Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Winter '08 Welcome & MELUS Announcements

Hello, MELUS Members,

Welcome to the 2008 Winter Issue.

So far the new blog format has allowed users to post comments and make additions to the issue when needed. This provides a more dynamic publishing environment for the sharing of announcements and information among MELUS members. With the blog format, users may also post time-sensitive items such as CFPs or job announcements.

Please limit comments to topics relevant to MELUS or NewsNotes. The editors reserve the right to edit or delete postings. If you have questions feel free to contact Dr. Katharine Rodier, Professor of English & Director of Graduate Studies, Marshall University, 1 John Marshall Drive, Huntington WV 25755-2646, or Dr. Monica García Brooks, NewsNotes Technical Editor and Associate Dean of Libraries, Marshall University,

If you would prefer to receive NewsNotes in print copy or in another format, please contact Monica. The NewsNotes archive is still located on the main page for the e-publication:

Warm regards,
The NewsNotes Editors


22nd Annual MELUS Conference March 27-30, 2008 The Blackwell Hotel & Conference Center The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

MELUS: Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S.Conference Theme: Towards a Confluence of Multi-Ethnic Arts and the University

Confirmed Speakers: Luis Rodriguez, Jr., will give a reading and workshop on Thursday, March 27, 2008. Rodriguez is the author of Music of the Mill: A Novel, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A., and The Republic of East L.A.: Stories, among other works of poetry and prose.The plenary address will be given jointly by Monica Brown and Guisela Latorre. Brown, Associate Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, is the author of Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizens in Puerto Rican, Chicano, and Chicana Narratives (U of Minnesota P, 2002) and the award-winning author of numerous multicultural children’s books. To learn more about Brown, visit Latorre, Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at The Ohio State University, is the author of Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals of California (forthcoming, U of Texas P).

All presenters, chairs, and respondents must be members of MELUS. Membership information can be found on the MELUS website: All membership registration must go directly to MELUS, not the conference organizers. Hotel rooms have been set aside at The Blackwell Hotel & Conference Center, 2110 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus, Ohio 43210, Phone: 614-247-4000, Toll Free: 866-247-4003, Fax: 614-247-4040, Mention “MELUS Conference” for the conference rate.

The Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) is served by a number of airlines, including Air Canada, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, Midwest Connect, Northwest, Skybus, Southwest, United, and US Airways.


MELUS Executive Committee Meeting
MLA Convention Chicago, Illinois
December 28, 2007
Embassy Suites Hotel

Convened: 10am

Present: Martha Cutter, Fred Gardaphe (Interim President), Wenxin Li, JoAnne Ruvoli, Derek Royal, , Jose Torres-Padilla.

1. President’s Report: Fred Gardaphe accepted interim appointment as President of MELUS.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Financial situation of organization is strong. See attached report.

3. MELUS Journal: See attached report; below are highlights.

3.1 Editor, Martha Cutter, reports that submissions are up and the acceptance rate was 10% for past year, slightly more selective than previous year (17%).

3.2 Subscriptions are generally up from 761 to 939, a 23 % increase, although library subscriptions are down.

3.3 Cutter proposes that Veronica Makowsky, former Editor of MELUS, receive a lifetime membership for her work as the journal’s editor. EC approved this motion unanimously.

3.4 EC approved $500 a year to pay graduate student to assist Book Review Editor, Betsy Huang. Prof. Huang’s institution will pay the other half of salary.

3.5 Cutter reported decrease in library subscriptions has to do with EBSCO’s “moving wall.”
EC decided to revisit issue after a year to see if subscriptions increase.

4. Programs

4.1 MELUS was represented in all relevant major literary conferences during the year, including two panels at the MLA.

4.2 In 2008, the organization will also have a panel in the 20th Century Literature Conference.

4.2 Two panels scheduled for the 2008 ALA Conference: one titled, “Immigrant Acts”: Homeland, Alienation and Citizenship in Multiethnic Literature; and the second is open.

4.3 Li will look into possible participation at American Studies Association conference.

4.4 Brigham Young University did not work out for 2009. Washington State University has stated its commitment to host the 2009 conference in conjunction with the Get Lit Literary Festival, usually convened in April. EC recommended that they submit a formal proposal with details before granting approval.

4.5 Gardaphe and Li will contact Program Committee at Ohio State to touch base on 2008 conference.

4.6 Two names proposed for Achievement Award: Juan Bruce Novoa and Gerald Vizenor.

5. Membership

5.1 Memberships are up significantly from previous year. See attached report.

5.2 After discussion, EC approved motion that any membership payment received after September 1 will be for the upcoming year.

