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3rd Meeting of the Executive Committee (Budapest, Hungary, 14 January 2006)

Executive Committee of the CEACS/AECEC

Third meeting

Budapest, Hungary

14 January 2006


Don Sparling (President, /DS/)

Ana Olos (Vice-President, /AO/)

Janos Kenyeres (Treasurer, /JK/)

Vesna Lopicic (Secretary, /VS/)

Katalin Kurtosi (Editor-in-chief, CE Journal of Canadian Studies, /KK/)


A. Morning session, 9.00-13.00

1. Opening

The meeting opened at 9.00p.m., upon the arrival of all members of the Executive Committee.


2. Adoption of agenda

The agenda was adopted as proposed with minor corrections (certain dates) having been earlier sent by e-mail to all members of EC.


3. Approval of reports

The report on the 2nd meeting of the CEACS Executive Committee held in Prague, Czech Republic, 2-3 March 2005, had been prepared by the Secretary, and sent by e-mail to all members of EC. Since there were no comments, it was approved as submitted. The report can be found on the CEACS website.


4. CE Canadian Studies Secretariat in Brno

DS reported on the activities of the CE Canadian Secretariat in Brno since the meeting in Prague in March 2005.


Research Brno still plays a very important role by welcoming students and teachers who come to do research at the study centre there.


AO suggested that all the beneficiaries should be obliged to write a report on their research stay and send it to the Secretariat.


JK felt that it is very important to make all Canadianists aware of the important new acquisition in Brno - the Collected Works of Northrop Frye. DS said that this was courtesy of the Northrop Frye Centre at Victoria College, the University of Toronto. We will receive the complete works as each one comes out; so far, we have seventeen volumes.


Website Another activity carried out at the Secretariat in Brno is keeping the webpages updated. KK suggested that Petr Vurm should perhaps send us our passwords again so that we can update our entries. DS agreed; however, he pointed out that the problem is that people seldom respond, and so some of the pages have become quite outdated JK said this was true, but pointed out that many people have their own individual websites at their university; would it be possible to link these with the CEACS site? This would mean people would not have to update two pages. DS promised to speak to Petr Vurm about this.


Other activities All the other activities of the Secretariat, like organizational activities, information distribution, and the organization of publications,  are performed as usual.


5. Publications

The forthcoming publications are the following:


5.1 Krakow conference

Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference of Central European Canadianists held in Krakow are being prepared by Anna Reczynska. She expects the volume to be ready by January/February 2006. CEACS is not paying for these copies. We have an item of 200 CAD in the CEACS budget for transport to Brno from Krakow; copies will be then sent to CEACS members via the Canadian Embassies in the region.


5.2 CE Journal of Canadian Studies

5.2.1 Vol. 4

KK said that Volume 4 came out. It will be distributed to members along with the Krakow Proceedings.


5.2.2 Vol. 5

KK explained the reviewing system. The articles are now sent out to readers without the authors’ names, so the result is “blind” reviews. There are usually four readers for each article. Points range from 5 to 0. The articles are then divided into three groups: excellent, satisfactory but requiring some rewriting, and not acceptable for publication. KK made extensive remarks about the individual papers to be published and the marks by the reviewers. She mentioned that in some fields requiring fairly specialized knowledge reviewers are not necessarily Canadianists.


JK asked if we send letters to people who are turned down. KK replied that everybody gets feedback, regardless of whether his/her article is accepted or not.


JK suggested that in future some readers should be excluded if they are not doing a good job.


KK said that articles that need rewriting will be sent to their authors with a request that the final version be sent back by the end of March. This will enable Vol. 5 to be out by the time of the conference in Debrecen.


DS pointed out that this is Katalin’s fourth issue of the journal. Originally she had agreed to edit only three volumes. Depending on her wishes, this might be a time to think of finding a new editor-in-chief (though he had no illusions about there being a long queue for the job).  KK felt there should be an opportunity for others to show what they can do, though this is not an urgent question, as this year the journal will not be sending out a call for articles (see next paragraph).


