Newsletter of the Literary and Theatrical Studies section#

January 2015#

Dear colleagues, dear AE members of the Section for Literary and Theatrical Studies, This is first full week of 2015. I wish you all a happy New Year and hope you return to work and your other activities with new energy and inspiration. In this newsletter I will share some exiting news with you on the Academia and also remind you of an important task for which I sincerely hope for your assistance: the nomination of new members, a core function of all academies.

I also want to welcome two new members of our Committee, profs. Lucia Boldrini, Goldsmith London University, and Susana Onega, Zaragoza University. From Jan 1st 2015 they replace profs. Timothy Mathews and Theo D’Haen who are rotating out by the end of their term.

1) Nomination: Our section has grown over the last 3-4 years with a good influx of new members, also lowering the average age profile of the section and including a broader representation of the European continent. But there is still work to be done to create a section the mirrors what and where we have colleagues of excellence. So, please be active and nominate excellent colleagues before the deadline April 30 2015. All you will have to do is to use the nomination form on the website: where you click on the image called ‘Nominations’. There you will find the form and the necessary information about how to proceed. Please, remember to briefly state the case why this candidate has the excellence to obtain membership. I have already received one nomination and have talked with some members about potential candidates they may propose.

2) Classes: As you have all seen in President Sierd Cloetingh’s newsletter before X-mas, the Academia has established a new organisation of the sections in four classes. One goal is to change the nomination process after the proposals have been received from you. The section chairs of each class will make a joint list to the board and council of the Academia after the usual ranking in the section Committees. For the first two years the board of AE has appointed interim class chairs to make the transition to the new structure and then there will an election among the membership for the first ordinary class chairs. I will serve as interim chair of the Class of Arts and Letters, comprising the present sections of Linguistics, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Classical Studies, History and Archaeology, Musicology and Visual Arts and our own section.

3) New section/Media Studies: Another goal is to foster a discussion on how new or absent disciplines in the Humanities and neighbouring areas can be better reflected in the structure of sections. In January 2014 the AE board accepted my proposal for the creation of a new section on Media Studies, an area we have missed in the Academia. I have waited to begin the process until it was clear if the new class structure would be decided. I will approach members to discuss how to set up this section, in consultation with the Social Science Class.

4) New initiatives for members: The third but not the least important goal is to enhance membership interaction:

a) New project across the sections: To exploit the possibilities of cross-sectional collaboration opened by the new class structure, Prof. Cinzia Ferrini, Trieste (Philosophy) has suggested a theme of Cultural Difference. Her proposal is attached and some sections and individual members have already sent proposals. The intention is not to start a brand new project but to activate your ongoing projects of various types also in the context of the Academia and use the synergy offered by your colleagues here. A more precise theme and the form of the output for our section can be discussed – meetings, exchange of manuscripts, collaboration between existing projects, contributions to the annual conference, a publication etc. One member from the section will coordinate with the other sections. My suggestion for a sub-title is “Limits of Humanity” –there is a growing interest in the interface of humans and technology, in trauma studies, in imagery of enemies, and in mythology of monsters, in …. Please, contact me if you are interested and also are willing to coordinate.

b) Endorsement: Some members have asked for support for ongoing projects in 2012 and 2014 (Naomi Segal/Birkbeck, Monika Fludernik/Freiburg, Susana Onega/Zaragoza, Patrizia Lombardo/Geneva with Lars Sætre/Bergen). After consultation with the Committee I have sent an endorsement to our four colleagues. You can see links to the four endorsed projects on the AE website. Please, contact me if you want to apply for an endorsement. It does not mean direct financial support. However, with the 3 Knowledge Hubs (Wroclaw, Barcelona, Bergen) an endorsement may open for collaboration with the Hub in your region. Also, a letter of endorsement will allow you to 1) refer to the Academia when you apply for funding, 2) use the logo of the Academia for the project or the event. (You can get the logo from the AE London office (write to David Coates (David Coates, 3) use the AE website for announcements, 4) direct information to the AE membership via the AE secretariat.

c) New fund: The Academia relies on membership the donations only and is not rich. But the finances of the Academia have slowly been improving after the crisis in 2008-2009 and a small New Initiatives Fund will new announced in January on the website. Members can apply and a committee will select those who will receive up to €5,000.

d) Darmstadt: For a number of years our section has organised panels at the annual conferences of the Academia, which will also happen at the coming conference in Darmstadt, September 2015. I will come back to this event in later newsletters.

With best regards – please, reinact particular to #1: nomination and #4a: Prof. Ferrini’s proposal.

Svend Erik Larsen
Section Chair Literary and Theatrical Studies
Interim Class Chair Arts and Letters

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