Date: 22 February, 2008, 9 AM
Present: Edward MacDonald, Mark McLaughlin, Bill Parenteau, Rob Summerby-Murray, Kurt Peacock, Colin Duncan, Ruth Sandwell, Graeme Stewart-Robertson, Colin Laroque, Lanna Campbell, Claire Campbell, Allan MacDonald, Akhtar Abbasi, Arn Keeling, John Sandlos
A. Keeling welcomed everyone to the meeting and informed them that the discussion was a visioning session about what kind of activity HEAR might take. He also gave a summary of activities to date. These included the original application as a sub-proposal for NiCHE, our inspiration from the Quelques Arpent de Neige and NHS (C. Duncan mentioned that Arpent has now had 15 events), the creation of four regional networks (B.C., Prairies, Central Canada, Atlantic Canada). We had budgeted $2,000/a for an annual workshop, $15,000 for a conference, money for web resources and an archival inventory, and a publication subvention. A. Keeling outlined what we have done: the Ganong Colloquium (he summarized various models for this: a big name speaker, a graduate forum, etc.).
There was some general discussion about the cost of getting to events in the region. C. Duncan asked about the possibility of a summer school and A. Keeling mentioned that we might be able to tack on a summer school to Bill Parenteauâ€™s Atlantic EH conference. A. Keeling summarized the archival inventory that is taking place at MUN and intimated that this could become a cross- regional effort. J. Sandlos summarized why we had approached our graduate program directors to get RAs for the archival inventory. Claire Campbell asked about the Prairie workshop and John Sandlos summarized. A. Keeling outlined that our budget is $5,000 for the first year and $3,000 for six subsequent years. He emphasized that we will need to leverage funding from other source to pursue big ideas.
Plans for Future Workshops
Bill Parenteau summarized that he has received money for his Atlantic EH conference. Some money is coming from NiCHE but they are hoping for a SSHRC grant. Student travel subsidies will depend on getting SSHRC money. He is also trying VPs, government, etc. B. Parenteau emphasized that workshops held in off years from ACS work very well in the Atlantic region. They have been well attended and offered a chance for graduate students to interact with established scholars. There was often a museum tour involved. Robert Summerby-Murray mentioned that there were many partners such as Parks Canada that we could work with. A. Keeling mentioned that we could have an event at the parks and that it could be focused on graduate students. C. Campbell mentioned that we could also have an event at a historic site and that the director of the Citadel was very excited about the workshop but could not make it. E. MacDonald asked if we could do something in UPEI next year in association with ACS Conference (First weekend of May 2009). B. Parenteau mentioned that we could tack an event on to the Congress in Fredericton in 2011. C. Campbell mentioned that NiCHE would probably want HEAR to organize the summer school and J. Sandlos mentioned that A. MacEachern had already mentioned this idea. B. Parenteau mentioned that the Canadian Labour History Committee usually one day events in association with larger conferences and this would be a good model for us. C. Campbell stated the she felt the summer school was effective because it was more of a workshop than a panel of papers. The model of reading papers and participating in discussion offers more opportunities for participants to learn more about the field. E. MacDonald asked what goes on at the summer schools and what would we do with one. C. Campbell summarized that it was a mixture of field trips, speakers (including graduate students). A.Keeling mentioned that it was also instructional in nature, particularly the historical GIS workshops. C. Campbell stated that there were also workshop discussions. She also stated that we may not want to organize events that are too long. A. Keeling stated that he hopes to give graduate students opportunities to workshop their research. Mark McLaughlin felt this would be a good idea. E. MacDonald suggested that we should be focusing on interdisciplinarity in our events. Rob Summerby-Murray suggested that senior undergraduate students might also be involved. Others agreed. K. Peacock mentioned that the CURA grant at UNB St. John has been able to involve undergraduates.
Possible Workshop Themes
R. Summerby-Murray mentioned that it might be interesting to assess how the environmental history region has influenced creative literature in the region. A. Keeling mentioned also ecotourism as a possible theme that could be explored. C. Campbell mentioned that there was a study on intangible cultural heritage at CBU and that they could be involved because there is a landscape element. B. Parenteau mentioned the importance of bringing in NGOs. R. Summerby- Murray emphasized the potential of partnering with First Nations. A. Keeling said he had some experience with this at UBC.
