President Elisabeth I. Perry called the Council and Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era to order at 4:03 p.m., April 2, 1998, in the Capitol Room, Section 2, Westin Hotel, Indianapolis, IN. In addition to President Perry, Nashville, TN, the following SHGAPE Council and other Members attended the meeting: immediate past President M. Les Benedict, The Ohio State University; Vice President Walter Nugent, Notre Dame University; Secretary-Treasurer Roger D. Bridges, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center; Professors Charles W. Calhoun, East Carolina University; Michael Pierce, The Ohio State University; Philip VanderMeer, Arizona State University; Patrick Reagan, Tennessee Technological University; Kathleen Clark, Yale University; Nina Mjagki, Ball State University; Harold Platt, Loyola University, Chicago; Jacqueline Moore, Austin College; Robert Goldman, Virginia Union University; and Kathy Cooke, Quinnipiac College.
After self-introductions, and the introduction of new Graduate Student Representative Kathleen Clark, Professor Walter Nugent moved approval of the January 9, 1998, Minutes. Professor Charles Calhoun seconded the motion; it passed unanimously.
The Council accepted Secretary-Treasurer Bridges' report that the Society's checkbook balance as of March 31, 1998, contained $5076. Professor Calhoun moved acceptance of the Treasurer's report; Professor Nina Mjagki seconded; it passed unanimously. During discussions, Bridges noted that the balance was approximately $1,000 more than at the same time in the previous year. A member asked whether in light of the balance, the Society might be able to afford a $300 membership in the National Coordinating Council for the Promotion of History. Immediate Past President M. Les Benedict observed that such a move might violate the anti-lobbying restrictions. President Perry asked Vice President Nugent to determine whether joining would violate such restrictions because the upper limit is set at 10% annual income. He will also seek to determine whether the Society could, or should, incorporate as a 501b., c.3, not-for-profit corporation and file a 990 Income Tax.
President Perry then asked for Committee Reports, noting that none were required but thought that some might like to make interim reports.
Perry reported that Professor Jeannette Keith requests that news be forwarded to her. She is considering printing bibliographies of recently published articles of interest to SHGAPE members in the Newsletter. Professor Mjagki suggested that SHGAPE members take responsibility for particular journals and send relevant information to Professor Keith. She also requests ideas for other items to include in the Newsletter.was suggested that she post that and other requests on the WEB. President Perry said she would advise
Professor Hyser, although not present, welcomes suggestions for recruiting new members. He reported, through the President, that he routinely writes letters to all individuals who present papers under SHGAPE auspices, inviting them to join the organization. She reported, also, that Professor Hyser had initiated the SHGAPE letterhead for which she thanked him.
Professor Mjagki reported that the Article Prize Committee had selected a winner from a large number of fine submissions (26 articles from 23 different journals). She reported that the prize for the 1995-1996 Best Published Article will be awarded to Daniel Letwin for his article, "Interracial Unionism, Gender, and 'Social Equality' in the Alabama Coalfields, 1878-1908," Journal of Southern History, Vol. 61. She distributed the full written report and one will be filed in the SHGAPE Archives. Professor Calhoun suggested that the committee consider giving honorable mentions, where deserved. After supporting discussion, President Perry said she would ask the new chair, Rob Weir, to suggest an appropriate bylaw change. Webmaster Patrick Reagan suggested that he might develop an awards page with lists of winners and honorable mentions. President Perry suggested that it might be time for the Society to begin considering a book prize. No action was taken on the matter.
Professor Benedict announced that Dewey W. Grantham, Emeritus Professor of History at Vanderbilt University has been named Distinguished Historian and will deliver the SHGAPE Luncheon Address at the Toronto OAH meeting in 1999.
Professor Calhoun, reporting for the Publications Committee, said that it had received indications of $20,000 seed money for a journal. The committee now was seeking a home institution and someone to assume the responsibilities for supporting an editor. In a matter related to a journal, it was suggested that current life members should receive any journal that is published, if and when it is published. Calhoun said he expected to have a more full report at the AHA Convention in 1999. Professor Benedict suggested that life memberships be deferred until the Council has determined future dues structure.
President Perry then called upon Professor Patrick Reagan, Webmaster, to provide some information about the SHGAPE Web Page: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~shgape. He said he would be sending descriptions about how to locate and utilize the web page to the newsletter. He then described what was available on the web page, including council minutes, constitution and bylaws, logs of discussions, subject bibliographies, course syllabi, book reviews, Internet resources (web sites related to SHGAPE topics and research) and other matters. Professor Reagan indicated that he also would like to have the web page contain articles of interest that had been published elsewhere on the web, or provide markers to it. He would like some guidance from the Council or H-SHGAPE on that matter because there are questions of copyright that have not been clarified. The Council took no action on the matter.
President Perry announced that although she had appointed Kathleen Clark as graduate representative, she understood that Ms. Clark's appointment did not exactly meet the constitutional requirements that he or she should be nominated by the nominating committee and elected by the body at large. But, because no graduate student had been nominated, and there was no longer one on the Council, she had taken the liberty to do so. The Council instructed that the officers recommend a constitutional amendment that would provide for a graduate representative by means other than nomination by the committee and election by the entire membership. It was so ordered.
President Perry then announced the following Committee Appointments: Prize: Rob Weir (Chair), Bay State Paula Baker, University of Pittsburgh Larry Glickman, University of South Carolina Program: Walter Nugent (Chair), Notre Dame University Judith Raftery, California State University at Chico Nick Salvatore, Cornell University Kristin Hoganson, Harvard University Nominating: Jim Mohr (Chair), University of Oregon Rich Schneirov Glenda Gilmore, Yale University
Professor Robert Cherny, one of the H-SHGAPE Editors entered the meeting at this point. He reported that he had nothing to report beyond what had been submitted in writing. He did indicate there would be a SHGAPE logo contest conducted on the web.
Professor Philip VanderMeer reported that he was working on getting book reviews assigned and completed more promptly. There had been problems with communications that should be taken care of in the near future, if not already.
President Perry suggested that SHGAPE try not to hold its luncheon meetings at the same time as that of the women historians' luncheon (now apparently changed permanently from a breakfast to a luncheon). It appears, however, that it will be difficult to find a time when some special interest groups will not have a conflict with the women's luncheon because that group attracts women from all interest groups. No action was taken.
Professor Benedict urged individuals present to encourage Congress not to increase the length of copyright.
President Perry moved that the Council recognize with profound thanks and gratitude the service and leadership of its immediate past president, M. Les Benedict, and also expresses its profound thanks for his excellent and provocative Presidential Address delivered at the Luncheon on this Day. Seconded by Professor Calhoun and passed by acclamation.
Professor Calhoun moved adjournment, seconded by Professor Jacqueline Moore. The Council immediately adjourned to attend the SHGAPE Reception that would commence at 6 p.m.
Roger D. Bridges
Patrick D. Reagan
Tennessee Technological University
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