The NAAS general meeting: minutes

Minutes of the NAAS General Meeting of May 25, 2013 

1. The agenda was approved. 

2. Meeting secretary: Christa Holm Vogelius

3. Scrutinizers: Helena Wahlstrom, Niels Bjerre-Poulson

4. Approval of minutes from last members’meeting in Oslo 2011. Approved.

5. President's report: 

·         NAAS membership numbers: down in Norway, Denmark and Finland; up in Sweden. 

·         New NAAS website: archives meeting minutes, links to conferences, and information on newsletter and other publications. 

·         The place of Iceland in the organization: remains unclear, currently no membership   on the board and no independent IAAS. 

·         Proposals to digitize more issues of American Studies in Scandinavia: currently on hold because of expenses, but topic for future consideration. 

·         The NAAS treasury: losing money because of its expenses (bank account expenses and Orm Øverland Prize) and a lack of income from any sources (membership fees to national   organizations, not NAAS). Currently at 8.221,85 DKK. Current status: will be broke in 7 years. Issue to return to with the board: future grant applications, donor, or restructuring of the organization (asking national organizations to contribute to the NAAS treasury)?

·     Frustration within EAAS that board membership at NAAS is only for two years, while in all other EAAS organizations it is four. Possibility for reconsidering this tenure in the future.

6. American Studies in Scandinavia: Editor's report.

·         In the 6-year period of editorship, incoming submissions and proposals for special issues have increased, as have submissions from beyond Scandinavia. Twelve authors are published each year in ASiS, with an acceptance rate of 70-75 percent. Double-blind peer review is maintained during the reading process, which results in a significant workload for readers during a time of increased submission. In spite of this commitment, readers and editors are not financially supported. 

·         Book reviews are no longer published, as there is no section editor. Plan to appoint a new book review editor. 

·         Printing a journal in 500 copies is a significant expense.

·         The editor proposes to stay on in his position during the training of the new editor(s). Discusses the possibility of beginning the board with a new book review editor. 

·         Discussion of ways to manage with the workload of increased submissions: Establish a rule that the writer or article should have a relationship to Scandinavia? Or that the writer should be a member of NAAS? Establishing such guidelines can also help to define the journal.

7. Funding Questions:

·         NAAS's income: President's travel expenses, Orm Øverland Prize and digitizing ASiS are drains on the budget. The board has recommended asking national organizations to pay for the first two, and to pay a student 1,500 DKK to digitize ASiS (a significant cost savings over other possibilities). Other suggestions: seeking grant or donor, adding five euros to membership fees from all national organizations, applying any funds earned from any conferences to the NAAS treasury. Question of increasing membership fees is currently determined by the national organizations, but could be mandated by NAAS if the board agrees to it. NAAS could hope to pay for the digitization of ASiS and the Øverland Prize with an increase in membership fees, but the President's travel expenses are too large to be covered by a minor increase. 

·         Motion: NAAS will offer a Danish student 1,500 DKK from the current treasury to digitize issues. Motion passed unanimously.   

·         President's proposal: NAAS should pay the Orm Øverland Prize and that money could be covered with a 500 DKK payment per national organization to NAAS. President's travel expenses as separate issue to be bracketed and determined at a future date.

·         Motion: For the time being, NAAS President's own national organization should pay for travel expenses associated with presidency. Motion passed unanimously.

·         Motion:

Proposal 1: Each national organization should pay NAAS 500 DKK, through a membership fee increase or by other means. Majority of votes: motion passed.

Proposal 2: Each member of a national organization should pay NAAS five Euro per member. 1 vote: motion not passed.

8. Venue and Dates for next NAAS Conference. 

·         The next NAAS conference will be held at Oulu University in Finland. There is an airport close by, and it is the only university in Finland where NAAS has never been held. 

9. Election of the new editorial team for ASiS

·         Ari Helo, Mervi Miettinen, and Pirjo Ahokas, all from Finland, elected as ASiS editorial team by acclamation. Pirjo Ahokas will serve as the book review editor.

10. Election of the next NAAS president. 

·         Maria Holmgren Troy, of Karlstad University, Sweden, elected as the next NAAS president by acclamation.

11. Election of the Nominating Committee.

·         FASA's member for the NAAS Nominating Committee, Mikko Saikku, elected by acclamation.

·         SAAS’s member for the NAAS Nominating Committee, Liz Kella, elected by acclamation.

·         Niels Bjerre-Poulsen, Denmark, to remain in service on the NAAS Nominating Committee.

·         David Mauk, Norway, to remain in service on the NAAS Nominating Committee.

Meeting closed.




 Minutes of the NAAS general meeting in Oslo, May 28, 2011

1The agenda was approved

2. Meeting secretary: Helena Wahlström, Sweden

3. Scrutinizers: Niels Bjerre-Poulsen, Denmark, and Liz Kella, Sweden

4. Approval of minutes from last members’ meeting in Copenhagen 2009: Minutes will be available via the NAAS website, and have been approved by the scrutinizers, this is considered satisfactory by the meeting.

