyone's warm thanks. New categories were suggested, and formats were discussed, e.g. whether it would be best to have the document, at least initially, as pdf (which we can update and replace). Send suggestions for items to add to Bernard. One or more of the new EC members should be tasked with helping Bernard with the bibliography.
    • c) Aleš expresses the need for support with the Website and it is agreed that one of the new members will collaborate with him and Lucia.
    • d) It is agreed that REELC/ENCLS committee will set up smaller operative units to distribute tasks such as 1. EU applications; 2. Publications; 3. Conferences; 4. Website; 5. Bibliography
    • e) Bibliography: Bernard presented the work he has done on the bibliohraphy and asked to discuss. Suggestions were made for new categories or different titles. MHRA format is agreed. Among the sections to be modified: Regions; Comparative Literature and Intermedial Studies (Theorical section + specific sections on visual art, etc.) We agree to add a list of Comparative Literature Journals, Series, Annuaries and other continuing publications.
  9. Newsletter: Brigitte Le Juez continues to be in charge of the Newsletter ex-officio (others are invited to come forward)
  10. Facebook page: Asun can continue to maintain this for posting news and recruiting potential REELC/ENCLS members. If anyone would like to take over, he/she will be most welcome. The Facebook page also allows more than one administrator.
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