ASEC 2023 Annual Meeting

Date: Thursday, November 30

Time: 7:00PM EST

Location: Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Philadelphia, PA

Meeting Called to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:00PM by President Nadieszda Kizenko, who proposed the motion. The motion was seconded by numerous attendees.


Opening Remarks by ASEC President Nadieszda Kizenko:

ASEC President Nadieszda Kizenko addressed the attendees with opening remarks. President Kizenko expressed gratitude for everyone’s presence and began by reviewing the success of the 2022 ASEC Conference in Columbus, OH. This summary then segued into a brief reminder about the upcoming 2024 ASEC Conference, also to be held in Columbus, OH. President Kizenko used this time to emphasize her desires to draw early-career scholars to the conference and to broaden the scope of scholarly research on Eastern Christian cultures by organizing the biennial gathering around novel and under-researched themes. To that end, President Kizenko pointed to Katherine McCray, selected keynote speaker for the 2024 conference, whose work on Orthodox Christian approaches to disability, the body, and healing not only brought vital innovations to the field, but would foster insightful panels when we gathered in Columbus. President Kizenko concluded these opening remarks by suggesting that the conference could provide a forum for folding in to ASEC’s body independent academics and researchers, such as Abess Evfrosinia Molchanov, who would be attending the 2024 conference.


Approval of 2022 Minutes:

Next, the 2022 business meeting minutes, which had been posed on the organization’s website, were reviewed and formally approved by a vocal majority.


Treasurer’s Report:

At this point, the meeting turned to the treasurer’s report. Eugene Clay presented this report in Roy Robson’s absence. Eugene announced the exact total of ASEC funds held in the organization’s bank account ($11,490.26). In large part, this relative largess was thanks to the minimal costs incurred when hosting the 2022 conference. Sponsors, especially the Hilandar Research Library at Ohio State, generously covered the bulk of conference-associated expenditures. The only other costs over the previous year related to minor website maintenance and requisite dues for the organization’s non-profit status. Eugene reminded members to pay annual dues on or after 1 January, 2024 for the coming year.

Members then used the floor to discuss management and uses of ASEC’s funds. Some members inquired about the organization’s access to its bank accounts and signatories to the account; Eugene explained that ASEC’s accounts were held in Arizona because that is the state where the organization is registered as a non-profit. Other members then suggested that individuals and officers seek out other potential conference sites so as not to lean too heavily on the Hilandar Library’s generosity and to make use of ASEC funds if and when needed. A related suggestion was made to ask Pasha to provide an accounting of conference costs so that ASEC could better understand the total costs of the conference for future planning. An adjacent recommendation was made to use some portion of ASEC funds to support institutions that further the organization’s mission, such as the Hilandar Library or the Center for Medieval Slavic Studies at the Ohio State University. Sponsoring graduate student travel and participation in the conference was also mentioned as a profitable use of ASEC funds.

Following these discussions, Vice President Heather Bailey made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. A voice approval passed the motion.


Nomination for Newsletter Editor:

President Kizenko then motioned for consideration of nominations for the position of ASEC’s newsletter editor. Member Heather Coleman volunteered and accepted the position. Members and officers offered to provide news about the upcoming conference, recent research publications, and other relevant activities to feature in the newsletter. A motion to move on from newsletter business was made and accepted.


Book prize:

Next, President Kizenko motioned to discuss actions relating to a new ASEC book prize. Any books submitted to the prize committee must be in English (the most common reading language among ASEC members) and books published over the past two years (2022-2024) will be eligible. A motion to accept volunteers to serve on the prize committee was made. Jennifer Spock agreed to serve on the committee. Nina Shultz expressed interest in absentia. Officers will search for a third committee member. Motions were made for the book prize to total $250 and for an article prize in other years to total $100. Applicants must hold ASEC membership. Officers will send out a call for submissions with a deadline for submissions in May or June 2025. The winner(s) will be announced at ASEEES in November 2024. Jennifer Spock motioned to accept these resolutions; the motion passed.


2024 Biennial Conference:

President Kizenko next motioned to discuss the upcoming February 2024 conference. She reminded members that this is a small, single-track conference with 20-30 presenters over the weekend. Oriented around an intimate and collegial atmosphere, the conference also allows attendees opportunities to use sources at the Hilandar Library collections. Explanation of the conference’s timing – February avoided OSU football weekends and spring Easter holidays – was provided. The weekend overview was also given: a Thursday evening reception followed by all-day panels on Friday and Saturday. The keynote address will be on Friday evening, the banquet on Saturday evening. Registration costs $50 and paper/panel proposals are due on December 11. The generous sponsorship of the Hilandar Library will cover meals. Hotel fees will not be included in the registration costs. Officers agreed to circulate the call for papers widely through various channels. A motion to accept these discussions on the conference was made and accepted.


Closing remarks by ASEC President Nadieszda Kizenko:

President Nadieszda Kizenko thanked members for a productive agenda and reminded all officers and volunteers to keep in touch about their various assignments. With all business concluded a motion to adjourn was made and accepted.