CENTRAL EUROPEAN STEERING COMMITTEE FOR CANADIAN STUDIES
Fourth meeting of the CESCCS
16 February 2001
Don Sparling (the Czech Republic) [DS]
Aleksander Kustec (Slovenia) [AK]
Anna Reczynska (Poland) [AR]
Katalin Kurtosi (Hungary) [KK]
Ljiljana Matic (Yugoslavia) [LM]
Maria Huttova (Slovakia) [MH]
Monica Bottez (Romania) [MB]
Nicholas Dinka [ND] - secretary
Marie-Laure de Chantal [ML] – DFAIT
Nancy Hector [NH] - DFAIT
A. Morning session
The meeting, held at the Hotel Am Badersee in Grainau, Germany, began at 8:40.
2 Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted as presented.
3. Report on the Brno meeting
The Brno report was approved as presented.
4. Financial Report
DS presented the current report (see appendix 1), covering the past four months since the previous meeting of the Steering Committee in Brno in October 2000. The final cost of the Brno meeting was approximately $1300. That this was well below the $1800 originally budgeted for the event was largely due to the fact that one of the members was unable to attend.
Two major grants were received from DFAIT during the period covered in the report. The first was the annual grant for the Steering Committee to cover general activities and amounted to $11,650, slightly below the original request for $12,400. The second grant was the first instalment of the funding for the Bucharest conference ($6000).
As the financial report indicates, the bank charges on the various transactions are rather high. Unfortunately, these are the usual rates in this part of the world and there is no way to avoid them.
DS noted that the current balance looks high, but this is misleading because it does not include the cost of participating in the Grainau conference for both steering members and three additional Canadianists from Central Europe. In addition, in March further payments will be made to the students maintaining the homepage and providing assistance in running the Secretariat. Finally, largeish sums are earmarked for the publication of the Brno conference proceedings and the first issue of the CE Canadian Studies journal.
The CESCCS will have approximately $8000 at the end of the fiscal year. Approximately $2900 will remain after the costs of the Brno proceedings and CE journal are covered and other expenses met.
5. CE Canadian Studies Secretariat in Brno
5.1 Business resulting from the last meeting
DS reported that Petr Vurm (PV), the student assistant, has now overhauled the CESCCS web page, completely restructuring the various sections and checking out all the links. Former problems should now be remedied. Now messages will be sent out to contacts informing them about the changes and asking them to forward any additional information they find interesting.
Part of this work included updating the contacts’ e-mail addresses. (Some problems had arisen in the fall in connection with spreading information about the DFAIT 25th anniversary scholarships and the class set initiative.) PV also sent out queries to the contact persons at the universities in the area asking them for information about any electronic access to library resources on Canadian material in the region. Response was poor. The committee discussed this problem and decided the best course of action was to send out the requests again.
Another ongoing project was the creation of a database of the Canadianists in the area searchable by field of interest in Canadian Studies. This is proceeding, although there have been some slowdowns for technical reasons.
PV also put out a request for CE academics willing to give visiting lectures in the region. Initial response was mediocre. MB pointed out that this was possibly due to the wording of the request. The committee asked for the request to be put out again, this time with more general parameters (no specified time of year, for example).
Another task undertaken by PV was to research study and funding opportunities for Central European students wishing to do graduate work in Canada. He was not able to find much information on the Web. LM suggested that the Secretariat should contact Eva Le Grand in Montreal for information. ND pointed out that it is now common practice among Canadian universities to offer financial packages (teaching assistantships, fellowships, etc.) to strong applicants, regardless of nationality, and that students should be made aware of this. DS promised to have PV send out information on the possibilities available in Canada for graduate study.
A “chatbox” service, in which users can trade messages in real time, was suggested at the Brno meeting. However, PV suggested that because of limited access to computers in the region, trading messages in real time would be difficult; instead, he has set up a chatbox service where Canadianists can leave messages, make enquiries, comments, suggestions, etc. to be read by other Canadianists in the region, and responded to, at their leisure.
This concluded discussion of projects proposed at the last meeting.
5.2 recent developments
5.21 This year’s Grainau conference
It was generally agreed that the selection of people from Central Europe to come to Grainau went much more smoothly this year than in the past. The same procedure should be used next year.
KK brought up the issue of people coming for only part of the conference and/or taking expensive flights when cheaper ground transportation was available. The group agreed that its position should be that it is desirable for people to stay for the entire conference, and that cheaper means of transportation (i.e. bus, train) should be used whenever possible, especially by younger attendees. The committee should also think about ways to ensure that people who come to Grainau under its auspices are properly qualified to attend.
DS suggests that the committee needs to give embassies leeway to promote Canadian Studies by sending inexperienced people. LM says that the committee should nonetheless make sure that they are expected to take action on what they begin at Grainau. MH pointed out that the CESCCS should give guidelines to individual nations, but respect internal selections.
DS summed up by saying that the general policy should be that an invitation to Grainau should be a reward to encourage people who were already doing some Canada-related work, rather than “bait” to attract people to the field of Canadian Studies. In any case, however, there have only been a few problematic cases, so on the whole the process is working.
