SAHSA membership email May 2012

Dear colleagues,

After some unforeseen administrative delays, I’m very pleased to be able to announce that SAHSA has now been approved as an Affiliated Society to the American Historical Association.  This should be officially ratified by the AHA later this summer.  Our sincere thanks must go to Lisa Trivedi who was instrumental in preparing the documentation for our application last year during her Presidency. 

In practice what this means is that SAHSA can now be recognized as a co-sponsor of accepted panels at the AHA, as well as sponsor additional panels, roundtables, and associated activities to take place at the annual AHA meeting outside of the formal panel approval process, which is normally completed in late April.  (You’ll have seen from the recent AHA membership email that the AHA’s Program Committee was only able to approve 42% of panel applications this year!)  This is an exciting development as it will allow SAHSA to effectively conduct a mini “conference within a conference” at the AHA devoted solely to South Asian history.  SAHSA leadership and membership is, in other words, essentially empowered through its affiliate status to take greater control over South Asian content at the AHA annual meeting.

We strongly encourage our SAHSA members to continue to submit panels through the regular AHA process, which has the advantage of being part of the official AHA program, including AHA payment of technology fees.  But now that we have been approved as an affiliated society, SAHSA will implement a formal procedure whereby the organization’s executive committee will oversee the development of  SAHSA-sponsored panels, receptions, events, and roundtable discussions, including the re-evaluation of any panels rejected by the AHA’s Program Committee.  

This year, however, because our affiliation was granted long after the AHA call for proposals deadline, we will adopt an ad hoc process.  At the moment we are planning, in addition to our usual business meeting, to conduct a roundtable discussion of the previous year’s Richards Prize winner (this year, Farina Mir’s book The Social Space of Language).  We hope that this will be a regular event in future.

SAHSA members who are interested in proposing a further event (roundtable, panel, etc.), or who wish to have their rejected panel reconsidered, for SAHSA sponsorship at the 2013 AHA meeting should get in contact with me and Anne at the earliest possible juncture.  The absolute deadline for submission of affiliate-sponsored events is May 15 (next Tuesday) and we will need some time to internally discuss these amongst members of SAHSA’s executive committee.  Please note as well that affiliate-sponsored panels that require AV carry a financial charge that must be borne (at this time, at least) by participants.  This is standard practice for any affiliated-society events that are outside the regular AHA program.

Let us both wish you all a productive break as we move into the summer months.  At SAHSA we will be working on our website redesign and move, as well as reformulating a structure of governance and administration that reflects the needs of our new affiliate status, and which we hope to discuss with membership at Madison in October and in New Orleans in January.

Michael S. Dodson
SAHSA President (2012)

Anne Hardgrove
SAHSA Vice-President and President-Elect