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Philadelphia, PA, May 5-7

2005 ACLS Annual Meeting

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The 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Council of Learned Societies took place at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, PA, on May 5-7, 2005. More than 225 persons attended, including members of the ACLS Board of Directors, delegates of the Constituent Societies, members of the Conference of Administrative Officers (executive officers of the Constituent Societies), presidents of the Constituent Societies, representatives of Affiliate organizations, representatives of college and university Associate institutions, ACLS Fellowship recipients, committee members, foundation representatives, and other invited participants.

Proceedings of the Business Meeting of the Council

In governance sessions on May 11, Charlotte Kuh, policy and global affairs, National Research Council, the National Academies, was reelected for a second three-year term as treasurer; Sandra T. Barnes, anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, was elected for a three-year term as secretary; and Jonathan Culler, comparative literature, Cornell University, and Lynn Hunt, history, University of California, Los Angeles, were elected to four-year terms as members of the ACLS Board of Directors. Susan McClary was elected as chair at the 2003 Annual Meeting, with a term expiring in 2006. John Clarke was elected as vice chair at the 2004 Annual Meeting, with a term expiring in 2007.

The May 6 program session was entitled "Renewing Humanities Scholarship: Reports from ACLS Fellows" and featured both current and former recipients. The panelists were Christopher S. Celenza (professor of history, Michigan State University), 2003-04 Frederick Burkhardt Fellow for Recently Tenured Scholars at the National Humanities Center; Nicholas J. Dames (associate professor of English and comparative literature, Columbia University), who was awarded a Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship in 2004-05; Dorothy L. Hodgson (associate professor of anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick), 2005-06 ACLS Fellow; Charlotte E. Witt (professor of philosophy, University of New Hampshire), 2003-04 ACLS Fellow; and David B. Brownlee, moderator (Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor and chair, history of art, University of Pennsylvania, also delegate, Society of Architectural Historians), 1983-84 recent recipient of the Ph.D. Fellow.

In her report to the Council, President Pauline Yu talked briefly about current ACLS activities that concern the health of our academic communities and their relation to their publics, and she offered some thoughts on the public value of scholarly self-governance.

Bruce Cole, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, spoke at luncheon .

The final program session was "The Humanities and Its Publics." Panelists were Ivo Banac, Bradford Durfee Professor of History, Yale University; Jean Bethke Elshtain; Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, University of Chicago; and Robert Weisbuch, president, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and incoming president, Drew University (July 1, 2005). David Marshall, professor of English and dean of humanities and fine arts, College of Letters and Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, served as moderator. There were questions from the floor after the presentations. Panelists' remarks were published as ACLS Occasional Paper No. 61.

In honor of Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1937), the first chair of the ACLS, each year a distinguished scholar is invited to address the topic "A Life of Learning." This year’s Haskins Lecturer was Gerda Lerner, Robinson-Edwards Professor of History, Emerita, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Lerner’s lecture was published as ACLS Occasional Paper No. 60.

The NHA Annual Meeting has been held in conjunction with the ACLS Annual Meeting for a number of years. At this year's meeting, it was announced that Jessica Jones Irons will serve as NHA's executive director, succeeding John Hammer.

Exhibitors at the meeting included the ACLS History E-Book ProjectJSTOR (Journal Storage), and the Fulbright Scholar Program.

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  • ACLS Board Members Fedwa Malti Douglas, Susan McClary, John R. Clarke, and Pauline Yu

  • Pauline Yu with 2005 Haskins Lecturer Gerda Lerner

  • ACLS Fellows Nicholas J. Dames, Dorothy L. Hodgson, Charlotte E. Witt, and Christopher S. Celenza

  • NEH Chairman Bruce Cole

  • David Marshall, Ivo Banac, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Robert Weisbuch

  • Haskins Lecturer Gerda Lerner with historians Lee Formwalt and Arnita Jones

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