DS reported briefly on the 9th European Seminar for Graduate Students in Canadian Studies, held in Brno on 16-18 October 2000, saying that it had been judged very successful by the teachers present as well as by the participants themselves. A report can be found on the CE homepage. The 10th seminar will be taking place in Avignon, France, in the fall of this year, but so far the organizers have not sent out any information. DS will get in touch with the French Association and enquire about details, and notify people via the CE listserve as soon as the information is forthcoming.
6. Canadian Studies developments in Central Europe
· AR passed around the Polish Association of Canadianists’ first bulletin (in Polish).
· AR reported briefly on the preparations for the major conference planned for Torun in May (see below, 8).
· Lodz – There is progress in Canadian Studies, but AR’s communication with them is still limited.
- Within the English Department there are two Canadian courses, one on literature in general and one on poetry.
- A Canadian PhD intern stayed with the International Institute for three months, from October to December 2000.
· Katowice - Noel Currie, a young PhD intern specializing in the Canadian Gothic novel who came through the ICCS grant program, was lecturing here. She also gave two guest lectures, in Krakow and Torun. Her lectures were received very, very well. If Don could meet her in Vancouver she would be a good contact.
· Krakow – there is now a new chair of Canadian Studies, the first in Poland and probably in CE, with AR being its holder.
- Also in Krakow, new courses are being prepared on Canadian “cultural studies.” Students in the fourth year of a degree program can opt for a Canadian specialization. This will start soon, the exact date being dependent on numbers, logistics, etc.
· Warsaw – Nancy Burke published a new book entitled “Mirrors of Memory”. Two poetry evenings were organized to promote her book, in Krakow and Lodz.
- Also in Warsaw, Robert Klosowicz’s new book on the war of 1812-1814 was published, to very good reviews.
· Students working on MA and PhD theses: Poznan (7 MAs and 1 PhD [in preparation]), Warsaw (4 MAs [in preparation]), Krakow (2 MAs defended and 2 PhDs in preparation).
6.2 Czech Republic
· The Canadian Embassy has been very active in promoting Canadian Studies in the country, getting in touch with universities in the country (as well as in Slovakia) in order to find teachers interested in Canada and willing to begin working in the field of Canadian Studies. These efforts led to a meeting held in Olomouc in early February for about 30 academics (Czechs and Slovaks) interested in getting involved in Canadian Studies. The Embassy has been able to buy some buy books, especially in the area of Francophone literature, to supplement the regular book grants program.
· A History of Canada (in Czech) by Lenka Rovná (FRP and FEP grant recipient), has been published in the prestigious Lidové noviny series; it also includes a section on Canadian culture by Miroslav Jindra. Both are teachers at Charles University in Prague.
· The Canadian Studies Centre at Masaryk University in Brno has been reorganized in line with new university regulations; its codirectors are Don Sparling and Petr Kyloušek. This includes a new course setup that allows students in relevant subject areas to receive a certificate in Canadian Studies. Hopefully this is an interim step on the way to a full degree program.
· Canadian Studies courses are being introduced at the University of Hradec Kralové.
[At 10.15 Marie-Laure de Chantal and Nancy Hector, from the International Academic Relations division of the DFAIT joined the meeting. Discussion of the agenda was suspended, and MLdC and NH discussed CE issues with the Steering Committee for over an hour. There is a separate report on this part of the Steering Committee meeting, and on their meeting with all Central European Canadianists and representatives of Canadian missions in the region. The agenda was taken up again after MLdC and NH left, around 11.20.]
· Bratislava - There are now three Canadian courses at Bratislava. The two literature courses have about 20 students in total; MH is not sure about enrollment in the multiculturalism course since this will only be known in a week’s time.
- The Canadian Embassy is currently trying to arrange a new Political Studies course on Canada.
- Bratislava is hoping to inaugurate a Canadian history course in September.
- There are now two MA students at Bratislava working on Canadian topics. One is working on literature; the other is doing multiculturalism.
· Nitra - There is one MA student doing Canadian Studies.
· Conference participation - Papers in the field of Canadian Studies were read at a conference in Jerusalem last summer, as well as at a recent conference in Eger that featured workshops, where seven participants dealt with Canadian issues. At the latter event, people from the Canadian Embassy came and offered encouragement.
· Disseminating information - The Hungarian Canadianists are planning a Web site which the Canadian Embassy will administer.
· Visiting Canadianists – Visits by Canadian scholars were made to Pecs, Piliscaba and Szeged. Canadian scholars on sabbatical in Hungary are being asked to help with Canadian Studies. One theatre expert, a former Chair of Theatre Studies at Ottawa University, has been particularly active.
· New fields - One third of a film studies course at Pecs was on Canadian material.
To sum up, KK said there was growing demand for contacts and for information from the CESCCS. The Embassy people have been very helpful. (More detailed information on Canadian Studies in Hungary, prepared by KK, can be found in appendix 2).
