2012 Annual Report

2012 Pacific Coast Branch Report

Peter J. Blodgett, Executive Director

The 105th annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, took place at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego in San Diego CA on August 9-11, 2012. The conference had 248 registered attendees, who participated in fifty-six different sessions. During the conference, Matthew Garcia (Arizona State University) spoke to the Latina/o Scholars Luncheon on the topic “Struggle in the Fields, Struggle in our Field: Reflections on the Farm Worker Movement Fifty Years after its Creation” and Jessica Weiss (California State University, East Bay) spoke to the Western Association of Women Historians luncheon on the topic “Feminism as Fans (and non- Fans) Found it: Letters to Gloria Steinem” while President Kyle Longley (Arizona State University) presented his presidential address, “Between Sorrow and Pride: Memory, the Morenci Nine, and the Vietnam War.” The presidential address shall appear in expanded form in the February 2013 issue of the Pacific Historical Review.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, the Manchester Boardroom, Joan Kroc Institute, August 9, 2012.

President Kyle Longley called the meeting of the PCB Council to order at 2:05 p.m. Following approval of the 2011 minutes and a brief discussion of the 2012 local arrangements, the Council thanked 2012 Program Committee co-chairs Matthew Garcia (Arizona State University) and Jason Colby (University of Victoria) and their committee members for their exceptional efforts in developing the 2012 program. On behalf of the Council, President Longley also welcomed Dr. James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association, who remained throughout the Council meeting.

Executive Director Blodgett followed the discussion of the 2012 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 third year and has maintained complete liquidity of all its funds. On the other hand, both the 2012 interest rate for the Business Market Rate account (0.05%) and the income from advertisers and exhibitors at the annual meeting remain at regrettably low levels. Discussion ensued upon the impact of such low interest rates upon PCB efforts to develop self-sustaining endowments for the various prizes presented by the Branch and by the Pacific Historical Review; fund-raising efforts will be pursued once non-profit status for the Branch has been obtained from the Internal Revenue Service.

Pacific Historical Review Managing Editor David Johnson then presented the report of the journal in which he noted that between August 1, 2011 and August 1, 2012, the journal received sixty-seven submissions, accepted twelve for publication, and published fourteen. Over the year, 129 scholars served as external referees for the journal. The journal published 119 book reviews with 114 reviewers representing 93 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 concerning the ongoing negotiations with Portland State University about extending its agreement with the PCB to host the Pacific Historical Review as well as the selection of a new editor for the journal.

In the absence of Nominating Committee chair Kristine Dennehy (California State University, Fullerton), Executive Director Blodgett announced that 140 members voted in this year’s election, with the following results:

President-elect for 2013: David Igler (University of California, Irvine)

New members of the PCB Council:

  • David Gutierrez (University of California, San Diego),
  • Liping Zhu (Eastern Washington University)
  • Ana Elizabeth Rosas (University of California, Irvine)

New members of the PCB Nominating Committee:

  • Sheila McManus (University of Lethbridge)
  • Pedro Castillo (University of California, Santa Cruz)

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

The Pacific Coast Branch Book Award: Jun Uchida, Stanford University, for Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945 (Harvard University Press)

The Norris and Carol Hundley Award: Nayan Shah, University of Southern California for Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and Law in the North American West (University of California Press)

The W. Turrentine Jackson (Dissertation) Award: Trevor Griffey, “Black Power’s Labor Politics: The United Construction Workers Association and Title VII Law in the 1970s” completed for the University of Washington

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 Stacey L. Smith (Oregon State University) for “Remaking Slavery in a Free State: Masters and Slaves in Gold Rush California,” published in the February 2011 issue.

The W. Turrentine Jackson (Article) Prize (chosen by the editors from among articles submitted by graduate students) to Angela Hawk (University of California, Irvine) for “Going ‘Mad’ in Gold Country: Migrant Populations and the Problem of Containment in Pacific Mining Boom Regions” which appeared in the February 2011 issue.

Executive Director Blodgett and incoming President Carl Abbott then offered preliminary details about the 2013 annual conference. The meeting will take place at Denver Westin Downtown on August 9-11, 2013. President Abbott announced his selection of Susan Wladaver-Morgan (Portland State University) and Elizabeth Escobedo (University of Denver), as well as the conference theme, “People in Motion, Places in Change.”

Turning to the related topic of future meeting venues, Executive Director Blodgett solicited the input of PCB Councilors about sites for the 2014 meeting and beyond. Initial discussion included mention of Victoria/Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles/Pasadena CA, Boise ID/Spokane WA and Albuquerque NM. Further conversations among the members of the Site Selection Committee will continue online in the coming months.

Under the heading of “old business,” Executive Director Blodgett reported on the planning for his departure from this position and his replacement by Professor Kevin Leonard (Western Washington University). Professor Leonard’s discussions with the administration at WWU have proceeded very favorably and he will work with the current Executive Director to finalize the necessary paperwork.

Still under the heading of old business, Executive Director Blodgett announced that long- time Branch member and past President Iris Engstrand (a member of the University of San Diego faculty) will receive a special Award of Meritorious Service at the PCB opening reception. This commendation will recognize Professor Engstrand’s unfailing dedication to and support of the Pacific Coast Branch throughout the course of her career.

After incoming President Abbott announced his selections for new members of the PCB award committees and the new chair of the Nominating Committee, President Longley invited AHA Executive Director Grossman to discuss new initiatives being undertaken by the national organization. Dr. Grossman mentioned the issues connected to the subject of the Friday plenary session, “Another University is Possible: Overcoming Threats to the History Profession in Texas and California,” (in which he will participate) and also reviewed efforts to define with greater clarity the full range of professional skills acquired through training in history.

Following Dr. Grossman’s presentation, with no further issues awaiting discussion, President Longley then declared the Council meeting adjourned at 3:57 PM.