ASCH News

Elesha Coffman

For those of you who didn't get the updates in Denver (an unusually small winter meeting--any theories on why?), there was a lot of big news from the American Society of Church History, including new dates to be aware of.

Regarding next year's winter meeting, the ASCH council passed a motion to meet adjacent to, rather than in conjunction with, the AHA. The text of the motion: "Assuming the ASCH is able to secure adequate hotel space, the Society will hold its own meeting alongside but not as part of the AHA in 2018." Effectively, this should return the ASCH winter meeting to its old format: ASCH sessions will be held in a hotel near the AHA headquarters hotel(s), and ASCH members will be strongly encouraged to stay in that hotel, because filling the hotel rooms is how a group negotiates things like use of meeting space and--if we're lucky!--free breakfast. ASCH members will once again register for the meeting through ASCH, not through AHA, which should lower the overall cost of attendance and keep the registration fees flowing into ASCH coffers. On the negative side, registering through ASCH will mean loss of access to the AHA book display (again, a return to the way things used to be, with ASCH and AHA folks wearing different nametags) and ASCH sessions not showing up in the AHA program book or app. People who register for AHA or ASCH would be equally able to attend sessions sponsored by either group. Anyone presenting at a session, however, must be registered for that group's meeting--or, in the case of jointly sponsored sessions, they must be registered for both meetings.

Co-sponsored sessions become especially important in this scenario. ASCH has not, traditionally, pitched many of these to the AHA, but other affiliate societies, notably the Conference on Latin American History, have. Under the AHA's "one meeting" model, co-sponsored sessions were a way for affiliate societies to get more panels on the schedule. An independent ASCH meeting won't have this issue--we can schedule as many sessions as we have room for, without worrying about the "slots" designated by the AHA--but it will have a program visibility issue. In other words, if you want AHA people to know about your session, it would be a good idea to request co-sponsorship and get the session listed in both the ASCH and the AHA program books. To this end, the ASCH has moved its CFP deadline up to February 15, to coordinate with the AHA deadline. If you are proposing a full session, think about whether you would like to apply for co-sponsorship. The ASCH program committee will also watch the submissions for co-sponsorship candidates, i.e. sessions broad or significant enough to attract an AHA audience. Because appearing on a co-sponsored panel is likely to incur extra costs for participants, ASCH will try to provide assistance for graduate students and contingent faculty members who find themselves in this situation. ASCH leaders believe that the tradeoff--more cost, but a lot more visibility for the presenter and the society--is worth the extra effort.

In other ASCH news:

The CFP deadline for the ASCH spring meeting in Berkeley is tomorrow, January 20. Information:
https://www.churchhistory.org/conferences/spring-meeting-2017/

The society has a new leadership team. Caleb Maskell has become Executive Secretary, with primary responsibilities for communications and meeting planning. Membership and finance matters will be handled by Andrew Hansen and Bryan Bademan, respectively. Matthew King is webmaster. You'll find contact information for all of them here:
https://www.churchhistory.org/about-us/executive-committee-council/

As a reminder, ASCH membership dues are now scaled to income level. The first two years of membership are free for graduate students. To present at an ASCH conference, you must be a member for the year in which the conference occurs, so, if you have a paper accepted for the next winter meeting, you will need to pay 2018 membership. For your convenience, it is now possible to purchase multi-year membership:
https://www.churchhistory.org/membership/
(Do note that not all of the membership-related web pages have been updated to reflect the new leadership structure. You should communicate with Andrew Hansen about membership.)

Comments

Lincoln Mullen said…
Thanks for the update, Elesha. It's good to know exactly what the relationship between the two conferences will be.