· A new publication entitled Essays on Australian and Canadian Literature has been published at Ljubljana.
· Ljubljana has the long-term plan of founding a Canadian Studies centre.
· The Yugoslavian Canadianists are in the process of restarting their activities. (An earlier Yugoslav association, which included many non-university people with a general interest in Canada, was a victim of the troubled times in the country in recent years.) With the support of the Canadian Embassy in Belgrade, a new Yugoslav Canadian Studies Association has been registered. Ten Canadianists were involved in the founding group - two from Novi Sad (Matic, Felbabov), three from Belgrade (Cura, Konstantinovic, Ignjacevic), two from Nis (Lopicic, Ristic), three from Podgorica (Vukcevic, Perovic, Djukanovic). A wide range of activities is the ultimate goal. The focus of the organization is to be academic, encompassing all relevant disciplines. There are approximately thirty Canadianists working in Yugoslavia at the moment.
· There are currently approximately twenty-five Canadianists working in Romania. Recipients of FRP and FEP grants in the area have been very active.
· A journal entitled Identity, Otherness and Multiculturalism in Canadian Literature in English and French, which will include articles by European Canadianists, is being planned.
· Bucharest – Donna Patrick gave a visit and plans to visit again. An intern based at Timisoara gave a lecture at Bucharest. Konrad Gross from Germany will be giving a multiculturalism course in the coming semester. MB will be giving a small lecture tour on Canadian subjects in May.
· Cluj – the Canadian Studies centre there has French-Canadian visitors coming soon.
(More detailed information on Canadian Studies in Romania, prepared by MB, can be found in appendix 2.)
6.8 Country reports in future
It was suggested that in future, to avoid too much time being taken up by country reports, each Steering Committee member should prepare a one-page report for distribution at the SC meeting. The verbal report could then be very brief. This was agreed to.
7.1 Brno conference proceedings
DS said that the editing of the Brno conference proceedings is finally nearing completion – owing in large part to Nicholas Dinka’s efforts - and the volume will definitely be ready for the Bucharest conference.
7.1 The CE Journal of Canadian Studies
AK has prepared a package of plans for the journal, which he handed out to people. He also handed out disk copies of submitted articles (book reviews and other contributions are not being submitted to independent review) to each of the members of the editorial board present. He requested that each of these people should find independent readers in each country. Reports from independent readers can be sent to AK via email.
There was some discussion about the exact form the reports should take, and several conclusions were reached. It was concluded that independent readers should evaluate papers on a scale from 5 (excellent) to 1 (very weak); totally unacceptable papers should receive a 0. It was further concluded that there should be one separate reader for each article in each country. In other words, each article will receive a total of 6 reviews.
DS suggested that parameters for the independent reviewers’ blurb commentaries would be useful, but no conclusion was reached on this question. DS asked if the advisory board of independent reviewers would change slightly from issue to issue, and AK replied that yes, it would.
It was concluded that the editorial board should attempt meet to make final selections together. The editors provisionally agreed to meet in Bratislava on Saturday 19 May; therefore, independent readers should be asked to submit their evaluations by 30 April 2001. AK will attempt to contact Jozef Kwaterko, who is currently in France, to get him in on the process. DS will attempt to get funding for travel expenses, but it will most likely only be partial.
AK said that the deadline for the second issue is 1 February 2002.
[The morning session ended at 12.00.]
B. Afternoon session
[The meeting was reconvened after lunch at 14.00]
AR reported on the current state of preparations for the conference in Torun on 20-22 April.
· There are 78 applicants on the list who have papers, and a total of approximately 85 will be attending.
· In addition to participants from Poland and some Central European countries, others will be coming from Canada, Germany and such far-flung lands as Israel and India.
· Some of the papers look very interesting indeed.
· The conference excursion will be a visit to an astronomical observatory.
· $9000 in funding has been confirmed from DFAIT via the ICCS; additional funding will be provided by Torun University
· Participants from Central Europe who are giving papers will be provided with free accommodation; others must pay.
MB announced that information on the conference should now have beeb sent to CE Canadianists, and be up on the CESCCS Web page.
KK asked what kind of support is available for travel. DS replied that, thanks to the grant from DFAIT, participants from Central Europe will have their accommodation and meals taken care of. In addition, it has been agreed with ML that part of the surplus of $3500 left over from the graduate students’ seminar can be used to support the travel of students (doctoral, or finishing their MAs) to the Bucharest conference. Professors, however, are expected to pay their travel expenses themselves (though they are advised to seek support from their universities and local Canadian embassies). MB urged that students be notified in advance that travel money is available; DS agreed to do so.
AK asked if any guest speakers had be chosen, and MB replied not yet. AR suggested that Stanislav Kirschbaum from York University might be a good choice. DS said that he would attempt to make contact.
8.3 Debrecen proposal
KK reported that people at Debrecen have the idea of hosting a large, regular conference of Central European Canadianists along the lines of the Grainau conference. The proposed date for the first such event is at the end of August 2002. No details regarding financing have been finalized; however, people should try to keep this space open in their calendars.