5. President’s report:

-          membership is fairly constant over the past few years; as of January 2011, number of members were: in Norway: 52; in Finland: 36; in Sweden: 41; in Denmark: 36 = a total of 165 NAAS members.

-          2011 conference has 79 registered participants.

-          Question about how to attract new members should be central for future NAAS board.

-          NAAS Website is currently not available (discussion about reason for this clarifies that failure to pay yearly dues has resulted in discontinuation of the website, which now will have to be reconstructed).

6. American Studies in Scandinavia – Editor’s report.

Editor Anders Olsson, Sweden, reports on current status of ASiS, and issues that are now in the pipeline.

-         ASiS  needs to be easily accessible online, both contact info., back issues, and CFPs for future issues. Information about submission and editorship needs to be updated in paper journal and on web.

-         No 2/2010 has been delayed; will be distributed in June 2011. no 1/2011 and 2/2011 will be distributed in early fall and late fall, respectively. The Editor states that the journal will have come back “in sync” by the end of the year.

-        The editor explains that the delay in publication of ASiS is largely due to changes in the peer review process; due to relatively small community of Am St scholars in Scandinavia, authors behind topics on “special interests” are easily identified in the community, which makes blind peer review by people from the community impossible, hence reviewers must be sought in broader international networks. This procedure works, but takes more time.

-         About the journal at present, the editor summarizes that the articles maintain a high international standard, thanks to the double blind peer review process; also, that interdisciplinarity is becoming increasingly pronounced in articles submitted.

-         The editor and the meeting, does not approve of the suggestion to have ASiS published only once yearly as a “yearbook” – it is a journal.

-         Question raised abt. Availability of back issues/archives – are these complete? Access to back issues has been enabled by work at Copenhagen Business school – this work now also needs to be brought up to date by scanning issues from 2006 - 2009. Jörn Bröndal will look into this matter. Members who have paper copies of issues that are now missing in the archives are encouraged to contact Jörn Bröndal, so that these can be added to the archives.

-          Question of journal’s ranking is raised – it seems that the ranking differs between the Nordic countries; this will be further looked into by the board and national associations.

7. NAAS between conferences

-        A. The NAAS board will cooperate with the organizers of the next conference, but the main responsibility will rest on the national organization of the host country – in 2013 the situation will be such that the president of NAAS in from one country, and the conference is held in another country (see item 9, below).

-    B. The discussion centres on the need of  functioning NAAS website. The NAAS website needs to be reconstructed; this will be done by Jörn Bröndal in cooperation with Niels Bjerre-Poulsen (who set up the previous site) -- this will be done a s a p. A suggestion from the floor is that the NAAS board include one webmaster, alternatively that one member of the NAAS board takes on this role. The question was not resolved in the meeting but will be considered by the board.

Jörn Bröndal welcomes members who have any relevant materials to send these in, to be made available online. Dag Blank suggests that as many NAAS conference programs as possible be made available on the NAAS website.

-          C. Iceland has been relatively passive in NAAS work; at the present conference there are two participants from Iceland. Jay Darcy is still active in Iceland. One conference participant offers to inform the NAAS board about other interdisciplinary centers in Iceland that could function as good future networks for NAAS.

-          D. How to generate more interest in NAAS? Again, the website is raised as the alpha and omega of a functioning international organization.

-          E. other proposals? Issue of NAAS finances is raised. Suggestion that NAAS keep some of the membership dues, instead of forwarding all to EAAS, thereby building a small fund for the Nordic association. Dag Blank clarifies that whereas in the past NAAS dues all went to NAAS, more national chapters have been established since the 1990s, and membership fees are kept by national chapters for national activities.

    8. The Orm Överland Prize committee. The question whether the prize should be continued is handed over to the new NAAS board, which should also discuss how the awarding committee be constituted, and how its work should be done.

    9. Venue and dates for the next NAAS conference. The next NAAS conference will be arranged by Karlstad University, Sweden, in May 2013. Exact dates will be made known shortly.

    10. Elections. It was Sweden’s turn to take on presidency but as the nominating committee explains, nobody has been willing to take this on, and therefore the question was passed on to Denmark, whose turn it would be next. Jörn Bröndal is suggested as new NAAS president. The meeting approved and unanimously elected Jörn Bröndal new president of NAAS for 2011-2013.

    11. The new president, nominating committee and board.

    The new president thanks the meeting. There is a suggestion that the NAAS board elect a vice president and a secretary.

    The nominating committee for the next two years consists of Niels Bjerre-Poulsen

    DK; Roy Goldblatt FI; David Mauk NO; Liz Kella SW.

    Meeting closed.


    Helena Wahlström


    Niels Bjerre-Poulsen
    Liz Kella