First meeting of the Executive Committee 2009-11
Vilnius, 12 September 2009, 11.00-13.00
Present: Lucia Boldrini (Chairperson first part), Nele Bemong (Chairperson second part), Marina Grishakova, Marko Juvan, Brigitte Le Juez, Roland Lysell, Dearbhla McGrath, Maria Teresa Nascimento (only for the presentation of the Madeira proposal), Olga Romanova, Roumiana Stancheva, Jola Škulj, Slavica Srbinovska (for the presentation of the Macedonia proposal), Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser, Aleš Vaupotič, Karl Zieger
1. Apologies for absence
Absent member of the new EC: Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek
2. Election of General Coordinator
The principle was debated and agreed that it would be more useful if a member of the previous EC were elected, in order to ensure continuity. After a brief discussion, the Executive unanimously agreed to elect Dr. Nele Bemong GC of the REELC/ENCLS for 2009-11.
3. Congress 2011
Proposals were heard from Madeira (presented by Prof. Maria Teresa Nascimento, who attended this part of the meeting for this purpose), Skopje (Prof. Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser), and Dublin (Dr. Brigitte le Juez).
- Madeira has experience of hosting large conferences, e.g. last year it hosted the conference of the Association of Lusitanists, with over 300 delegates.
- The campus is 10-15 minutes' walk from the city centre. There is transport (the campus is in a hilly part of the isle, whereas the town is in the flatter one).
- The Congress would have to take place before 15 September, because then the students come back.
- The University facilities have so far been free of charge, so it is hoped that there would be no charge in the future either.
- Sufficiently large lecture theatres and seminar rooms (the latter with 30-80 seats capacity) would be available. Plenary and formal sessions would be in the old building in town, seminars would be on the University Campus. The inaugural session would be held in the Jesuit College in the City Centre.
- Accommodation in Funchal is plentiful and very reasonable, and available all year round. Good (3-star) hotels for last year's Congress of Lusitanists were available for about €35 per night. 5 star hotels would be within €100. It may be possible to negotiate University accommodation for a low price (they have around 30 rooms).
- There are restaurants / canteens within the university (one restaurants holds 60 people, another is larger), and many other venues in the neighbourhood, so there would be no problems of capacity.
- Transport to Madeira: there are TAP and easyJet daily flights from Lisbon (if booked in time easyJet can cost as low as €35 each way. Last-minute bookings however can be as much as €150-€200 return). The flight from Lisbon to Funchal takes 1h30. There are also direct flights from various other Portuguese (Porto, Algarve) and European airports, and boat connections from Algarve (the boat takes 1 day and does not generally cost less than the air fare).
- Themes: a local committee would meet and suggest a number of topics, which can be discussed with the EC to agree the chosen theme for the Congress.
- The University's internet site can provide further information about the venue, its facilities, and shows pictures of the island, also called 'the Pearl of the Atlantic'. http://www.uma.pt/portal/modulos/noticia/index.php?NV_MOD=MODNOTICIA&NV_EAGR=EAGR_NOTICIABROWSER&TPESQ=PESQ_NOTICIA_DESTAQUES&IDM=EN
- the Institute of Macedonian Literature, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, had already offered to organise a seminar in 2010-11 on behalf of REELC/ENCLS for the ALICE project (unfortunately, ALICE was not funded by the EU and will thus not take place). It has also hosted some ICLA events, so there is expertise and willingness. Furthermore, an enormous progress has been made in Comparative Literature in Macedonia,
- It will be the 30th anniversary of the Institute's founding, and they are planning events to celebrate this. The Congress could be organised as part of this. The Head of the Institute is supporting the bid. Although 2013 can also be considered, 2011 would be more likely to obtain funding.
- There are facilities for plenary events and break-out seminars.
- There are several hotels, and prices would not be higher than what they were in Vilnius (€30-50 for nice hotels, more for luxury ones). University accommodation could also be negotiated for cheaper prices.
- Flights from Frankfurt (e.g.) would be around €300, from the Balkans / Greece /Bulgaria area there are buses and trains that would be very cheap (Skopje is 200km as the crow flies from Sofia and Thessaloniki). There are not that many direct flights to Skopje (direct flights from Prague, Zagreb, Ljubljana, ...).
- Skopje is not as attractive as Madeira (it was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1960s) but an excursion could be organised to the town of Ohrid.
- Lots of conferences are organised here every year, and there is no problem of capacity or facilities (both for plenary sessions and seminars, or in terms of food, accommodation etc).
- Lecture and Seminar Rooms at the University would have to be paid for, but good deals can be negotiated.
- Prices are about €60 in very nice hotels. If the conference were in the first half of September, University residences could also be used for very reasonable prices.