DS, following from KK’s comments, reminded people that we had agreed that we would not publish the journal in years when we have our triennial conference. Since we moved this conference to the fall, the call for articles for the conference will be issued at the time of the conference, with the deadline for submission of articles being in January; in the case of the Debrecen conference, in January 2007 (with the editors being the organizers of the conference). That means that this year (2006) there will not be a new call for papers for the journal.  DS pointed out, however, that the deadline we have been using for submission of articles for the journal – late spring – is not very effective, since it has meant asking readers to do their job during the exam period, or in the summer. He suggested the date for issuing the call for papers for the journal, and their submission, should be changed to be the same as in the case of the conference proceedings. This would mean that the next call for papers for the journal would be in October 2007, with the deadline for submission in January 2008. This was agreed to.


AO asked whether the journal had been reviewed so far. DS said that FAC and ICCS are aware of it, and seem to have a good opinion of it. KK agreed, saying that in her opinion we are in the top half of Canadian Studies journals.


JK: It would be very useful if the articles published in the CE Journal of Canadian Studies were listed (and were available for reading) in large internet databases such as Scholars Portal or ProQuest. In fact, however, they are not listed there.


The question arose as to who actually gets the journal. DS reported that in future the Secretariat would ensure that every member of the CEACS got a copy of the journal (and conference proceedings) as part of their membership. In addition, extra copies are sent to Canadian Studies Centres in CE, and enough copies are sent to Canadian Embassies in Europe to ensure that CS Centres there are supplied. In addition, copies go to FAC, the ICCS, etc. However, there is no actual mailing list; he will work one out to show to the EC at its next meeting.


AO suggested that the name of the journal should appear on the off-prints. DS said that he would see to this in future.


5.2.3 Publication on-line

AO suggested that if the articles in the CE Journal for Canadian Studies are to be made available on the web, then the author should agree. For the first four issues we should put only the contents. From Vol. 5 on our policy should be to make the articles available on-line one year after publication. We would inform authors of this in advance. JK suggested, however, that it would be good to put articles from earlier issues on-line as well – that if authors objected, they could write to the President and ask for them to be removed. It was agreed that this will be done.


5.3 Proceedings of the graduate seminars

DS informed the EC members that the proceedings of the Barcelona seminar (October 2003) finally came out in October; copies for those present were distributed at the conference in Nis. However, there are not enough copies for every member, since this publication is distributed all over Europe; the main concern is to ensure that all Canadian Studies Centres libraries have copies of it. As for the Szeged proceedings, Petr Vurm has all the articles and now it should come out pretty soon. The latest graduate seminar was in York, England, in September 2005. March is the deadline for the submission of the print-ready material to the Secretariat in Brno.


5.4 Distribution

DS reminded people that this is still a major problem, since it is very expensive to send publications by post in the Czech Republic. Events such as conferences and meetings should be used for distribution, wherever this is possible. Otherwise, distribution through the Embassy will be followed.


6. Grants for attendance at conferences

6.1 CEACS grants for attendance at conferences

DS distributed a chart with a review of those given conference grants since 2001. He explained the system. Each year, beginning in 2003/2004, there have been two rounds. The first is announced in the spring, for conferences taking place any time in the coming fiscal year (April 1 – March 31), and the second in the fall, for Grainau and conferences taking place up to the end of the coming April at the latest.


There was considerable discussion about criteria, since some of those involved in the selection process this year felt they could be improved. DS summed up what had been agreed on in previous years:

· Executive Committee members are not eligible for any grants.

· In the case of conference grants, the criteria are:

1. The paper must be accepted for delivery at a conference;

2. The conference must not be in the home country;

3. The conference can be anywhere in the world.

Applicants are asked to submit a short CV plus details of the conference they will be delivering the paper at.

· For the Grainau conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in the German-speaking Countries (GKS), where six places are made available for Central European Canadianists, the criteria are:

1. That individuals have not attended the Grainau conference before, or at least not recently (this is the wish of the GKS);

2. That the candidate’s academic interests be related in some way to the particular theme of the conference (which is organized by a different section of the GKS each year).

Applicants are asked to submit a short CV plus a motivation letter explaining how the theme of the conference fits in with their interests, and why attending the conference would be important and useful for them.


