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2004 Winter

Winter 2004
vol.13, no.3

Combined Summary of Executive Committee and Business Meetings, SLS 2004,
Durham



OFFICERS: Outgoing President Jay Labinger introduced new members of the
Executive Committee: Alan 
Rauch (2nd Vice-President) and Arielle Saiber (member at large).
Incoming President Eve Keller 
thanked Jay for his hard work on behalf of the society. 



FINANCIAL REPORT: Carol Colatrella presented the society's financial
report for 2003-04 
(see below) and reported that she and Jay Labinger will work as a
subcommittee to review membership 
procedures employed by Johns Hopkins Press for the renamed society.



CONFERENCE:
Eve Keller and Wayne Miller, organizers for SLS 2004 in Durham,
indicated that the conference attracted more than 270 participants.
They thanked several offices and departments at Fordham
University--Office of the Dean of Fordham College, Department of
English--and Duke University--Office of the Vice Provost for
Interdisciplinary Studies, Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social
Sciences (2003-04), Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and
Cultural Theory, Information Science & Information Studies Program,
School of Law, John Hope Franklin Center, and Department of English. 


TRAVEL AWARDS
for 2004 were presented to Stephen Gennaro, Birgit Lang, Catherine
Clinger, Christy Cannarieto, Nancy Salzer, Christine Lehleiter, Robyn
Smith, Sarah Smiley, Carrie Eishart, Lori Emerson, Benjamin Robertson,
Doug Davis, and Al Coppola.



NEXT SLSA: Bruce Clarke (1st
Vice President) noted that Joe Tabbi at the University of Illinois at
Chicago is in the process of organizing SLSA 2005, to be held in
Chicago, October 27-30, 2005. [More specific details will be announced
soon.]



INTERNATIONAL SLSA:
Manuela Rossini announced plans for the next international SLSA to be
held in Amsterdam in mid-June 2006. Manuela is working with Eloe Kingma
of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and José van Dijck,
Media
Studies, University of Amsterdam.



Configurations
Editors Jim Bono and Hugh Crawford reported on the journal schedule and
announced Laura Walls (replacing Paula Findlen) and Alan Rauch
(replacing Jim Bono who will step out of this position) as new editors.
The journal is behind schedule, but editors expect continuing progress.
Special issues in development include one on Latour and another on
Whitehead.



Bibliographer Sue Hagedorn reported that the 2001  bibliography will be
posted at http://www.litsci.org
before Thanksgiving. The 2002 bibliography is in progress. Sue also
welcomes comments and suggestions concerning this website, which
supplements the society's official page (http://slsa.press.jhu.edu) in
presenting links to conference sites and other material. 



Eve Keller reported that the SLSA Executive Committee approved a motion
to pay the Executive Director an honorarium that will be funded partly
from the 
annual journal dividend and partly by the cost savings of publishing
Decodings online.  The newsletter will be sent to subscribers of
LITSCI-L and also 
posted on the society's websites.



ESSAY PRIZES:
Carol Colatrella reported that the Executive Committee approved a
motion that future submissions for the SLSA Bruns and Schachterle
Prizes should be transmitted electronically. Information on the SLSA
website will be updated to reflect this change.



BOOK SERIES:
Susan Squier presented a report on the Literature and Science series
(published by the University of Michigan Press) to the Executive
Committee, which will review its recommendations. Susan will continue
as Interim Editor of the series, working with Stephanie Smith, who will
continue as Co-Editor.



JOURNAL REPORT: Elizabeth Wilson reviewed with the Executive Committee
her report on Configurations,
which included a motion that SLSA form a Publications Committee to work
with the journal editors and with editors of other society
publications, including the newsletter and the website. The Executive
Committee approved the creation of this committee, which will include
three society members as voting members and the Executive Director and
one Configurations
editor as ex officio members.  



	The
	Executive Committee agreed to appoint Publications Committee members
by
	November 1, 2004. The Publications Committee will discuss
	electronically the recommendation offered in Wilson's report, as well
	as other possible options for journal procedures, and they will report
	their recommendation regarding journal procedures by January 15, 2005.
	The Executive Committee will vote on this recommendation by February
	15, 2005.
	


BYLAWS:
Carol Colatrella and Eve Keller will update the society's bylaws to
reflect creation of the Publications Committee and other recent
policies and practices.