- There are lots of daily flights from many European airports, several are low-cost (Ryanair; AerLingus is also offering very cheap flights).
- The recession is hitting Ireland badly, and this means that the prices are coming down and the Tourism Board is happy to support bringing in visitors.
- Costs could, overall, be very similar to Vilnius.
- Happy to be 'in the queue' and let Skopje or Madeira take precedence.
- From the perspective of matching the conference with a significant event, 2015 might also be an interesting date: then the commemorations of the Easter Rising will start.
It was agreed that some more information would have to be gathered, e.g. to try to identify the travel costs from sample European locations (both Eastern and Western Europe). The three candidate locations should send a more 'formal' proposal, including, preferably, a theme, and a clearer idea of costs. This would have to be received by the end of September so that a decision can be taken quickly.
à Nele will contact them with a precise list of questions to which they can answer so that we can effectively compare like with like (as many details as possible about dates, venues, capacity, costs, accommodation costs, travel costs, suggested themes.... This will have to be done by the end of September, as a decision needs to be taken quickly.) She will also ask whether if not chosen for 2011, they would be willing to organise it in 2013 (Skopje and Dublin have already said they would).
4. Other conferences in collaboration with the REELC/ENCLS
Slovenia, Spring 2011
Together with members of the Slovenian CompLit Associaion, Marko Juvan plans to organize a conference in Ljubljana on "The Book: An Economy of Cultural Spaces". This conference, which will take place in the Spring of 2011, will coincide with Ljubljana being UNESCO World Book Capital 2010-11, and will deal with the history of the book in connection with cultural transfer. ENCLS official support was sought, and the EC agreed to give it, and to write a letter of support as required.
The conference will be held on the premises of the University of Science (where the courtyard apparently can be heated). There are inexpensive hotels in the town centre.
It was also agreed that more similar initiatives, conferences and smaller colloquia (for about 30 people e.g.) should be supported, either by organising them ourselves, or by lending support to those that are being planned and want to add the "ENCLS brand". This will help us be more visible too.
Lille III and Valenciennes, 18-20 November 2010
Karl Zieger also suggests collaborating in the international conference “L’autre au miroir de la scène” in November 2010 in Lille III-Valenciennes. I have no website address of the call for papers (which has already been circulated). We might want to decide quickly on this, so the collaboration can also be made visible?
Postgraduate conferences were also discussed in this context, as a starting point for ENCLS to have more events targeted especially to postgraduates, to promote networking and career development. The Irish Association (CLAI) will have one in November 2009, at Trinity College Dublin, on the broad topic of "Literature and the Arts". Details will be made available on the website. Association may be sought if not too short-noticed?
Aleš Vaupotič invited all members of the Executive to self-archive two of their articles to 'lead by example' and encourage others to do so. He will also put all new info and documents on the website (new EC, minutes of the meetings, names of the regional moderators, ...)
Jola Škulj pointed out that SRC SASA / ZRC-SAZU (the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts) is supporting the website financially. We are fully aware that this is an effort quite onerous in financial terms as well as in workload, and the EC would like to thank the SRC SASA / ZRC-SAZU for their continuous efforts.
6. Activities and Roles for Officers
Lucia Boldrini agreed to be the coordinator for regional moderators and to help increment the number and range of announcements / member registrations / institutional registrations on our site.
Roumiana Stantcheva and Lucia Boldrini agreed to jointly be responsible for the screening of the self-archiving.
Marko Juvan wishes to take the lead on developing a Forum for encouraging and facilitating research projects within European frameworks, large project applications, etc. Marina Grishakova also has experience and interest in this field and will cooperate with Marko Juvan. (Brigitte le Juez is also happy to liaise).
(At the last day of the conference, Marko circulated a questionnaire amongst the participants, asking them to write down their names, addresses, interest in participating in or leading an international research collaboration, their experience in international research collaborations, research topics and methodologies. Since not all that many people handed in a form, this questionnaire will be circulated through the website / a newsletter amongst all members, so that Marko can make a network analysis, and people can be brought into contact with interesting potential research partners.)
It was agreed that meetings through skype conference calls would take place regularly. Everyone is therefore kindly asked to give their skype details to Ales (and register for skype – which is free – if they would not already have done so).
7. Any other business
The new EC warmly thanked Lucia Boldrini, the outgoing General Coordinator, for all her work, and regretted not having done so at the General Meeting. [This was made up by the new General Coordinator Nele Bemong in her inaugural speech on the last conference day, unfortunately in the absence of Lucia Boldrini.]
Because a number of officers had to present a paper at the next conference session, the meeting was closed at 13.00, and it was decided that other business would be dealt with through e-mail and skype.
Minutes drafted by Lucia Boldrini, as General Coordinator 2007-09,
and Nele Bemong, as General Coordinator 2009-11