Pacific Coast Branch 2009

The 102nd annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, took place at the Hotel Albuquerque in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on August 6-8, 2009. The conference had 235 registered attendees, who participated in 64 different sessions. During the conference,Patricia Schechter (Portland State Univ.) spoke to the Western Association of Women Historians luncheon on the topic “Race and Women’s Narratives of Belonging in Academia” while President Rachel Fuchs (Arizona State Univ.) presented her presidential address, “Crossing Borders in Love, War and History: French Families during World War II.”  The presidential address appeared in expanded form in the February 2010 issue of the Pacific Historical Review

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, the Fireplace Room, Hotel Albuquerque, Albuquerque NM, August 6, 2009.

President Rachel Fuchs called the meeting of the PCB Council to order at 2:07 p.mThe Council thanked 2009 Program Committee co-chairs Jo Burr Margadant (Santa Clara Univ.) and Louis Warren (Univ. of California, Davis), and their committee members for their hard work organizing the sessions as well as faculty members Cathleen Cahill and Andrew Sandoval-Strausz and graduate student Elaine Nelson from the Univ. of New Mexico’s history department for their exceptional efforts in assisting with conference local arrangements.

Executive Director Blodgett followed the discussion of the 2009 program with a report on the current financial state of the PCB.  Having moved to holding all its assets in savings and checking accounts before the recent financial contraction, the PCB has suffered no losses and retains complete liquidity of all its funds. At present, Branch member Gordon Bakken, acting as a pro bono consultant, has forwarded a nearly completed 501c(3) application to the Internal Revenue Service to Executive Director Blodgett, who will complete the paperwork and submit it later this year. The PCB Council also approved Executive Director Blodgett’s request for authorization to hire a certified public accountant for an audit of the PCB accounts in 2010 (if not required before then for purposes of the 501c(3) application).

Pacific Historical Review. Co-Editor Carl Abbott then presented the report of the journal in which he noted that between July 31, 2008 and August 1, 2009, the journal received 47 submissions, accepted eight for publication, and published fourteen. Over the year, 105 scholars served as external reviewers for the journal. The journal published 128 book reviews with 125 reviewers representing 102 institutions.  At Abbott’s request, the Council then approved a slate of individuals whom the editors proposed as new PHR editorial board members and expressed its thanks to those departing board members.  Managing Editor David Johnson reminded the Council members that the memorandum of agreement between the PCB and Portland State Univ. covering arrangements for publication of the journal will expire in 2012 and reported that their dean at PSU was favorably inclined toward continuation of the agreement.

In the absence of Nominating Committee chair Mona Siegel (California State Univ., Sacramento), Executive Director Blodgett announced that 204 members voted in this year’s election, with the following results: 

  • President-elect for 2010: Janet Fireman (California History)
  • New members of the PCB Council:
    • Jennifer Fish Kashay (Colorado State Univ.),
    • Joel Tisken (Washington State Univ.)
    • David Rich Lewis (Utah State Univ.)
  • New members of the PCB Nominating Committee:
    • Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi (California State Univ., Fullerton)
    • Charles Postel (California State Univ., Sacramento)
    • Moon-Ho Jung (Univ. of Washington)
    • Jennifer Neighbors (Univ. of Puget Sound)

Pursuant to a 2008 Council motion, Executive Director Blodgett then reported on his initial findings concerning the transfer of PCB elections to an online format.  Council instructed Executive Director Blodgett to obtain further information about the organization’s options in this area.

Executive Director Blodgett then announced the winners of the various PCB awards:

  • The Pacific Coast Branch Book Award: Priya Satia for Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East.  (Harvard Univ. Press)

  • The Norris and Carol Hundley Award: Brian DeLay (Univ. of California, Berkeley) for War of a Thousand Deserts:  Indian Raids and the U.S.-Mexican War (Yale University Press) and Pekka Hamalainen (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) for The Comanche Empire (Yale Univ. Press); honorable mention to Thomas Andrews, Killing for Coal:  America’s Deadliest Labor War (Harvard Univ. Press)

  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Dissertation) Award: Hillary Jenks (Univ. of Southern California) for “‘Home is Little Tokyo’: Race, Community and Memory in 20th-Century Los Angeles”

Thereafter, PHR Managing editor Johnson announced the two awards for articles that appeared in the Pacific Historical Review:

  • The Louis Knott Koontz Memorial Award (chosen by the entire editorial board) to James Mace Ward (Stanford Univ.) for “Legitimate Collaboration: The Administration of Santo Tomás Internment Camp and its Histories, 1943–2003,” published in the May 2008 issue

  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Article) Prize (chosen by the editors from among articles submitted by graduate students) to Lori Flores (Stanford Univ.) for “An Unladylike Strike Fashionably Clothed: Mexicana and Anglo Women Workers Against Tex-Son, 1959–63” which appeared in the August 2009 issue

Incoming President Barbara Molony then offered preliminary details about the 2010 annual conference.  The meeting will take place on the campus of Santa Clara Univ. in Santa Clara California on August 12–14, 2010.  Molony announced her selections for 2010 Program Committee Co-chairs, Kyle Longley (Arizona State Univ.) and Thomas Turley (Santa Clara Univ.) as well as the conference theme “Moving Beyond National, Cultural, and Disciplinary Boundaries.” 

Turning to old business, President Fuchs addressed the question of broadening the topical and chronological scope of conference presentations that she raised during the 2008 Council meeting.  Although she reported encountering some obstacles in pursuing this goal for the 2009 conference, she did feel that considerable progress had been made with the Albuquerque program. 

President Fuchs then brought up the issue of the John Schutz Travel Awards, which had first been raised at the 2008 Council meeting.  Following initial discussion as to whether the John Schutz funds were intended as an endowment or a fund to be spent down and then rebuilt through fund raising, Council then approved a motion to establish a three-person committee, chaired by past president Al Camarillo with Barbara Molony and Rachel Fuchs also serving.  The Committee will need to develop spending goals and fund raising goals for 2010 and beyond.

Still under the heading of new business, Executive Director Blodgett then brought forward a proposal to establish a new standing committee to oversee selection of conference locations.  The Site Selection Committee would consist of the current PCB president, the incoming president, the immediate past president, the chair of the Finance Committee and the Executive Director, all of whom would be voting members.  Incoming President Fireman offered to organize such a committee.  Council approved the establishment of the Site Selection Committee.

At the request of the editorial staff of the Pacific Historical Review, the Council then discussed whether the Branch’s annual reports should continue to be published solely in the journal, be published solely online or appear in both venues.  Council felt that publication of PCB reports should appear in both venues and instructed the Executive Director to pursue such a course of action.

At the request of Council member Sara Elkind, the Council discussed the forthcoming transfer of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Southern California regional facility from Laguna Niguel to Perris.  Following the expression of great concern by many PCB Council members over this action, President Fuchs proposed that the Council prepare and send a letter of protest.  Council members Colleen O’Neill and Louis Warren agreed to draft such a letter and also promised to raise this issue with the Council of the Western History Association.

The Council also commissioned additional changes to the PCB web site and authorized additional funds for web site management.  Finally, as its last order of business, the Executive Director proposed and the Council unanimously approved a commendation for Executive Assistant Cynthia Scott, whose dedication, meticulous attention to detail and unfailing commitment to the needs of the Pacific Coast Branch contributed notably to the success of the 2009 annual conference.

No further issues awaiting discussion, President Fuchs entertained a motion for adjournment, which was proposed, seconded and passed by the Council; President Fuchs then declared the Council meeting adjourned at 4:26 PM.