After considerable discussion, it was decided that the above criteria should hold, and some additional conditions be added:

· For both kinds of conferences:

1. The short CV should not be longer than one page.

· In the case of conference grants:

1. That in addition to a brief description of the conference (place, organizer, theme, etc.), the applicant must submit an abstract of the paper to be presented (one page maximum).

2. That the paper should not have been presented previously at some other conference.

3. That a grant cannot be awarded two years in succession.

It was also agreed that, in selecting the winners, the evaluators should see to it that younger scholars are encouraged, and that there is a reasonable geographical representation.


DS said that, to promote transparency, he would suggest that the list of all the winners of CEACS conference grants be posted on the CEACS website. This was agreed to. JK also suggested that the criteria be posted on the website, which all agreed to as well.


Finally, DS pointed out that we had saved money by linking the EC meeting and the meeting to pre-select FRP and FEP grant winners, and this meant some extra funds remained (see 10.1 below). He proposed, in view of the greatly increased interest in conference grants this year, increasing their number by two (600 CAD). This was agreed to.


6.2 FEP and FRP grants

As usual, people sent their applications to their local Canadian Embassies, who checked to make sure that the applications were formally in order, and then sent the dossiers to DS in Brno. He then sent complete sets of applications to the three members of this year’s pre-selection committee, Ana Olos, Vesna Lopicic and Diana Yankova. They met the previous day (13 January) in Budapest, with Eszter Rode of the Canadian Embassy present as observer and DS as (non-voting) chairman, to decide on the grades they would recommend. This is a “pre-selection” process, however, since these results are sent to Ottawa, where an experienced ex-civil servant will also go through all the applications, and a special committee will then make the final selection.


This year there were 12 FEP and 20 FRP applications – 32 in all, considerably more than the 23 last year. DS thanked the committee for the many hours they had put in reading through and evaluating the applications as well as discussing and deciding on the grades at the very long meeting on 13 January (which lasted, with a lunch break, for almost ten hours). He was confident they were continuing in the tradition set in 2005, when the CEACS was entrusted with this task for the first time, and the pre-selection committee was commended by Ottawa for its excellent work.


6.3 ICCS grants

6.3.1 ICCS doctoral student grants

DS reported that there had been six applications for this frant; three (the maximum) had been selected for submission to the ICCS, which makes the final choice of winners. The selection committee this year consisted of Maria Huttova, Janos Kenyeres and Jason Blake.  In addition to the six applicants, two more students had enquired about the grant; as neither was a member of the CEACS, however, they were not eligible. This condition should be stressed more clearly in future, so that students (and their teachers) do not feel we are acting arbitrarily.


6.3.2 ICCS best PhD award

It has been decided in Krakow to try to submit a student this year. DS apologized for having misread the ICCS webpage; by the time he realized his mistake, it was too late to organize the selection process. Next year we will try to do this, with each national chapter selecting the best thesis, and then a committee selecting a final applicant / final applicants (on the basis of a five-page resume in English/French plus a letter from the supervisor pointing out the quality of the research).


7. CE Association for Canadian Studies

7.1 General (membership)

DS reported that collecting membership fees is a bit of a problem, given the state of the banking system in this part of the world. In 2005 there were 167 members (143 full members and 24 students). The income amounts to 1598 CAD. This was more or less the same as the previous year in terms of members.


7.2 Membership fees

DS said that people should be reminded of the benefits of being a member: grants, publications, etc. He suggested that we should eliminate the “double currency” membership fee (Canadian dollars and euros) and – as Europeans – keep only the membership fee in euros. This was agreed to – 7 euros regular membership, 5 euros for students.


7.3  Country Reports

DS explained that country reports for January – June 2005 had been sent in by everybody except for the Slovaks. They can be found on the web site. He will get in touch with the Executive Council members and ask them to send in the country reports for July – December 2005.


7.4  New activities

7.4.1 Class set grants

DS informed those present that a report evaluating the first class-set grant programme had been sent in to FAC; both the teacher and the student evaluation were highly positive. He will see people at FAC in Ottawa in May and ask them to renew this programme, in accordance with the conclusion from the previous EC meeting.


7.4.2 Summer schools

DS: The possible choices for locations were Debrecen, Brno and Katowice. Unfortunately, in 2005 the problem is that all the possible leaders are very busy in the summer. The project will have to be put off for a year. One summer school (in French) could also be organised in one of the regional centres in Romania.