C. Duncan asked B. Parenteau about the course he is proposing to teach with Richard Judd. B. Parenteau suggested that he might have to go outside environmental history to bring in enough students. The course might have to be broader than EH. Bill suggested that they will used video conferencing to facilitate co-teaching of students between New England and NB. C. Duncan said it would great to get Maine people involved but Arpent has not had a lot of success bringing in people from the US other than a few from upstate New York. R. Summerby-Murray mentioned that there has been talk about creating a provincial graduate school. B. Parenteau mentioned that it could be at the undergraduate level as well â€“ especially fourth year courses that are already established might be a good forum for collaboration. A. Keeling suggested that the real need might be at the graduate level where you may not have as many students
C. Campbell asked about how we are going to connect our work to the public. She stated that the Heritage Trust had organized an event and it was very successful. C. Larocque had mentioned that he has given a lot of public talks on his work. R. Sandwell mentioned that it might be useful to try to write a column for the newspaper. B. Parenteau mentioned that he had worked with the New Brunswick Labour History Project and held a public history event with forest workers that was very successful. The New Brunswick Labour History Project has also held labour history events with former nursing home employees involved in a strike and former employees in the Chestnut Canoe Company. R. Sandwell mentioned that we could also be trying to reach people who know nothing about environmental issues. B. Parenteau agreed that there was a need but was not sure how historians would address the need. K. Peacock mentioned that there are local issues in St. John, particularly the oil refinery, that historians might comment on. For example, the refinery in the 1960s did not create an economic Nirvana and there is very little public awareness of this fact. R. Summerby-Murray mentioned that there was a great hunger in the media for environmental stories these days and as historians we need to insert ourselves in the issue. E. MacDonald suggested that we need to be seen setting out contexts but not be activists so that we are not seen as being biased. One outlet could be a public lecture on particular environmental issues. The lecture should be off campuses as people are often intimidated by universities. We could partner with environmental groups or historical societies. B. Parenteau suggested that if we pick the right topics we will get people. A. Keeling asked if we need a media strategy. He asked what the role of the network is. J. Sandlos mentioned that there may not need to be a lot of red tape for the joint courses.
Yearly Plan of Activities
J. Sandlos asked what our yearly round of activities might be. C.Campbell mentioned that she thinks that we might focus our activities around one event per year. J. Sandlos mentioned that we may be able to get more funding. C. Campbell; everything we proposed can be done in a once a year rotation a workshop, a rotating public lecture, and a joint seminar. C. Duncan mentioned that we could probably talk Graeme Wynn into taking on a monograph with NHS. B. Parenteau mentioned that Acadiensis Press can publish archival material or a collection of essays for teaching; there have been edited collections in the past. Rob Summerby-Murray mentioned that we could publish a collection of Ganong’s work. C. Campbell asked if we could we derive a collection out of a larger conference in 2012. E. MacDonald also mentioned that we could publish material electronically. B. Parenteau mentioned that the Acadiensis Reader was a big success and still sells well. Rob Summerby-Murray asked if we should be creating a calendar. A. Keeling asked if we should book an event in association with the Atlantic EH conference. Bill Parenteau suggested that AM had talked about doing a NiCHE event anyways. John Sandlos reiterated that we should have an annual workshop, a speaker and the joint seminar. Colin Duncan mentioned that we should leverage money from Departments and Deans. A. Keeling mentioned that we may want to tack events on to Bill’s conference and the ACS. B. Parenteau mentioned that we should be piggybacking on other events. J. Sandlos asked if we should have Ganong in May so we can piggyback on ACS and congress 2011. C. Campbell suggested the public lecture could be six months after the Ganong.
Five Minute Break
Yearly Plan of Activities Continued
A. Keeling suggested that we try to put some specific proposals together and reiterated that we have suggested the following: 1. an annual Ganong colloquium (maybe as early as this May in association with Bill’s conference and ACS 2. an annual lecture. Mark McLaughlin volunteered to organize the Ganong in May. Claire Campbell offered to provide support. A. Keeling suggested the first step would be to contact Graeme Wynn and A. MacEachern to bring their plans for an event in line with the Ganong. BP mentioned that it might have to be forest focused due to Graemeâ€™s focus with NiCHE. Ed MacDonald volunteered to organize something for a
May 2009 Ganong in PEI in association with ACS. J. Sandlos requested that the first public lecture take place in the fall in St. John’s in association with the Newfoundland Historical Society. A. Keeling mentioned we may be able to leverage money from the Dialogue on Global Sustainability at MUN. C. Campbell â€“ suggested that the public lecture should not adopt a parochial focus in the region in which it is held. It should be a local issue with a global significance. M. McLaughlin suggested we get a speaker on the oil and gas industry. J. Sandlos suggested Gordon Laird. C. Duncan mentioned that there is a new book about the oil sands. B. Parenteau suggested that one speaker could be flown into the region and driven to different individual schools. K. Peacock wanted us to organize a list of what sub-disciplines people might be interested in. C. Campbell asked if HEAR could have member directory that lists sub-disciplines. A. Keeling summarized “we have committed to organize Ganong Colloquia in May 2008 in association with Bill’s conference and May 2009 in association with ASC a speaker will come in the fall 2008 in St. John’s. Bill Parenteau stated that he will discuss the May 2008 with Graeme Wynn. C. Campbell asked about an edited collection in association with a conference in 2012 B. Parenteau suggested we keep it in mind and talk about it. John Sandlos reminded everyone we have no firm funding commitments for a 2012 event. Arn Keeling mentioned that we need to think about finding ways to get graduate students involved in the network
Thank you’s were exchanges all around and the meeting adjourned at 11:14 AM.