ASEC Annual Business Meeting, November 23, 2019

President Eugene Clay convened the meeting at 6:02 and noted that our organization has much to be thankful for.

(1) President’s Report:

  • The Minutes from the 2018 business meeting are posted on the ASEC website. Eugene summarized them. At that time ASEC was preparing for its 8th Biennial Conference which was held at ASU in February 2019. New officers were elected. Alice Sullivan agreed to take on the role of newsletter editor.
  • Eugene encouraged members to use the listserv and to write to any of the officers with suggestions. If anyone has trouble with listserv let one of the officers know. He also encouraged members to invite other scholars to join ASEC. 
  • Eugene thanked Russ Martin for the special issue of Canadian-American Slavic Studies, that featured contributions based on presentations made at the 2015 ASEC conference.

(2) ASEC Biennial Conference:

  • The 9th biennial conference will take place in 2021 at ASU. Catherine Wanner and Olga Tsapina volunteered to serve on the program committee. There was discussion of possible themes. Church reform was suggested as a theme because of the tricentennial of the Petrine Reform. There was discussion about whether to have it in spring or fall.  It was noted that February is a good time except for it being expensive due to spring training.
  • For future conferences, ASEC could consider going back to OSU or consider other venues. At some point ASEC should go back to OSU because it’s centrally located and it would be good to maintain the relationship between ASEC and OSU. We can continue to think about whether ASEC would benefit from having an institutional home.
  • There was a question about whether a field trip could be included as part of the next conference.

(3) ASEC’s Trajectory:

  • Russ Martin noted that ASEC has a great model. ESSA is looking to ASEC as a model because the biennial conferences are rejuvenating. ESSA is considering OSU for its conference venue.
  • ASEC should think of ways to bring in more grad students and is a welcoming space for grad students. Does ASEC need more web presence like a blog to solicit more grad student involvement? ASEC could do more with social media and could develop a twitter account. Are there people who have relevant expertise and social media presence? Chrissy Stroop is willing to consult with other members on how to use twitter.
  • Eugene suggested that it would be great for ASEC conferences if we can continue to publish. We could consider an open source online journal. ASEC may want to pursue collaborations with Fordham or other scholars who are doing public Orthodoxy. Also St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University in Moscow is establishing a scholarly center for study of Orthodoxy. Other possibilities include the Pontifical Institute, the Athanagoras Institute (the Orthodox arm of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley). It was noted that academia.edu gets quite a bit of traffic from people in Russia and Eastern Europe so ASEC could have a presence there.
  • ASEC can think about building an endowment, sponsoring scholarships, and getting conference presentations into published venues more quickly.

(4) Treasurer’s Report:

Roy Robson reported that ASEC’s biggest expense in 2019 was a scholarship of $800 to help a grad student attend the conference. ASEC started the year with $8098.43 in its checking account and ended with $7860.14. At the current rate of loss ($238.29 for the year) ASEC will be broke in 33 years. This trend can be averted if everyone pays their dues, which can be paid either by sending checks to Roy or through PayPal on the ASEC website. Some people may have encountered a delay in having their checks cashed but all dues have since been put into the credit union account. Dues are $35 for regular members, $10 for students, and are waived for non-U.S. members. Roy will be sending out reminders to people to pay dues for 2020. Donations are tax deductible and will be accepted.

(5) Article Prize:

ASEC has historically given an article prize, which went temporarily into abeyance. Bill Wagner and Heather Coleman volunteered to serve on the committee. ASEC needs to call for nominations. It was agreed to adopt a new timetable for accepting nominations and reviewing articles. The deadline for nominations should be at the start of the summer (June 1). That will allow the committee plenty of time to read and the prizes can be announced in time to be included in the ASEEES program. Jenn Spock indicated that she wanted to check with a third person about their willingness to serve on committee.

(6) Old Business: none

(7) New Business: none

(8) Announcements

  • The next business meeting will be in D.C. in November 2020 and the conference theme will be “Anxiety and Rebellion.”
  • Pay your dues

The meeting adjourned at 6:54.