According to Ivo Josipovic, the summer school in Croatia was cancelled this year.


7.4.3 Migration Project

AO reported that there are difficulties in the sphere of the history department, where she expected to turn to for expertise. It seems that data cannot be collected in Canada. DS suggested there might be a two-day summer semester meeting for students, a sort of seminar, either in Brno or in Baia-Mare, for all students in the region who are interested in the project. AO was asked to write a one-page suggestion on how it should be done. Students involved in the project (a maximum of 15) could also be invited to come to Debrecen.


7.5 Cooperation with PACS

DS reminded people that the PACS Treasurer had been invited to our Executive Council meeting in Prague in March 2005. In October he had been invited to attend a meeting of the PACS Executive Committee in Warsaw, but he could not make it. Consultation is necessary, because the CE Journal for Canadian Studies and the (planned) summer schools are areas of cooperation. However, as it is we already meet (potentially) a least three times a year – in Canada (Ottawa and other places) for the annual ICCS meeting, at various places in Europe for the ENCS meeting (twice a year). DS said that the next time he met with Agnieszka Rzepa he would discuss with her whether other meetings were needed on a regular basis. He had already agreed with here that in our 2006/2007 budget we would only ask for funding for five CE Canadianists at Grainau; PACS would seek funding for the sixth CE Canadianist, a Pole from their association.


7.6 Annual meeting of ICCS (May 2005)

DS explained the complicated situation within the ICCS, including the financial problems, the departure of the Director and the move to new premises.


In connection with the ICCS and its role in the FEP/FRP grant programme, KK pointed out that the second instalment of the grant comes in the form of a cheque. Unfortunately – in Hungary, at any rate – this cheque has to pass through three banks, all of which charge a commission fee. She lost 130 CAD on this, and the second installment was in forints. DS said he would bring this up at the next ICCS meeting in Ottawa in May 2006.


8. 2nd General Meeting of the CEACS

This will take place at the conference in Debrecen in October 2006.


8.1  New elections for Executive Council and nominations for Executive Committee

DS reminded people that national chapters will have to elect new representatives for the Executive Council and nominees for the Executive Committee. He will get in touch with the representatives to help them carry this out properly and in time.  He suggested that priority lists of candidates might be elected, so the individual at the top of the list was not elected to the Executive Committee. s/he would then automatically become the Executive Council representative.


DS also announced that he would not be running for President of the CEACS, since he had been in the leading position for ten years now. It was time for someone else to take over. He also suggested that, with a proper division of responsibilities, the workload of the President could be lower than at present.



The morning session of the Executive Committee meeting ended at 1.00 p.m.



B. Afternoon session, 14:15 – 19:00


After the lunch break, Peter Szaffko (PS) and Judit Molnar (JM) joined the meeting for discussions concerning the Debrecen Conference.


9. 4th International Conference of CE Canadianists, Debrecen 27-29 October 2006

9.1 Organizational details

9.1.1 Organizational team

JM reported that the members of the team are Peter Szaffko (Director, Institute of English and American Studies), Judit Molnar (Department of North American Studies), Szabolcs Szilagyi (Department of British Studies) and Maria Marosvari (Department of French).


9.1.2 Timetable

The conference is scheduled for October 27-29 and the call for papers is ready. JM: The deadline for applications is 31 March 2006. Information should be distributed to the people at Grainau, all national associations and our contacts in North America; it should be announced in the ICCS CONTACT and on the ICCS website. We should use all our personal contacts as well. DS said the first call would be out by the end of the follwoing week.


9.1.3  Payments

The registration fee for CEACS members should be lower: 35 euros for members, 45 euros for non-members, 15 euros for students (BA, MA, PhD).


9.2 Accommodation

PS said that the budget he had worked out was such that the registration fee would include two nights free accommodation in a double room.


9.3 Academic Programme

PS said that JM will be responsible for guests and contacts and for setting up the academic programme. His area is the overall organization (accommodation, meals, etc.). Szabolcs Szilagyi will be in charge of the technical aspects of the conference itself (student help, techical equipment, etc.)