2004 ESSAY PRIZES:
Bruce Clarke awarded the 2004 Schachterle Prize to Dennis Desroches for
his essay "Phenomenology, Science Studies, and the Question of
Being,"
forthcoming in Configurations. Clarke and fellow judge Ursula Heise
noted that Desroches's essay "draws surprising and persuasive
conceptual connections between contemporary science studies, the
critique of scientism undertaken by phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, and
Heidegger's critique of Husserl."



	Elizabeth
	Wilson awarded the 2004 Bruns Prize to Jodie Nicotra for her essay
	"Darwinian Seductions: John Campbell, Samuel Butler, and the
Rhetoric
	of Fascination." Wilson commended Nicotra for her innovative
analysis
	delineating "the seductive and transformative effects of reading
	Darwin." 


ALL SLSA members should subscribe to the LITSCI-L Bulletin Board: 
Future issues of Decodings will be published in electronic form and sent
to LITSCI-L 
subscribers. To subscribe to the LITSCI-L, send the following in the
body of a message to majordomo@duke.edu:
subscribe LITSCI-L. If you prefer a digest version, use the following
command instead: subscribe LITSCI-L-DIGEST. Please address list
problems or questions about LITSCI-L Web resources or subscription to
Wayne Miller at wmiller@law.duke.edu. If you prefer Wayne to add your
email address to the list of LITSCI-L subscribers, please 
write to him directly, or send your request to
carolcolatrella@hotmail.com, or by surface mail to Carol's address on
the back page of this issue.   
NOTE: Decodings will also be posted on the society's websites:
http://www.litsci.org & http://slsa.press.jhu.edu. 



Minutes of SLS 2004 Durham Conference Wrap-Up, 10/17/04
Recorded by Carol Colatrella and Sue Hagedorn



Wayne
Miller and Eve Keller were highly commended by the wrap-up group for
their great work with site arrangements, program scheduling,
development, and much more. THANKS!




What worked well in Durham that should be incorporated in future
conferences:



	
	Organizing sequenced panels (streams) like Animal Studies, coordinated
by Richard Nash.
	
	Making available healthy snacks, coffee, and cold caffeinated
	drinks throughout the conference was much appreciated, as was the
daily
	continental breakfast.
	
	Arranging a dialogue between two speakers for the second plenary was a
welcome format and could be repeated.
	
	The Marriott at the Civic Center in Durham was an excellent
	hotel for a conference like SLS. All breakout rooms are close. The
	central hall where refreshments were encouraged conversations. The
food
	was excellent. 



What worked well for some but not other participants and which might be
adapted:



	
	Scheduling
	panel sessions (instead of a plenary) on Thursday night along with a
	reception was a good start, although participants traveling from a
long
	distance find these sessions difficult to attend.
	
	When possible, keep from scheduling participants brand-new to
	SLS or international participants into opening sessions or for
	low-attendance sessions on Sunday morning. Those who are new can find
	this a real turn-off for the society. 
	
	



What did not work well and some suggestions for improvement:



	
	Having a dj for the dance was a cost-effective but less pleasurable
experience: Go back to hiring a live band!
	
	The lunch line was too long. It constrained the amount of time
	for conversations at tables and awkwardly snaked through tables. If
	there is a buffet lunch, food should be arranged so that many people
	can serve themselves as quickly as possible. 
	The business meeting was too long (at 45 minutes). 
	
	The hotel had problems with ambient sound bleeding into some rooms
during sessions.
	
	Some panel chairs did not start sessions on time, did not keep
	speakers to time limits, and/or rearranged the order of
	speakers/papers. "Paper creep" constrained open discussion:
there must
	be adequate time in each session for audience to question and converse
	with speakers. Directions to chairs (noting that adhering to the
	schedule is required and that there should be general conversation)
	must be provided to panel chairs and shared with all speakers in
	advance of the conference. These directions should also be left on the
	speakers' tables to serve as reminders during the conference. 


Suggested improvements/innovations



	
	Titles of sessions should be placed on easels outside of panel
sessions.  
	
	Disciplinary affiliations of participants should be noted in
	the conference program in the panel listings and in the participant
	list, and perhaps on name tags.
	
	SLSA should establish WIKI discussion threads on the web that might
facilitate panels and roommate pairings for the conference.
	
	Enthusiastic reception was given to "comping" the lodging
bill
	of the person handling on-site arrangements at the following year's
	annual meeting.