Notes from the HSTCC Annual Meeting, March 2017
(Held 7:30-8:45 AM; March 17, 2017 Toronto)
And End-of Year updates
Submitted Helen Schneider, HSTCC President
December 20, 2017
I earned my Ph.D. in History at the University of Washington in 2004. In the fall of 2004 I started my tenure-track position at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg VA, and was promoted with tenure to the rank of Associate Professor in 2011. I joined the HSTCC in the later years of graduate school and immediately found the smaller gatherings of the HSTCC (as opposed to the large conferences of the Association for Asian Studies) to be a supportive and collaborative environment for junior scholars to present their work. One of the reasons I agreed to serve as President of the HSTCC was to give back to the organization that helped in my growth as a member of a scholarly community with an interest in all aspects of the twentieth century.
Update on the status of the society, including membership:
Membership benefits include a subscription to Twentieth Century China, eligibility for the biennial conference, and eligibility for HSTCC-sponsored panels at the annual meetings of the Association for Asian Studies and the American Historical Association. In 2017, we sponsored one panel at the January meetings of the AHA in Denver. Additional note: We will not be sponsoring a panel for the AAS in 2018 but I will work with the board to have a system in place to sponsor applications for panels for AHA and AAS in 2019.
In March 2017 we had 80 members and dozens more lapsed members. I noted that the Secretary-Treasurer, Xiaoping Cong, has been doing a great job reminding people to renew their memberships since the start of 2017. There were 11 new or renewing members since the start of 2017. We also brainstormed about ways to rebuild the membership base and to increase our visibility. I did not carry through with that to the extent I intended this year. But at the end of 2017, the website has been updated and planning for the 2018 biennial conference is underway.
Update on Twentieth Century China
Twentieth Century China editor Kristin Stapleton updated the Society members about the status of the journal. In 2016, she began discussions with Johns Hopkins University Press to move the journal (from the previous home at Maney). In early 2017, JHU Press began publication of the journal with issue 42:1. The Press is also making plans to digitize older volumes for inclusion on Muse.
As President of the Society, I signed an agreement with the Press to set rates, to send mailing lists, and arrange payment. I can report that from my perspective the arrangements have worked well over the last year. Communication between the Press, Xiaoping Cong (our Secretary-Treasurer) and me has gone smoothly, and I expect this to continue to be the case. At the meeting, we also discussed some ways that we might increase synergy between the Society and TCC, such as making arrangements to publish articles (or a set of articles) that might come out of the biennial meeting. Members asked about the possibility of having digital access (perhaps with a code) for those whose libraries do not subscribe to Muse. I have not followed through with this, but I plan on contacting JHU Press about this early in 2018.
Discussion of plans for 2018 biennial conference:
Members were in general support for the proposal I put forward to hold the conference in Northern Virginia on the outskirts of Washington DC in August 2018 with a theme of security and conflict in twentieth-century China. I had already informally polled those at the 2016 conference in Beijing about this possibility. The members present agreed that the date in early August (before most US-based colleges and universities begin the fall term) made the most sense, with possible add-on events to take place in the days after the conference ended. Suggested add-on events were a visit to Library of Congress or the National Archives (in College Park, Maryland. Members also proposed that different formats for the conference be considered, such as smaller workshop format with breakout units and/or roundtables. As a result, I have moved forward with that planning, and the HSTCC will be issuing a call for papers in early January 2018.
Review of 2016 Biennial Conference:
Past president Wang Dong organized the 2016 conference of the HSTCC which was held in conjunction with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute on Sino-American Relations on August 19-22, 2016. Around 13 HSTCC members participated in the conference and were on panels with CASS-sponsored participants. It was a bi-lingual conference with a great deal of interaction between HSTCC participants and Chinese scholars. In the fall of 2017, the Institute of Sino-American Relations contacted some of the participants in the Conference to submit their papers for publication.
Other items discussed:
–At the meetings in March, I renewed my calls for nominations (or self-nominations) for the Vice President position. As of December 2017, we still need a Vice President who will assume the presidency in August 2018. Self-nominations or nominations are welcome, and I am happy to talk to anyone considering this position about the Society and what would be involved with serving in that capacity.
–The streamlining of membership lists to deal with reminders for annual membership and as a way of reaching out to people whose membership has lapsed was discussed. This issue came up because a few people remarked that their emails may not have been updated correctly and because it might be a way to help deal with lapsed members. As of December 2017, no action has been taken on this.
–The website: Several members came forward to offer to help with the website, and I may be contacting them in the near future. In the meantime, a member of staff at Virginia Tech has installed WordPress patches and has been fixing broken links in November 2017. Also, the Society members present agreed that the Society should be paying the fees associated with the website as opposed to the past website coordinator who has been paying for the last several years. I will renew my efforts to deal with this.
Looking ahead to 2018:
In addition to sending out a call for papers and planning for and holding the biennial conference, in 2018 I will renew my efforts to build membership and publicize the Society’s activities and to work with other organizations with similar interests. I will also convene a meeting of HSTCC members at the AAS annual meeting in March 2018, in Washington DC.