| Meeting Minutes 31 May 2010 |
Political History Group
The prospective agenda was circulated to those in attendance. He then called for approval of the agenda and a motion to that effect was made by Marcel Martel and seconded by Larry Glassford. It was approved unanimously.
2. Adoption of the minutes
The minutes from the previous meeting had been posted to the website before the meeting and a copy circulated to members. A motion to approve the minutes was called for by the chair, made by Mark Humphries, seconded by Brad Miller, and approved unanimously.
3. President’s Report
Matthew Hayday began his remarks by thanking members for attending. He noted that it had been a good and productive first year for the Political History Group (PHG) of the Canadian Historical Association (CHA). At the time of the meeting, there were 70-75 individuals who were part of the PHG listserv. The documentation for the group’s constitution had been submitted to the CHA executive and approved at that body’s meeting in the fall of 2010 and the PHG was now an official CHA group. The new website had also gone online and was a work in progress. Matthew identified one of its more important features as being the directory of members and he encouraged people to write-up bios to be posted to the website. This year also marked the first time that the PHG put forward panel proposals for the annual meeting of the CHA and two of three had been accepted which Matthew thought was reasonably good success. He indicated that he was especially excited about the political biography panel. One thing that did come up in connection with this panel was that one of the panellists, Peter C. Newman, had asked that his expenses in connection with attendance be covered. As the PHG had no financial resources to deal with such a contingency, it was a possible that the group might want to consider the question of membership fees in future. It had been discussed at the previous meeting. In the event, though, his expenses had been covered by several gracious sources and Matthew pointed out that the question of fundraising might be best discussed during the meeting in connection with agenda item four (the PHG prize committee report) as the two items were linked. In regards to membership fees in particular, the question had been investigated and it was found that only the Canadian Committee on Women’s History had membership fees. He recommended against instating fees that this point in time. Shirley Tillotson suggested that fees had been collected in connection with a CCWH conference and that perhaps an optional fee might be in order. Matthew thought that fundraising was best attempted in connection with the proposed PHG prizes. Shirley then thanked Matthew for doing a fabulous job that year. The membership agreed. Frederic Bastien asked if the CHA had provided any funding that year and Matthew confirmed that it had.
4. Prize Committee Report and Motion
Marcel Martel, as head of the prize committee, circulated the prize committee’s report to the membership. He expressed his desire that any discussion of fundraising for the prizes be kept separate from the motion to adopt the prize committee’s recommendations as to the creation of the prizes themselves. He then discussed the report, highlighting that there would be three prizes awarded in the following categories: an English-language article, a French-language article, and a book written in either English or French. These prizes would acknowledge non-fiction works of Canadian political history judged to have made an original, significant, and meritorious contribution to the field. The winners would receive a certificate of achievement and their names would be published on the CHA website. A monetary award would also be presented, pending the results of the fundraising campaign. The prizes would not be awarded if there were fewer than four nominations in a given year; however, the works nominated in that year would be considered in the following year’s completion. Prizes would not be awarded if none of the works nominated were considered to have met an exceptional standard of merit, significant, and originality. Works published by scholars in the field of Canadian political history between 1 December and 30 November each year would be eligible for consideration and the deadline for nominations would be 31 December. Nominees would be required to submit three printed copies of all books and scholarly articles directly to the members of the award committee. Authors would be invited to submit their works directly or via their publishers. There would, in fact, be three award committees, one for each award. They would each be composed of three individuals who work in the field of Canadian political history and would serve a three year term, but not more than two consecutive terms. They may serve on more than one committee at a time and if they were to serve on the French article committee or the book committee they would be required to have a reading knowledge of French. Marcel then thanked the committee and executive for their feedback and opened the report for discussion.
Adam Chapnick made a motion to adopt the award proposal with a friendly amendment so that its first line would read that the award would recognize “well-written non-fiction works of Canadian political history judged to have made an original, significant, and meritorious contribution to the field.” The motion was seconded by Chris Dummitt and approved unanimously.
Matthew Hayday suggested that the CHA council be asked if the award could be temporarily named the Canadian Historical Association Political History Prize, and that a subcommittee be created to investigate donors and to name the prizes at a later date. Marcel Martel moved the motion, seconded by Bob McDonald and approved by all.
5. Website and Secretary’s Report
Mark Humphries provided an update on the website, reminding people to submit bios to his email address for inclusion in the directory of members. He also asked for feedback on the website, pointing out that it was a work in progress and could potentially include as much or as little content as people wanted.
6. Planning for Congress 2011
Matthew Hayday acknowledges that planning should begin this summer towards submitting panel and roundtable proposals for the 2011 meeting of the CHA. Donald Wright reported that the themes of the next CHA would be History, Memory, and Place and that the meeting would take place 30 May to 1 June. Congress’ theme would be coasting continents, exploring place. Matthew asked people to start thinking about proposals and to use the listserv to share their ideas with the PHG membership. Donald suggested that people email him if they wanted more information (his email is on the website). Suggestions were made relating to topics on collective memory, women in politics, limited identities and politics, and rethinking regionalism and local identity. Matthew then noted that discussion should be continued on the listserv
7. Other Business
Marcel Martel suggested that Adam Chapnick’s suggestion of a teaching award be taken up by a sub-committee of the current awards committee which would continue to sit for one more year and report back at the 2011 meeting of the PHG. An action item was set for the current awards committee, with the addition of Adam Chapnick, to consider the issue of the teaching award and to report back.
© 2010 Political History Group-Groupe d'histoire politique