2014 Annual Report


The one-hundred seventh annual meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association took place at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon, on August 14 – 16, 2014. The conference had 213 registered attendees, who participated in forty-eight different sessions. During the conference, Albert Camarillo (Stanford University) spoke to the Latina/o Scholars Luncheon on the topic “Mexicans and the Racial Borderhoods of American Cities,” and Nupur Chauduri (Texas Southern University) spoke to the Western Association of Women Historians luncheon on the topic “Refugees in Wartime: The Case of Alice Juliette Wentzinger, an Alsatian Woman in World War II,” while President David Igler (University of California, Irvine) presented his presidential address, “Hardly Pacific: Violence and Death in the Great Ocean.” The presidential address appeared in expanded form in the February 2015 issue of the Pacific Historical Review.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council of the Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, Galleria I, Ballroom Level, Portland Hilton and Executive Tower, August 14, 2014.

President David Igler called the meeting of the PCB Council to order at 2:04 p.m. with the following individuals in attendance: Vice President Anne Hyde, Vice President-elect George J. Sánchez, former presidents Carl Abbott, Kyle Longley, and Janet Fireman, Finance Committee chair Albert Hurtado, Marc S. Rodriguez representing the Pacific Historical Review, Council members Mario T. García, Georgia Mickey, David G. Gutiérrez, Ana Elizabeth Rosas, Liping Zhu, Phoebe S. K. Young, and Jeffrey Sanders, Nominations Committee Chair Pedro Castillo, and Executive Director Kevin A. Leonard.  Following approval of the 2013 minutes, Executive Director Leonard provided a preview of the local arrangements for the Portland meeting, and President Igler continued with a brief preview of the program for the meeting.

Executive Director Leonard then reported on the current financial state of the PCB, drawing upon the financial statement for 2013 prepared by former Executive Director Peter J. Blodgett. The financial condition of the PCB remained relatively unchanged in 2013. Due to the fact that all PCB assets are held in cash, the Branch has avoided financial losses due to the volatility of investment markets. However, Executive Director Blodgett’s report noted that the interest rate for the business market rate account dropped, reducing the amount of interest earned. In his final financial report, Executive Director Blodgett expressed cautious optimism about the Pacific Coast Branch’s financial situation. Executive Director Leonard reported that the Branch used $1,000 from the John Schutz Travel Fund/Presidents Travel Fund and $2,000 donated by past presidents to support conference attendance to fifteen graduate students.

Pacific Historical Review Managing Editor Marc S. Rodriguez requested that the Council approve the titles of Managing Editor, Emeritus, for David A. Johnson, Co-Editor, Emeritus, for Carl Abbott, and Associate Editor, Emeritus, for Susan Wladaver-Morgan. The Council unanimously approved these titles. Managing Editor Rodriguez then presented the report of the journal, in which he noted that between August 1, 2013, and July 31, 2014, the PHR received sixty-three submissions, accepted nine for publication, and published twenty-three. During the year, 113 scholars served as external referees for the journal. The journal published 102 book reviews, with 101 reviewers representing 72 different institutions. At Rodriguez’s request, the Council then approved a slate of individuals proposed by the editors as new PHR editorial board members and expressed its thanks to those board members whose terms had concluded.

Nominations Committee chair Pedro Castillo (University of California, Santa Cruz) announced that 176 members voted in this year’s election, with the following results:

  • President-elect for 2015: George J. Sánchez (University of Southern California)
  • New members of the PCB Council:
    • Catherine Gudis (University of California, Riverside)
    • Coll Thrush (University of British Columbia)
    • Lorena Oropeza (University of California, Davis)
  • New members of the PCB Nominating Committee:
    • Gordon H. Change (Stanford University)
    • Laura Ishiguro (University of British Columbia)

The Council then offered its thanks to all those individuals who generously accepted the invitation of the Nominations Committee to stand for election in this year’s cycle, including Jamie Lara Bronstein (New Mexico State University), Mary-Ellen Kelm (Simon Fraser University), and Miroslava Chávez-García (University of California, Santa Barbara), who accepted nominations for Council, as well as José M. Alamillo (California State University, Channel Islands) and Amelia M. Kiddle (University of Calgary), who stood as candidates for the Nominations Committee. Chair Castillo suggested that future committees work to assure geographic balance and diversity in geographic and chronological fields on the Council and on the Nominations Committee.

Executive Director Leonard then announced the winners of PCB awards:

  • The Pacific Coast Branch Book Award: Matthew L. Basso, University of Utah, for Meet Joe Copper: Masculinity and Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front (University of Chicago Press)
  • The Norris and Carol Hundley Award: Billy G. Smith, Montana State University, for Ship of Death: A Voyage that Changed the Atlantic World (Yale University Press)
  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Dissertation) Award: Philip Van Huizen, University of British Columbia, for “Flooding the Border: Development, Politics, and Environmental Controversy in the Canadian-Skagit Valley.” Honorable Mention: Genevieve Carpio, University of Southern California, for “From Citrus Belt to Inland Empire: Race, Place, and Mobility in Inland Southern California, 1880-2000.”

Thereafter, PHR Managing Editor Rodriguez 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): Catherine (Casey) Christensen, University of California, Irvine, for “Mujeres Públicas: American Prostitutes in Baja California, 1910-1930” (May 2013, Vol. 82, no. 2)
  • The W. Turrentine Jackson (Article) Prize (chosen by the editors from among articles submitted by graduate students): Khalil Anthony Johnson, Jr., Yale University, for “The Chinle Dog Shoots: Federal Governance and Grass-roots Politics in Postwar Navajo Country” (February 2014, Vol. 83, no. 1)

Leonard also presented details about the Presidents Travel Award Fund: fifteen graduate students received awards of $200 each, and the fund-raising campaign undertaken by President Igler generated $2,000 in donations from past presidents as of the date of the 2014 Council meeting.

Past President and Finance Committee Chair Albert Hurtado then offered preliminary details about the 2015 annual conference. The meeting will take place in Sacramento, California, at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento, August 6-8, 2015. Incoming President Hyde announced her selection of David Torres-Rouff (University of California, Merced) and John Williams (Colorado College) as Program Committee Co-chairs, as well as the conference theme, “Creating the Past and Its Futures: Historians at Work.”

Vice President-elect Sánchez expressed a strong preference for the PCB meeting to return to Hawai‘i in 2016. Council members expressed support for a meeting in Hawai‘i, although some also noted that funding cuts in public higher education resulting from the Great Recession had discouraged the Council from considering a meeting on one of the islands since 2008. Council members noted that a local arrangements chair would be critical to the success of such a meeting, and several Council members offered suggestions for ways in which support for graduate student travel to the islands could be increased.

Under the heading of new business, Vice President Hyde asked the Council for advice regarding selection of new members of the PCB award committees and the new chair of the Nominations Committee.

Continuing with new business, President Igler offered the thanks of the PCB Council on behalf of the Pacific Coast Branch to those whose terms of service were concluding with this annual conference, including

  • Past President Janet Fireman
  • Council members Mario T. García, Ari Kelman, and Georgia Mickey
  • Nominations Committee members Pedro Castillo and Sheila McManus
  • PCB Book Award Committee member Andrew Johns
  • Hundley Award Committee member Calvin Schermerhorn
  • Jackson (Dissertation) Award Committee member Kelly Lytle Hernandez
  • Graduate Student Travel Award Committee member Janet Fireman

No further issues awaiting discussion, President Igler declared the Council meeting adjourned at 3:14 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Kevin A. Leonard