Though he welcomed the Debrecen effort to promote Canadian Studies, DS expressed concern at how this might fit into other CS events in the region. He also stressed that one of the main functions of the CESCCS was supposed to be to act as a forum where the representatives of the different countries could work out a common policy with regard to major regional events. One of the problems in the past was a lack of coordination between the countries, which resulted in large-scale events coming too close in succession, bringing with them inordinate demands on Ottawa for financial support (the conferences in Brno and Szereges; this year’s conferences in Torun and Bucharest). Was this to happen again? A lengthy discussion of the Debrecen proposal followed, but lack of details made it difficult to come to any conclusion. One suggestion was that Debrecen might be a good place for the European graduate student seminar in 2002; Don said he would enquire whether any other place had already volunteered as a venue. However, this was clearly far from what the people in Debrecen had in mind. It was stressed that this idea of a major conference in Debrecen was a major issue that had to be dealt with quickly.
9. Report on DFAIT scholarships and FRP/FEP grants
9.1 DFAIT 25th anniversary scholarships
DS reported that there were seven applications for these scholarships from the region. Ultimately, three applicants were accepted: one graduate student (Petr Kafka, the Czech Republic) and two teachers (Dorotka Filipczak [Poland] and Edina Szalay [Hungary]). DFAIT reported to DS that they were pleased with the applications. The Secretariat was involved in the process insofar as it helped to sort out various organizational difficulties. The scholarships were a one-off thing, not to be repeated.
MB suggested that cc’ing correspondence to the Steering Committee members would have been useful as a means of keeping them informed as to what was happening, and suggested that this should be a regular practice in future in initiatives of a regional scope. DS agreed with the suggestion.
In connection with the whole question of disseminating information, DS asked the Steering Committee members who they felt the reports of the meetings should be sent out to. MH suggested brief summaries. AK pointed out that full minutes are a good way of maintaining transparency. MB suggested that full minutes could be available on the Web page, while brief summaries could be prepared by each member and e-mailed out to those in his/her country in the national language. This was generally agreed on. AK suggested that answers to frequently asked questions and so on could also be put on the Web page. He also suggested that a small advertisement for the Web site could be appended to the bottom of e-mail messages, e.g. “for more information, etc, see www.phil.muni.cz/angl/CANADA”.
10. Report on class set grants
DS explained that after the Brno meeting last October he had reported back to NH and ML, outlining the Steering Committee’s recommendations, which had been accepted. Though the time needed for the actual process of ordering and purchasing the books meant that the deadline for submission of applications was very short, a total of 18 applications was received. However, several were judged inadequate, the main problems being a misunderstanding of the nature of the grant (instead of multiple copies, single copies of books were requested), a choice of books that seemed inappropriate for class sets (e.g. dictionaries), and discrepancies between the books requested and the syllabus of the course they were supposed to be intended for.
The applications that were approved came from the following locations:
Poland –Torun (Anglophone literature), Lodz (Anglophone literature), Warsaw (Canadian identity and Anglophone literature), Katowice (Canadian identities)
Czech Republic – Brno (geography)
Slovakia – Bratislava (Anglophone literature, multiculturalism)
Hungary – Debrecen (Anglophone literature, mulitculturaism), Eger (Canadian Culture), Szeged (Anglophone and Francophone literature, multiculturalism and interculturalism)
Yugoslavia - Novi Sad (Francophone literature)
Applications from the following sources were rejected:
Belgrade, Banja Luka, Cluj, Sibiu, Baia Mare, Bucharest, Budapest (Central European University), Lodz
DS notified successful applicants to the program, and were also to receive confirmation from their respective embassies. Unsuccessful applicants received a letter explaining the reasons why their application was rejected and making suggestions for the improvement of future applications.
NH at DFAIT had expressed her pleasure and that of ML at the quality of the requests, and deemed the project a success. Some areas should be improved on in the future: the deadline should not be so short; the definition of courses eligible for grants should be clarified; an application form should be prepared so that all applications have the same format.
KK wondered if the number of texts requested for courses should be a factor in decisions on who ultimately receives grants. DS replied there should be a minimum number of copies of texts, five for example; the other Steering Committee members agreed.
The committee decided that the program should solicit applications for both single semester and year-long courses. This issue was previously unclear. Applications should be made to include a syllabus, giving at least a general outline of the main units of the course. They should include a paragraph summary of the course. Also, the CESCCS should include an example of a successful application with the application instructions it sends out.
11. Lecture tour of Myrna Kostash
DS had written to Myrna Kostash, outlining in detail a possible lecture tour to follow after the Torun conference, but in her latest letter to him she had said she did not have the funding to come to Europe in the spring. [It was confirmed after the Grainau meeting that she will not be coming to the Torun conference.] DS suggested that perhaps at some later time a visit might still be possible.
