Inkshed Reviviscent: May 2011 Minutes

Susan Drain, Mount Saint Vincent University

A meeting under the banner of INKSHED/CASLL took place in Fredericton at the end of May 2011, following the CASDW conference. The minutes below give evidence of an organization being galvanized to new life, not for the sake of CASLL itself, but for what CASLL makes possible: a community, a conference, and the hospitality for inkshedding on the issues that concern, engage and  stir us as Canadian writing studies folks with a passion for learning and teaching.

Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning, Annual General Meeting, May 31, 2011

Roger Graves called the meeting to order shortly after 9:15 am.

1. Election of the Board of Directors: The following slate of nominations was acclaimed unanimously.

One-year term Two-year term Three-year term
Brian Hotson Michael Ryan Karen E. Smith
Kathryn Alexander Susan Chaudoir Heather Graves
Brock MacDonald

Brock MacDonald, acting Treasurer, agreed to continue to serve in the role of Treasurer.

2. Appointment of committees and chairs: The following individuals were acclaimed to recruit committee members and to serve as chairs of the following committees:

Newsletter : Margaret Procter

Publications: Karen E. Smith

Conference: Brock MacDonald

In the course of the discussion regarding a conference chair, the proposal from the University of Toronto to host an Inkshed conference in Toronto in 2012 in conjunction with CASDW and the Congress was enthusiastically supported, especially as the conference will celebrate the contribution of Margaret Procter to writing at the University of Toronto and in the larger Canadian writing community.

3. Proposal for a Committee to Revise the Constitution: Given the renewed enthusiasm for the elected office demonstrated earlier in the meeting, Roger Graves withdrew this item from the agenda. It was remarked that the Board of Directors might propose some revisions as a result of operations over the coming year.

4. Financial Report: Brock MacDonald reported on the membership: paid-up membership is approaching 30. A financial report was circulated and accepted. A motion (MacDonald/Hyland) to authorize the designation of up to $2500 as seed money for the 2012 conference was passed unanimously.

Inkshed conferences are generally planned to break even. Other CASLL expenditures are in support of Inkshed Publications and of students attending the conference. Karen E. Smith explained that the current cost of publishing a book might be between $1500 and $3500.

4. Membership Fees: The current fee structure is $40 for members and $20 for students and un(der)employed/retired. Various possible fee structures were discussed, and the Board of Directors was instructed to continue the current fee structure for the immediate future, and to bring a motion regarding membership fees to the 2012 AGM.  Among issues to be considered are

  • the advantages and disadvantages of a virtual membership, and
  • a third level of fees allowing for an optional “sustaining” membership.

5. Motion to renew domain name: A motion from Sargent/ Cragg was passed unanimously approving Roger Graves’s renewal of the domain name.  It was pointed out that the CASLL/Inkshed website is now located on both the Saint Thomas University server and a server in Vancouver.  Roger Graves and Russ Hunt will co-ordinate web efforts.

6. Report from Inkshed Publications: Karen E. Smith circulated and reviewed a report from Inkshed Publications. An eighth and final title (by Miriam Horne) is being edited and publication is anticipated later this year. An inventory of books remains on hand in Winnipeg; the more recent titles are published on demand. The team (Stan Straw, Laura Atkinson, Pat Sadowy, and Karen E. Smith) which has been responsible for Inkshed Publications since its inception in 1991 wishes to transfer the responsibility to a new team.

The possibilities of establishing a clearing house or of electronic publication were raised. The difficulty of finding the publications was noted.

Roger and Heather Graves offered to head a new editorial team. The following individuals volunteered to serve on the editorial board: Kathryn Alexander, Brian Hotson, Theresa Hyland, Anne Parker, Andrea Williams. A motion (Hyland/MacDonald) to approve the transfer of Inkshed Publications to the new team, after the publication of the Horne book, was approved unanimously. R. and H. Graves will arrange to pick up the existing inventory.

A motion of thanks (Drain/Hunt) to Stan Straw, Laura Atkinson, Pat Sadowy, and Karen E. Smith for their exemplary work with Inkshed Publications was approved unanimously.

Kathryn Alexander suggested that a book in association with the 2012 Inkshed Conference might be considered, although it was pointed out that a working conference is not always compatible with a proceedings. Another possibility is an electronic publication of readings before the conference together with responses compiled from the conference.

Karen E. Smith made the following suggestions to the incoming team:

  • Involve a graduate student
  • Consider applying for a SSHRC grant to explore multimedia /multiple source publication

7. Other Business

Marian McKeown, in her capacity as president of the Canadian Writing Centres Association, made an impassioned plea for her members to be drawn into the community of writing studies in Canada, particularly in association with CASDW and CASLL. She reported that their organization, currently a Special Interest Group of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, was completing the process to join Congress, and hoped to organize a meeting in 2012, perhaps in association with CASDW. Meanwhile, membership is open to anyone interested in Writing Centre Work, and CASLL members and other Inkshedders are encouraged to join and participate in the Writing Centre list. For information: Meanwhile, the organizers of Inkshed 2012 are encouraged to reach out to CWCA.

The Business Meeting was adjourned to lunch by unanimous agreement, not before several expressions of pleasure that CASLL seems to be well launched on a new period of vitality.

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