9.3.1 Format

DS estimated there would be up to 120 participants. DS felt it was important to try to get variety into the conference, with panels, discussions, presentations in small groups. PS said details of the conference organization would depend on the number of people. The hotel has three conference rooms and some other spaces. With a lot of participants, the papers will probably have to be divided into parallel sessions.


9.3.2 Speakers, guests

A long discussion was held on possible speakers and guests. The majority mentioned were connected with literature. DS stressed the need to have other fields represented. He also proposed a Northrop Frye lecture as part of the event’ this was agreed to. Various individuals promised to get in touch with people they knew. JM will set up the programme.


9.4 Additional aspects

9.4.1  Reception

PS said he would ask the Canadian Embassy to host the opening reception.


9.4.2 Book display

DS said he had already booked the traditional travelling book display from the Canadian publishers for Debrecen. PS said that if the number of participants is over 100, then some publishers should be invited to the conference with a display place to be paid for. If there are Canadian businesses around, and they are willing to support it, then the conference can be a good place for them: the web site, promotion etc.


After this discussion of the conference ended, Peter Szaffko and Judit Molnar left, and the CE meeting continued.


10.  Financial Report

10.1 Financial report to end of fiscal year 2004/2005

DS reported that it had not been easy to put the financial report together at the end of the fiscal year. The accountant we have in Brno had to devise a system as to how to do it in accordance with the Canadian fiscal year and the Czech system. In addition, for the Czech authorities the money had to be converted into crowns, while the report to Ottawa had to be in dollars. JK was given the report just before leaving for Canada. Something over 5600 CAD was carried over from fiscal year 2004/2005 to fiscal year 2005/2006. However, it was all “earmarked” – for the Journal Vol. 4, the Debrecen conference, and one travel grant.


10.2  Budget request for fiscal year 2005/2006

DS reported that we had asked for 21,800 CAD, but had been given 20,500 CAD. However, since for objective reasons the Executive Committee had been unable to meet in Nis in October 2005, and in addition the Executive Committee in Budapest was linked with the meeting to make the pre-selection for FRP/ FEP applications, a considerable sum had been saved. This enabled more flexibility in this year’s activities. It also enabled the association to pay for an unexpected expense, a contribution (200 euros) to the major conference organized by the ENCS in Brussels in October 2005 (a decision taken by members of the ENCS after the budget request had been sent to Ottawa).


DS then elaborated on the items on the written report. All the items of the report (revenues, expenses, human resources costs, and activities) were thoroughly elaborated and discussed by the members of the EC. The report shows the budget to be balanced and as such it was approved by the members of the EC.


DS noted that the auditors that had been chosen to look at the books, Maria Huttova and Karel Foustka, had not actually been called upon yet. This was because a proper system had not yet been worked out for keeping the financial records (see 10.1). However, before the meeting in Debrecen he will invite them to Brno to check on all the expenditures for the fiscal year 2005/2006 as well as the expenditures to the end of September in the fiscal year 2006/2007. They will check to ensure that the expenses are justifiable and reasonable, and will report to the conference in Debrecen.


10.3 Budget request for fiscal year 2006/2007

DS promised that the budget request for this year would be made earlier than last year. However, last year even those who put their requests in fairly early had to wait a long time for approval from Ottawa. Approval of our grant came so late that it was only on 3 January 2006 that the funds appeared in the CEACS bank account in Brno. DS said he would point out to people in Ottawa the difficulties this creates for the association (in fact he had had to pay for several things out of his own pocket since there was not enough money in the bank account).


11. Any other business

AO suggested we should put on the web the complete list of books at Brno.  DS agreed.


There was some discussion about recognizing the contribution of CEACS members to the development of Canadian Studies in the region. The model of the ICCS Certificate of Merit was pointed out. It was decided to establish a CEACS Certificate of Merit along the same lines, for life-time achievement in such areas as teaching, translating, academic excellence, etc. It would be awarded once a year at the Annual Meeting of the Executive Council.


There was also discussion on establishing a Best MA Thesis Award. It was decided to leave a decision on the details of this up to the Executive Council.


12. Closing

The third meeting of the Executive Committee closed at 19:00 with all members present.