12. CS Journals (UK, France)
The British Association for Canadian Studies had arranged last year to send sets of back issues of British Canadian Studies journals to Canadian Studies centres in Central Europe. However, none had arrived, so DS got in touch with the BACS past-President, Alan Hallsworth, to see what had gone wrong. Unfortunately, they were destroyed in Edinburgh by a warehouse flood. New sets are being put together and will be sent.
DS was also in touch with Jean-Michel Lacroix, of the French Association; he will be sending sets of back issues of the French association’s journal to several Canadian Studies centres in the region; they should arrive soon.
13. Discussion of CE Association of Canadian Studies
As time was running out, it was agreed to shift discussion of number 13 to the end of the agenda, since this was perhaps the most complex issue facing the committee; discussion on the main aspects of the issue would begin today, and more detailed discussion continue on Saturday from 12.00 to 1.00.
14. Grant request
This request for the CESCCS grant for the 2001/2002 will have to be worked out soon. DS will talk to ML regarding parameters.
15. Next meeting of the Steering Committee
It was agreed that the next meeting of the steering committee should take place in Bucharest on 26 October 2001, the day leading up to the actual opening of the 2nd International Central European Canadian Studies Conference. DS asked MB to make a note of this and make the appropriate preparations.
13. Discussion of CE Association of Canadian Studies
DS introduced the discussion by pointing out the two “extreme” possibilities concerning CS associations in CE – each country having its own national organization, or a single regional organization. At present the situation is that the Polish Association of Canadian Studies exists, and a Yugoslavian association has also been registered. Ottawa has made it clear that is the business of each country whether or not it wants to start its own CS association. However, the fact that a national organization exists does not mean that it would automatically be able to become a full member of the ICCS. And in fact, to the best of his knowledge, it would seem that Ottawa would prefer a regional association.
As DS saw it, the main advantages of a regional association are as follows:
- DFAIT funding would be more likely forthcoming for one associations rather than for a number of associations (particularly where ICCS fees are concerned);
- having our own association would give CE Canadians legitimacy/autonomy and lead to their taking responsibility in areas such as the evaluation of FRP and FEP grants (which is currently done by the ENCS) as well as in various other areas;
- CE Canadianists would become eligible for certain grants that they cannot apply for at present;
- such an association, as a full member of ICCS, would have voting rights in the organization.
KK brought up the question of when such a regional association might be created. MH suggested the CESCCS should define a schedule of things that need to be done to move towards creating a regional association.
AR asked if such a regional association could be a federation of associations: a federation will fly with the Poles, but not if the Poles have to dissolve the Polish association. This they do not wish to do.
DS agreed completely on this last point, saying that there has never been a question that the Polish or any other national association should be dissolved. However, at this point, time ran out, and DS said that the discussion would have to end. He suggested that it be resumed on Saturday by going into the question of what might be meant by the term “federation”.
[The afternoon session came to an end at 5.30 p.m.]
C. Saturday session
[The meeting reconvened on Saturday 17 February at 12.00 noon to continue discussion of point 13 on the agenda.]
DS opened the session by asking once again how people understood the term “federation”.
AR said, putting the Polish point of view, that with a federation each country would elect its own representative(s) internally; they would then represent their association on the central body. She felt one of the key concerns was the issue of electing representatives for the executive of a regional association – who could claim to speak for the Canadianists in the various countries? The most transparent way was for them to be selected by national organizations. Another important concern was the differences in numbers, etc., between Poland and many other groups.
DS pointed out that for various quite legitimate reasons - the relatively limited numbers of local Canadianists, bureaucratic problems, or whatever - Canadianists in some countries may not want a national association: this means we cannot impose associations on people. MB agreed, saying that in the case of Romania, the current laws mean that forming a national association there would be very expensive; she could not see this being done.
MH asked for clarification of what was meant by a federation: did this mean “rep by pop” or what?
DS said no, not necessarily and probably not normally: federations tend to have ways of balancing out differences in size among their members, since one of the aims of a federation is to allow its members to retain their differences. In the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies, for example – and this is the local starting place, if not a precise model, for a regional organization in CE - there are no formal national associations. Instead, there are informal “national chapters” in each country that carry out various activities - electing reps for the executive board, organizing seminars and conferences, etc. However, on the central board, each of the countries has one member, even though the difference in population size between Iceland and Sweden, for example, is huge (the latter being about thirty times larger). In fact this “federative” principle of one member from each country applies to the ICCS as well – each member association has one person on the Executive Council, though the difference in membership between the German Association and, for example, the Irish Association is also extremely big.
DS said he felt this Nordic model would, in the general sense, be workable, and that a CE regional association within which some countries have formal national associations and others have informal groupings would be possible, although there could be potential problems.
AR pointed out that one might be financing - those with national associations would be paying two membership fees. DS suggested that in that case their fee for the regional association could be very small (e.g. $5), but that this was only a suggestion off the top of his hat – financial details could be worked out at a later stage (and that in any case there might have to be some differentiation within the region, given the big differences in economic levels). KK asked whether national groups would get separate funding besides what a regional association would get; DS said he had no information on this.
