The annual ADSA student conference returns this year with a record 17 student papers and a keynote address from Dr. Ellen Armour, Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Everyone at the keynote is welcome to stay for the wine and cheese reception afterwards, but if you wish to partake of the catered lunch at noon we ask that you RSVP either on the Facebook event, by leaving a comment below, or by emailing Matt Eaton.
Because the ADSA Board is proposed to grow from 18 to 19 members and has come close to losing quorum this past year, on Feb 27 the Board endorsed changing the threshold for quorum from a two-thirds majority (normally 12/18) to a simple majority (normally 10/19). The proposed language for 4.8 is now “quorum will be achieved with the attendance of a majority of the sitting members of the ADSA Board at any time.” The documents and summary below have been updated with the new language. Note also that the responsibilities of the new positions may change as the new graduate centre comes into being, which is why for maximum flexibility the titles of the new positions are short and somewhat vague.
Summary of Proposed Amendments
4.2 Specifies a maximum number of voting members (19).
4.2.1 Replaces the current Vice-President with three new Executives: a Vice-President Academic who would sit on the TST Graduate Council like our current Advanced Degree Council representatives; a Vice-President Conferences who would sit on the new TST Conferences and Lectures Committee and lead in planning our annual conference; and a Vice-President External who would liaison with basic degree student associations, affiliated schools, and the University of Toronto student unions. Also changes the Administrator to be a Secretary like other bodies.
4.2.2 Removes the three Advanced Degree Council (ADC) representatives, clarifies that ADSA will still elect representatives from each department even if there are no longer departmental committees, and creates a new position for a dedicated Master of Arts or Master of Theology representative while their programs are being revised.
4.2.3 Deletes an extra “from.”
4.2.4 Creates a new position to elect the representative on the TST Library Committee.
4.3 Creates a new Vice-President Internal, who will also sit on the Graduate Council like our current ADC representatives but be appointed to the Executive each year like the current “Fifth Executive.”
4.3.1 Removes the Communications Officer.
4.4 Limits the maximum time in a position to two years, to encourage new people to join the Board.
4.5 Replaces “outlined in detail” with “defined.”
4.5/4.6 Clarifies that elected Board members must be appointed to fill vacant executive positions.
4.7 Clarifies that only students from the college, department, or program to be represented may be appointed to fill other vacancies, and only with the consent of the ADSA Board.
4.8 Clarifies that quorum needs only a simple majority of the Board, not two-thirds of the entire student body.
The minutes for the January board meeting are now available. The next board meeting will be on Thursday, March 20th, and the Annual General Meeting will be the morning of Thursday, April 3rd, at TST
This semester we have three bursaries available at $200 each for current AD students presenting at conferences outside of Ontario before July 31st, 2014.
To apply for a bursary please email the following information by Monday, March 17th:
2) College and program
3) Date, name, and location of the conference
4) Title of paper accepted by conference
5) Names and amounts of any other scholarships or bursaries
Yesterday the ADSA Board agreed recipients of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship or Doctoral Fellowship, and/or any specific travel funding from other sources would not be eligible for travel bursaries this term.
Eligible names will be drawn at random at the Board meeting on March 20th and winners will be notified shortly thereafter. Recipients will also be asked to write a brief summary of their conference presentation experience to be posted online. Reports from the winners of the fall term travel bursaries are below.
Travel Bursary Tales, Fall 2013
I wanted to begin by thanking the ADSA for providing a traveling bursary for this past year’s SBL meeting in Baltimore. The funds were put to good use, and greatly helped in making my stay in Baltimore that much less stressful. At the meeting I had a wonderful time! My presentation was on Saturday afternoon, the first day of the conference, and was even the first paper given at my session. Lucky time slot!
Bill Bellinger, of Baylor University, was the moderator during my session, and I was followed by a handful of other presenters, a mix of both students and professors. It is always hard to predict what kinds of questions might arise afterwards, but I felt like the audience took it easy on me. I spoke with Judith Newman (Emmanuel College) later that evening, and she reminded me that the success of a presentation shouldn’t be measured by the immediate questions at the event, since ideas could take root and raise questions people might have in the weeks and months afterwards. I took this as good, seasoned advice.
In terms of the presentation, my time slot enabled me to speak to more people than what usually happens. In fact, the room was quite packed, with approximately 50 people. This was very encouraging, and from my end of things, I think the presentation went fairly well. I was able to make some great contacts this year with scholars in my field, and look forward to future meetings and conferences. While these types of events may seem intimidating, my experience has always been positive. Remember that if your proposal is accepted it means that someone with credentials thinks you have something to add to the discussion. At the very least, it allows your name to enter into the discussion in your field. And, if you do well, it may mean a more broader readership of your dissertation, since people actually know your name. So, I recommend taking the chance and taking part in an AAR/SBL meeting. They also have regional meetings which are more intimate and much less intimidating.
This year’s Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting was made more affordable and certainly more comfortable due to the gracious support of the Advanced Degree Student Association. Thanks to the travel grant, I was able to afford a nice, clean hotel room to share with a colleague, surprisingly close to the venue. This allowed me to focus and prepare better for my presentation.
Given the fact that my presentation (Ideological Criticism section, Monday 4pm) ran up against the likes of James Dunn, John Kloppenborg, and Judith Butler, it was no surprise that only a handful of people attended (thanks to Ann Jervis for her attendance and boost of confidence). Sparse attendance aside, the questions and critique were quite helpful, and a small publishing project has come out of it. Props to ADSA for helping out!
2013 marked my third trip to the annual SBL/AAR meeting and second time presenting there. The 2013 meeting at Baltimore was a much more relaxing trip than the previous year at Chicago, probably due to a combination of a more welcoming venue, a greater number of friends presenting, and simply more personal experience. I was thrilled my paper on recent readings of sexuality in The Healing of the Centurion’s Slave (Matt 8:5-13/Luke 7:1-10) was accepted to one of my favourite sections “Reading, Theory, and the Bible.” I was even more excited that two senior scholars whose work I admired were presenting alongside me. The presentation itself went quite well: thanks in part to the fact that my paper was brief in comparison to other presenters, I had quite a bit of time for discussion. An expanded version of the presentation will be found in a forthcoming volume of The Bible and Critical Theory. Many thanks to the ADSA for making this possible!
The draft agenda for the February meeting of the ADSA board is now available. The meeting will be from 10:15 to noon on Thursday, February 27th at TST, with discussion on the referendum and duties of the new positions starting no later than 11:30.
The minutes for the December board meeting are now available. The Board meeting scheduled for January 23rd has been cancelled; the next meeting will be Thursday, February 27th, at TST.
The draft agenda for the January meeting of the ADSA board is now available. The meeting will be from 10am to 11:30 on Thursday, January 9th in Classroom D at Regis College.