6. Graduate Students

6.1 Panel proposal submitted and approved for the 2008 conference on the film, Shattering the Silence: The Case of Minority Faculty. Ruvoli has proposed this as a double session, one for the screening of the film, and the other for the respondent panel.

6.2 EC charged special committee, comprised of Gardaphe, Cutter and Long, to decide winners of travel award ($250) which goes to two graduate students presenting at the annual conference.

6.2 EC approved to denote said award as “The President’s Award.”

6.3 Ruvoli reported that a call for applications has been written and will be sent to graduate students soon.

7. Website

7.1 Ruvoli reports that the MELUS website has undergone several updates including the Announcement Page, the Officers Page, which now has a link to past presidents, and journal Editor Emeritus.

7.2 Still needs to be done: ongoing archival information. It has been a slow process gathering past conference programs and names of past awards winners.

8. Old Business

8.1 EC will review the approved election guidelines one more time to see if it is ready to submit to membership for approval.

8.2 Gardaphe will inquire into status of ACEE.

9. New Business

9.1 EC will review Constitution and By-Laws to see if revision is needed regarding succession to Presidency.

9.2 EC will also consider eliminating term limits for Treasurer.

Adjourned: 11:18

Respectfully submitted by

José L. Torres-Padilla

Membership Chair’s Report & Agenda Items
Prepared by Derek Parker Royal, December 2007

Reports, Accomplishments, and Issues since MELUS Conference in March

Ø Year end membership numbers are up 28.15% from what they were in 2006. This is a significant increase in membership, especially given the fact that last year this time we were down 6.75% from 2005. (see separate sheet with membership statistics)

Ø As of December 25, we already have 89 members for 2008
o Of that number, 35 have joined since 1 November, 53 are lifetime members, and 1 is institutional members
o At this time in 2006, we had 145 members joining for 2007

Ø Last printing of the MELUS brochure was March 2007. We printed 200, and we have distributed them at various conferences (e.g., MELUS, ALA, 20th-Century Literature and Culture, MLA). We still have about a third of those left over for future use.

Ø In May 2007 I designed a bookmark with the MELUS logo as well as organizational and journal information. We had 1000 of them printed up at Color It Printing. They cost just under $200. It is my belief that this is a much more cost effective means of reaching members than the brochures.

Ø Membership and the MELUS Web page
o No membership complaints on the Website. It’s always up-to-date and useful to members. Thanks JoAnne!
o I’ve updated the membership application for 2008

Ø Membership and the Annual Conference
o The 2007 annual conference was a complete success in terms of MELUS membership. I experienced almost no problems with member concerning this conference. Lok Chua went out of his way to make sure that everyone understood that conference registration and MELUS membership should be handled separately.
o I believe that most of our increase in membership for 2007—including early membership numbers beginning in late 2006—was due to the outstanding job Lok Chua and everyone at CSU-Fresno did in advertising the conference.
o Over the past few months I have been in contact with Frederick Aldama and Anne Langendorfer about the 2008 conference. I have asked them to work with me on making sure that attendees at the conference know that MELUS membership and conference fees go to two different places. I have also offered any support they might need regarding current membership information. In early fall I had to contact them about the conference CFP, since many members were contacting me asking about that information, which was as yet unavailable.

Ø Since 2005, waiving or reducing conference fees for graduate students significantly increased membership numbers. Once again, I recommend that we continue this practice, if the option continues to be financially feasible.

Ø Questions and topics for discussion (carried over from March 2007 EC meeting):
o Do we want to resurrect the possibility of a MELUS Membership Directory?
o Concerning 2009 MELUS officer elections:
§ Should we begin making plans for developing means of online voting, or stick with paper/mail-in ballots?
§ We should begin establishing an outside body of MELUS members (including at least one past EC member) to coordinate the 2009 elections.

MELUS Treasurer’s Report, December 2007
MELUS Board Meeting, Chicago, Illinois (MLA)
December 28, 2007

  • Funds reported on last financial statement, March 2007 = $68,691.74

Transactions since last statement

  • Deposits, Credits = $11,426.25
  • Checks = 6639.00
  • Paypal (minus fees of 3%) = 2931.08
  • Dividends and interest income = 1856.17
  • Debits = $1,829.02
  • 5 MELUS reimbursement checks = $1,000.00
  • MLA Board Dinner (Marie Callendar) = 171.00
  • Brochures and Printing = 658.02

Amounts in Current Accounts

  • Orrstown Bank (.10%) = 9,077.91
  • ING Direct Savings (4.5%) = 20,154.50
  • ING CD’s (5%, 4.25%) = 47,049.18
  • Paypal (4.6%) = 2,007.38

Total assets 12/21/2007 = $78,288.97

Respectfully submitted by Kim Martin Long

Statements available upon request.


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