The question was again raised of how to select national representatives for the executive board of a regional association if there was no national organization. DS pointed out that this didn’t seem to be a problem in the Nordic Association, but said the local Canadian embassy could always be turned to if there seemed to be a problem. KK felt the autonomy of universities from embassies was important and should not be threatened. DS agreed, but pointed out that in any case all requests for funding, and all official ties with Ottawa, must go through the local Canadian embassy, so by definition we are in a situation in which we must cooperate with the local embassies.
AK asked who, in the Nordic association, is allowed to vote at the annual general meeting. Answer: the registered members from all the member countries. AK then went on to ask who elects the board, treasurer, etc? Answer: effectively, the members in the individual countries, since each country nominates its own representative. In the case of the Nordic association, there is not an annual general meeting, but one that takes place every three years, on the occasion of the association’s triennial conference. It is there that the new executive is authorized.
AK asked about new nations joining any potential CE association. DS replied that this would be up to the association: membership could be frozen if there are problems, and reopened when the group was ready to consider it. This was exactly the case of the ICCS itself.
AR said that the Poles would be concerned about exiting a regional association if and when they felt it to be desirable. DS replied that there was nothing to prevent nations from leaving (as is the case with the ICCS).
DS returned to the question of the structure of any potential regional association. DS felt that representation on the executive should be one person from each country, but pointed out that this could be flexible. In the Nordic association, the board is made up of one voting member from each country, but up to four other members per country can be included as non-voting members. This gives larger countries (though it is not so much a question of countries larger in themselves as of countries with larger numbers of Canadianists) the opportunity to contribute more to the activities of the association. Assuming those with voting rights on the board behave normally, the larger countries are not placed in any kind of disadvantageous position. And he did not see any reason to think that the board of any future CE regional association would not behave appropriately. Certainly so far things had worked out well - e.g. the CESCCS had agreed to more Poles and Romanians being selected to come to Grainau because there are more Canadianists there compared to other countries in the region.
MH suggested a possible conclusion: that our position at the moment is that on the executive of any future regional association each country should have one person representing it as a voting member. DS said that another possible conclusion might be two members from larger countries, one for smaller countries, or – a variation of the arrangement stated by MH - one voting member plus an optional non-voting second member. However, a big problem in both these cases would be that the board would then have 11 members, which is very large. This was not a problem in terms of discussions at meetings – in fact it was an advantage – but it might raise financial problems. He summed the discussion up by saying that he felt the general consensus of the meeting was one country one member. AR reserved judgement on this.
[At 1.00 p.m. the session came to an end. It was planned to meet again in the evening, sometime following the session with MLdC and NH in the afternoon, to see if a more specific conclusion could be made. Unfortunately, this did not take place. There were informal conversations between various members of the Steeering Committtee after the evening programme, concerning in particular how a CE association might coordinate major events in the region, but no clear conclusions were reached.]
16. AOB and 17. Closing
Because of the long drawn-out nature of the discussion, point 16 on the agenda was never discussed. Anything that might have been dealt with there – e.g. reading the papers from the Brno graduate students’ seminar – had to be arranged informally, or will be managed through e-mail. (One point that was discussed informally was the question of which country would host the 3rd international conference of CE Canadianists. AR offered Krakow as a venue in 2004; AK repreated the suggestion that it be held in Slovenia.) Nor was there an actual formal closing to the Grainau 2001 meeting of the Central European Steering Committee for Canadian Studies; instead, it petered out before midnight on Saturday.
Fourth meeting of the CESCCS
16 February 2001
Financial Report to 9 February 2001
Balance as of 9 October 2000 4,738.25
Brno meeting (15 October 2000)
- travel 466.20
- accommodation 663.75
- meals 155.71
- bank charges 13.00
Grant from DFAIT
- CESCCS 2000/2001 11,650.00
- 2nd conference 6,000.00
Bank charges 95.96
- homepage maintenance 165.00
- student assistant 740.00
- office supplies 11.00
Grant for 2nd conference 6,000.00
Totals 22,388.25 8,310.62
Note: further expenses to end of the 2000/2001 fiscal year (approximate only):
- Grainau travel 2,460.00
- Grainau accomm. and meals 3,000.00
- Office supplies 200.00
- Home page, student assistant 220.00
Of this, 3,000 is earmarked for Brno proceedings, and 2,300 for CE journal.
Estimated balance 2,897.63
Compare, at the end of the 1999/2000 fiscal year, the balance of approximately 2,700.00.
Detailed country reports
Submitted by KK (Hungary) and MB (Romania).
Country report – Hungary, fall 2000
University of PECS
Ph.D. student MILENA HORVATH read a paper on Emile Olivier at an international conference of Canadian studies in Jerusalem, Israel in summer, 2000.
Professor Gilles Dorion (retired from Univ. Laval, Quebec) was guest lecturing in Pecs in September.
Chairman ZSUZSA SIMONFFY published a paper on “,Ecriture geogrammatique et un coup des quebecois“ in Revue d'Etudes Francaises, Budapest.
