Pacific Coast Branch 2010

Submitted by Peter J. Blodgett, Executive Director, Pacific Coast Branch

The 103rd annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch (PCB), American Historical Association, took place at the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara California on August 12–14, 2010. The conference had 222 registered attendees, who participated in 55 different sessions. During the conference,Gayle Gullett (Arizona State Univ.) spoke to the Western Association of Women Historians luncheon on the topic “Feminism and the City: Newspaper Women, the Press, and 1910s Los Angeles,” while President Barbara Molony (Santa Clara Univ.) presented her presidential address, “From ‘Mothers of Humanity’ to ‘Assisting the Emperor’:  Gendered Belonging in the Wartime Rhetoric of Japanese Feminist Ichikawa Fusae.”  The presidential address shall appear in expanded form in the February 2011 issue of the Pacific Historical Review.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, the Kennedy Commons, Santa Clara University, August 12, 2010.

President Barbara Molony called the meeting of the PCB Council to order at 2:10 p.m. The Council thanked 2010 Program Committee co-chairs Kyle Longley (Arizona State Univ.) and Thomas Turley (Santa Clara Univ.) and their committee members as well as Barbara Molony, Judy Gillette and Michael Bates from the Santa Clara University history department for their exceptional efforts in assisting with conference local arrangements.

Executive Director Blodgett followed the discussion of the 2010 program with a report on the current financial state of the PCB. Having retained all its assets in cash through the year, the PCB has avoided any financial losses for a second year and has maintained complete liquidity of all its funds. On the other hand, the interest rate for the Business Market Rate account has continued to fall and income from advertisers and exhibitors at the 2010 annual conference will decline significantly from the amount received in 2009. While the larger economic climate thus has a noticeable impact upon the circumstances of the PCB, its finances remain stable and its economic health is sound.

Pacific Historical Review. Managing Editor David Johnson then presented the report of the journal in which he noted that between July 31, 2009, and August 1, 2010, the journal received 61 submissions, accepted 15 for publication, and published 15. Over the year, 115 scholars served as external reviewers for the journal. The journal published 125 book reviews with 125 reviewers representing 107 institutions. At Johnson’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 board members whose terms had concluded.  Discussion thereafter ensued of the memorandum of agreement between the PCB and Portland State University covering arrangements for publication of the journal, including the possibility of a two-year extension of the current agreement which will expire in 2012. Following this discussion, the Council approved a motion commending the Pacific Historical Review’s editorial staff for their exceptional work on behalf of the Branch.

In the absence of Nominating Committee chair Sara Pugach (California State Univ., Los Angeles), Executive Director Blodgett announced that 184 members voted in the 2010  election, with the following results: 

  • President-elect for 2011: Kyle Longley (Arizona State Univ.)
  • New members of the PCB Council:
    • Cathleen Cahill (Univ. of New Mexico),
    • Natalia Molina (Univ. of California, San Diego)
    • Robin Walz (Univ. of Alaska Southeast)
  • New member of the PCB Nominating Committee:
    • Kristin Dennehy (California State Univ., Fullerton)  

Council then discussed the possibility of moving to online elections, in hopes of increasing participation from the membership and reducing the costs to the organization of managing elections. Discussion centered on the existing schedule for PCB elections, the potential costs of online elections and the experience of other organizations. Council requested Executive Director Blodgett to pursue contacts with the staff of the American Historical Association to obtain details about its experience.

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

  • The Pacific Coast Branch Book Award: Sharon Gillerman for Germans into Jews: Remaking the Jewish Social Body in the Weimar Republic (Stanford Univ. Press)

  • The Norris and Carol Hundley Award: Marsha Weisiger for Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country (Univ. of Washington Press); honorable mention to Terry Rugeley for Rebellion Now and Forever: Mayas, Hispanics, and Caste War Violence in Yucatán, 1800–1880 (Stanford Univ. Press)

  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Dissertation) Award: Catherine Christensen (Univ. of California, Irvine), “Mujeres Públicas: Euro-American Prostitutes and Reformers at the California-Mexico Border (1909–29)”

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 Julia Maria Schiavone Camacho (Univ. of Texas, El Paso) for “Crossing Boundaries, Claiming a Homeland: The Mexican-Chinese Transpacific Journey to Becoming Mexican, 1930s to 1960,” published in the November 2009 issue

  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Article) Prize (chosen by the editors from among articles submitted by graduate students) to Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) for “Counter-Organizing the Sunbelt: Right to Work Campaigns and Anti-Union Conservatism, 1843–1958” and Karin Huebner (Univ. of Southern California) for “An Unexpected Alliance: Stella Atwood, the California Clubwomen, and the Indians of the Southwest, 1917–34” which appeared in the February 2009 and August 2009 issues, respectively

Executive Director Blodgett and incoming President Janet Fireman then offered preliminary details about the 2011 annual conference. The meeting will take place at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington, on August 11–13, 2011. Fireman announced her selections for 2011 Program Committee Co-chairs, Steve Hackel (Univ. of California, Riverside) and Kevin Leonard (Western Washington Univ.), as well as the conference theme “Horizons of Change: The Unexpected, Unknown, and Unforgettable.”  Program Committee Co-chair Leonard announced that the co-chairs have already been recruiting committee members and that in consultation with incoming President Fireman and Executive Director Blodgett the deadline for program submissions will be moved up to November 17, 2010, in order to provide the committee with more time to organize the program.

Turning to the related topic of future meeting venues, Executive Director Blodgett circulated a list of all PCB conference sites between 1980 and 2010 in order to inaugurate the work of the Site Selection Committee (established by the PCB Council in 2009). Blodgett solicited the input of PCB Councilors about sites for the 2012 meeting and beyond and commented that the Site Selection Committee members would undertake online discussions later in the autumn with an eye to identifying two or three leading locations.

Under the heading of “old business,” President Molony discussed the inaugural “Presidents Travel Award.” As administered by a three-person committee consisting of current president Barbara Molony and past presidents Al Camarillo and Rachel Fuchs, the committee  awarded grants of $200 each from the John Schutz Travel Award funds to fifteen graduate students to facilitate their participation in the 2010 annual PCB conference. An on-going committee consisting of the immediate past president, current president and incoming president will oversee this program and will develop spending goals and fund raising goals for 2011 and beyond. 

Still under the heading of old business, President Molony discussed the meeting that she hosted between members of the PCB leadership and AHA President Barbara Metcalf, outgoing AHA Executive Director Arnita Jones and AHA Assistant Director Robert Townsend at the 2010 AHA annual meeting in San Diego. The PCB and the AHA will investigate means of enhanced collaboration between the two organizations, including PCB sponsorship of events at AHA conferences and Molony will prepare an article on the PCB for a future issue of the AHA Perspectives in History to remind AHA members of its continuing activities and contributions to the profession.

Finally, as its last order of business, the Council heard discussion of staff activities in managing the web site and conference arrangements and unanimously approved an increase in the compensation package for Executive Assistant Cynthia Scott, whose exceptional dedication to the operations of the Pacific Coast Branch have been a major contribution to its success.

No further issues awaiting discussion, President Molony then declared the Council meeting adjourned at 4:10 PM.