Monday, April 30, 2012

GASF Inaugural Meeting: Minutes

1. Introduction
  • What American Studies has mean historically, and what it has come to mean in recent years.
  • The EXPLORE project, the NUI Galway Bright Ideas Initiative, and the Student Projects Fund.
  • Background to the formation of the forum - a place to try out ideas, discuss methodological issues and develop a community of scholars concerned with American Studies in NUI Galway.
  • Building a bridge between NUI Galway and the Irish and British Associations of American Studies.
  • Some ideas for special events.
2. The Scholars
  • We performed that embarrassing task of going around the room, introducing ourselves and our research, and discussing what we hoped to gain from the forum. These expectations included: helping to fill out gaps in each others knowledge; looking to scholars concerned with the U.S. to inform aspects of research on South American topics; seeking information on funding available for travel; publication and conference opportunities.
3. The Irish, British, and European Associations of American Studies
  • Having traveled recently to the BAAS Conference in Manchester, and the IAAS Conference in Cork, Rosemary gave a rundown of how these associations operate and the benefit of our involvement, particularly in terms of disseminating our research through conference papers and publications. 
  • The IAAS is very keen to rekindle links with NUI Galway. The GAS Forum will create a community of scholars in Galway concerned with American Studies, and through visiting speakers and participation in IAAS organised conferences, we can disseminate our research further afield. 
  • The GAS Forum will include researchers concerned with South America and Canada, not just the United States. In an inter-disciplinary forum debates about issues such as gender, ethnicity, and colonisation can be more well-informed if South American Scholars in particular are present. The inclusion of Canada and South American in the field is a topic of ongoing debate in the larger associations, however the members of GASF feel a continental approach is beneficial.
4. Conference and Publication Opportunities
  • NUI Galway could potentially host an American Studies Conference in the near future. Members of the forum could assist each other in hosting American Studies themed events.
  • BAAS has issued a call-for-papers for its Postgraduate Conference in November, Memory: America Past, Present and Future.
  • IAAS is accepting submissions for its journal, to be published biannually. Contact details will be posted shortly, upon confirmation.
 5. Funding Opportunities
  • One common concern of the scholars present was the issue of funding overseas travel.
  • GASF will endeavor to host information sessions in the coming months on the Fulbright Scholarship in September/October ahead of the November deadline, and other funding opportunities as they are advertised.
  • The IAAS may be able to assist postgraduate students who wish to travel to BAAS conferences in the UK. Further details to be posted when available.

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