A film course contained Canadian material, i.e. films by and lectures on Atom Agoyan - LASZLO TARNAY published a paper about him. (They also invited the director but did not respond.)
Plans: Quebec programmes in the framework of the Francophone week in March.
Professor Peter Klaus (Freie Univ. Berlin) will be guest teaching.
Pazmany Peter University, PILISCSABA
Visit and lecture by Professor Wolfgang KLOOSS (Univ. of TRIER)
Visit of Karen Mulhallen, Ryerson Polytechnic, Toronto, editor of Descant magazine (April, 2000)
Guest lecture of Dennis Cooley, Univ. Of Manitoba in May - also at Karoli Gaspar Protestant University.
Visit of President of University of Manitoba, Emoke Szathmary (July) Guest lecture of Dieter MEINDL, University of Erlangen-Nurnberg
Visit of Nicholas DINKA, co-ordinating intern, MU Brno
Regular visits by S.E. Marta Moszczenska, Ambassador of Canada
University of SZEGED
Full semester guest teaching of Prof. Tibor EGERVARI from University of Ottawa in Drama and Theatre Studies
Eszterhazy Karoly College, EGER
Organized the 5th national conference of the Hungarian Society for the Study of English, with two workshops on Canadian material - papers read were
KURTOSI KATALIN “Multiculturalism and Interculturalism in Canadian Drama and Theatre“
PODOR DORA “How Canadian is the Language of Modern Canadian Drama?“
MOLNAR JUDIT “The Place of Space in Canadian Multicultural Literature”
SZALAY EDINA “The Gothic in Contemporary Canadian Fiction”
KADAR KRISZTINA “The Canadian Postcolonial”
Country report – Romania, fall 2000
University of BUCHAREST
The interdisciplinary Canadian Studies MA programme at the University of Bucharest was enriched with a geography as a result of last year’s Grainau Conference where MB met Sorina Voiculescu, University of Timisoara and arranged this development (she was a FRP grant recipient last year and the course greatly benefited from it).
Visiting professors included Donna Patrick on ethnic relations and Konrad Gross, giving a course on multiculturalism
University of CLUJ
Gilles Dorion (University of Laval, retired) and Liiljana Matic (University of Novi Sad) gave two lectures and one seminar each to postgraduate students
University of IASI
Rodica Albu - a FRP grantee with the project “English in Canadian Representations of Language and Identity” will use the material to make presentations at three conferences (Iasi, Freiburg, Ottawa)
University of BAIA MARE
Dana Puiu (last year FRP grantee) and Ana Olos launched the initiative of the volume (to be written in English and French) Identity, Otherness and Multiculturalism in Canadian Literature for Canadian and European Canadianists (project supported by the Canadian Embassy in Bucharest).
Marie-Laure de Chantal and Nancy Hector
Marie-Laure de Chantal [MLdC] and Nancy Hector [NH] of the International Academic Relations Division of DFAIT were present at Grainau. They took part in the morning session of the Steering Committee meeting for over an hour, and then spoke at a meeting of all Central European Canadianists and Central European Canadian Embassy personnel that was held on the afternoon of Saturday 17 February. The following is a report on their contributions to both meetings
Meeting of the Steering Committee
Marie-Laure de Chantal
In general, MLdC iterated her pleasure with the progress of the Central European network and the extension and expansion of programs in the region, as seen, for example, in the numbers of teachers receiving FRP and FEP grants as well as in the recent success of the class set program. She looked forward to continuing development support in the region. She also dealt with a number of specific issues.
1. The CE development fund. This is designed to encourage Canadian Studies Centres in CE to engage in new projects and programs, especially those with international reach. It is administered through the ICCS. This means that it does not have to be fully exhausted at the end of each fiscal year. At the present time, $10,000 remains of the original $40,000 earmarked for the 2000/2001 fiscal year. DFAIT intends to go ahead with its policy of offering support in Central Europe, although it is not certain that this will continue to be provided at the same level. Deadlines for applications are the end of May and December.
2. Discretionary funds. Local embassies have limited discretionary funds from which small amounts (around $500 or more) can be made available for CS activities. There is a rough maximum of four requests on each of these funds.
3. GKS Support. In addition to the CE development fund, support for CE is also channelled through the GKS, and this will continue. CE Canadianists at Grainau will be invited to Grainau in future, using the same procedure as for the past two years (i.e. selection by the Steering Committee, in consultation with the Canadian embassies in the region). The GKS Outreach Program will allow German academics to visit CE; a new feature of this program is that it also enables CE academics to come to Germany and give lectures. In addition, the Visiting Professorship program for the new Länder has been renewed, and the Canadian professors teaching at universities in this part of Germany are also able to travel to CE to give lectures.
4. DFAIT and ICCS programs. MLdC passed out a list of DFAIT programs and went over them with the group.
5. Membership in the ICCS. MLdC spoke at some length on this question, both at the session with the Steering Committee and at the general meeting on Saturday afternoon. She emphasized that - after a longish period in which membership in the ICCS had been frozen – the organization was now ready in principle to receive new membership applications. Membership criteria require that national associations have a minimum number of members and that membership is representative of the community. If and when an application is made, the ICCS asks around to verify that these criteria are met, and the ICCS Executive Committee decides if applications should be submitted to the Executive Council to be voted on.
Full members are required to pay a minimum of $3000 per year in dues, this sum rising in relation to their number of members. Associate membership is less expensive, but associate members do not have voting rights within the ICCS.
ICCS’s current official position is that it is open to regional associations if and when appropriate. In short, it is aiming for a pragmatic, flexible approach to membership.
Nancy Hector (NH)
6. Class sets. NH also expressed her pleasure with the success of the class set program and asked for input into next year’s deadline. The group discussed this and decided on an April 30th deadline for applications, which will allow for materials to be sent to DFAIT by mid-May. This will give the ICCS enough time to purchase the books and send them to the universities before the start of the 2001/2002 academic year.
Requests sent to DFAIT must include title and author name. Publisher and price should also be included when possible. ISBM numbers are not mandatory.
NH said that DFAIT has a new rule for grants: individual applicants may apply for either a class set grant or a library support grant in any one fiscal year, but not both. The class sets just awarded were for the 2000/2001 fiscal year; the 2001/2002 fiscal year begins 1 April 2001.
There is a limit of $1000 on each request, but applicants should take into account that the cost of shipping the books to Ottawa amounts to about $50, so their applications should in fact not exceed $950.
7. Library support grants. The budget for library support was cut back last year, but has remained stable this year. However, NH advised those interested in library support grants to get their applications in early in the fiscal year. The limit on library support grants is now down to approximately $800 per grant.
NH pointed out that, whether applying for class sets or individual copies of books (through the library support program), people should try to request titles that have been published recently, as back catalogue items can be very difficult to get. In addition, in the case of both library support and class sets, the books should be listed in the order or priority: should it turn out that there is not enough money to cover the whole request, this ensures that teachers will get the books they need most.
NH and ML asked for requests from the committee members for any other forms of support.
AR suggested that updates of some kind on breaking Canadian news would be helpful.
MH suggested that it would be useful to have the most recent version of The Canadian Encyclopaedia. It was pointed out that this is available as a CD-Rom, but at a rather high cost for those in the CE region. It was suggested that perhaps some sort of regional deal could be arranged to minimize costs. NH said that she would look into this.
Meeting of Central European Canadianists and Embassy Personnel
The purpose of the broadly representative meeting on Saturday afternoon was to allow MLdC and NH to speak to all CE Canadianists at Grainau, and to get feedback from them as well as from the representatives of Canadian missions in the region. Much of what they had to say was the same as what they had reported to the Steering Committee the previous day. This has not been included here: what follows is new information, or additional information on subjects already introduced above.
1. CE funding. MLdC explained the various forms in which funding was channelled to the CE region (see 1-4 and 6-7 above). In addition, she said that DFAIT funding should be available for regional conferences, but on a two to three-year basis, not more frequently. This means that regional consultation is a priority: DFAIT must feel assured that such events have been coordinated between countries.
2. Dissemination of information. The CE Canadian Studies network homepage was one way of keeping informed about all aspects of Canadian Studies affecting the region, and all CE Canadianists in the region should be on the its listserve, which offers them a steady source of information on events, deadlines for applications, and so on. In addition, everyone was encouraged to look at the ICCS homepage and to subscribe to the ICCS listserve. (DS added that the CE Secretariat passed on whatever information from this listserve that it judge to be of direct concern to CE Canadianists.)
As far as the activities of the Central European Steering Committee for Canadian Studies were concerned, she expressed the wish to see the minutes of its two yearly meetings posted on the CE network homepage; DS agreed to this. In addition, she asked each of the national representatives on the Steering Committee to prepare a brief report on the most important items discusses at the meetings, which they should send out by e-mail to all the Canadianists in their respective countries.
3. Membership in the ICCS. MLdC returned to this issue, which had been discussed at some length at the meeting with the Steering Committee. She repeated what she had said there, but this time putting more emphasis on what she felt were generally regarded as the advantages of a regional association, particularly from a financial point of view (see, for example, the first item [“CE funding”] listed above). Ottawa had been dealing for some time now with the reality of a CE grouping, and felt that it worked well.
In connection with new applications for class sets, the question of access to a catalogue of books in print was raised once again. It was suggested that it might be possible to buy a CD-Rom version, which could be made available to CE Canadianists. NH said she would look into this.
Albert Galpin (Canadian Embassy Budapest) suggested that the CE Canadianists’ homepage would be more accessible if it had its own domain registration, instead of having to be accessed through the English Department of Masaryk University. This was not an expensive thing. DS said he would look into it.
Prof. Ursula Lehmkuhl of the University of Erfurt said that, as the newly-appointed Vice-Rector responsible for international relations, she felt it would be good to encourage student and teacher mobility in the field of Canadian Studies within the framework of Socrates-Erasmus. Those interested in this possibility should get in touch with her.