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Here you can find back minutes for the R&T business meetings that are held annually at the ATHE conference in August.


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2014 R&T Business Meeting Minutes

Posted By Megan Sanborn Jones, Friday, October 17, 2014

Religion and Theatre

Focus Group Meeting

Saturday 26 July 2014


1.     Call to Order and Welcome

a.     Jill called meeting to order

b.     Outgoing remarks

                                               i.     Jill’s record and time in R&T—been with group some time

                                             ii.     Since Lance was FGR: more publications, more MD panels at ATHE

                                            iii.     Jill as FGR: antipathy towards religion was less; Lance did the telling, Jill moved to showing. Show with evidence, with examples.

1.     More MD panels

2.     Pre-conferences with other FGs

3.     Having panel attendees outside of our FG

4.     Tendency of position ourselves as outside group; religion has moved to central to larger conversations

2.     Vote to approve minutes

a.     Lance moved

b.     Claire seconded

c.     Approved

3.     Treasurer’s Report

a.     Alex remarks:

                                               i.     applied for a grant to give a student award, received the grant, will be recognizing the paper winner next year

                                             ii.     Great way to market FG

                                            iii.     Preconference occurred but paid for with preconference fees

4.     Conference planning events

a.     Claire remarks:

                                               i.     There has been an expansion of who we’re seeing at our panel events, let’s keep it going

                                             ii.     Invitation to participate in preconference on Spirituality as Critique

1.     Generative conversations

2.     Great application, collaboration, and push-back, new vocabularies and intersections

5.     Organizational Announcements from FGR

a.     Explanation of Outstanding Teaching Award

b.     Document regarding conference site selection – document will be open to general membership for comments and return to governing council for final editing and adoption

c.     Conferences:

                                               i.     2015: Montreal (Conference Theme: I Remember)

                                             ii.     2016: Chicago

d.     ATHE to work with TLA and ASTR to give award for digital scholarship

e.     766 registrants at conference

f.      Reminder to check Passports for future conferences (and remember 6 month deadline)

g.     Check out Porter Airline if you live on East coast flying to Montreal

h.     No more Listserv emails.        

                                               i.     EMAIL COMING describing new ways to keep in touch with R&T conversations

6.     Outstanding Student Award: Alex and Roy

a.     Explanation of application for funds from ATHE: first time R&T FG did this

b.     Eight applicants

c.     Scott Venters

                                               i.     Paper about 4th century Antioch and women

7.     Lionel Walsh Encouraging Conference participation in Montreal 2015—issues of religion and theatre in Quebec will be very fruitful

8.     Graduate Student Representative Report: Roy Brooks

a.     Looked to advertise and market in creative ways

                                               i.     AAR

                                             ii.     Seminaries and universities in areas around conference location

9.     Gratitude to Outgoing Offices

a.     Roy Brooks, Alex Cahill, Claire Chambers, and Jill Stevenson

b.     Presentation of Gift to Jill for her service by Claire and Megan Sanborn Jones

c.     Appreciation to incoming and continuing officers: Megan Sanborn Jones, Allan Davis, and Ben Phelan

10.  Election of New Officers

a.     Conference Planner

                                               i.     Claire Chambers nominated Allan Davis

                                             ii.     Allan Davis nominated and elected as R&T Conference Planner for 2015 and 2016

b.     Secretary

                                               i.     One year replacement election

                                             ii.     Alex Cahill nominated Roy Brooks

                                            iii.     Roy Brooks nominated and elected

c.     Treasurer

                                               i.     Lance nominated Heather Barfield

                                             ii.     Heather nominated and elected

d.     Graduate Student Representative

                                               i.     Megan nominated Alex Cahill—Alex comments interest in continuing debut panel, focusing on universities at the local in an international location

                                             ii.     Claire nominated Charlie –Charlie comments: in religious studies

                                            iii.     Alex Cahill elected 

11.  ATHE Website Features

a.     Email instruction coming

                                               i.     Shift from passive listserv to active website engagement

                                             ii.     Set profile interest settings

                                            iii.     Email digest; different modes of communication; blogs and discussions

                                            iv.     Reading Lists or Syllabus sharing on discussion forum

                                             v.     Question regarding access to information for people that are not members of ATHE: Jill will follow up based on concerns voiced by John, Lance, and Megan

b.     Biannual scholarship update:

                                               i.     Jill invited members to share their new work

                                             ii.     Megan voiced appreciation of idea—know what everyone is doing

                                            iii.     Lance—previous conversations regarding having a group bibliography, would be a great ad hoc approach to that idea

c.     What are we going to do with this group named Religion and Theatre panel?

                                               i.     Discussion of votes from previous panel (outcome: 11 votes for Religion, Theatre, and Performance; 4 votes for Religion and Theatre)

                                             ii.     Conversation regarding terms in name title

                                            iii.     Jill: Ways to move forward – someone can put a motion on the floor, this can move to the website

                                            iv.     Megan voiced appreciation of changing name to Religion Theatre and Performance because of changes in departments and field

                                             v.     Lance: Encourage moving to online discussion and vote

                                            vi.     Megan moved that we discussion on line, vote in November, take results to Governing Council (Jill to talk to Henry about what GC needs to do and when

d.     Brainstorming for advocacy—Allan

                                               i.     How can we get people who come to the debut panel to stay? What else can we do for those who don’t get into the leadership?

                                             ii.     Scott Magelsen is a one man army. Look to junior faculty because personal recommnedations from faculty will get students here. Contact junior faculty personally ? Grad students…

                                            iii.     Megan: activity keeps you active. What if we had more grad student positions, not elected positions, but allows you to come back and create more opportunities, line items for resumes.

                                            iv.     Jill: members at large for grad student engagement? For social activities?

                                             v.     Roy: getting a performer sponsored by us.

                                            vi.     Jill: paid workshops; in Montreal religion and theatre is already very prevalent.

                                          vii.     Charlie: coming from religious studies not theatre; when someone is a grad student, how get them in contact with grad student rep?

                                         viii.     Alex: separate gathering for R&T grads?

                                            ix.     ___: how does the debut panel work? Make sure

                                             x.     Megan: call it emerging scholars rather than debut panel? Open the prize up further to more students.

                                            xi.     ___: link the listserves between AAR and ATHE?

                                          xii.     Megan: have a religion and theatre sponsored panel at AAR? Need a position to organize it. Anybody at AAR could apply to be on the panel. Establish a partnership.

                                         xiii.     Jill: Need to support contingent faculty, working artists, part time. Opportunity to be a first FG to support an outstanding paper from a contingent faculty member. There is money, you have to ask for it.

                                         xiv.     Allan: how can we move discussion of part time to a center position.

                                          xv.     ___: include artists, independent scholars, those outside academia.

                                         xvi.     Jill: there is shame around it. Awarding someone says these people are part of memembership and should be supported and not left.

                                       xvii.     Heather: I work in non-profit and teach only one adjunct class…I am a disease…it would make a big difference. To have R&T take that charge speaks volumes about progressive thinking. Reach out to working artists.

                                      xviii.     Megan: If we had more money, providing subventions, travel awards for contingent faculty or independent scholars or working artisits.

                                         xix.     Heather: it is an act of compassion.

                                          xx.     Jill: it is an act of reality; how does the profession perpetuate the problems; wha t are we uncomfortable

                                         xxi.     ___: non-traditional grad students. How can you be an advocate on your campus,

                                       xxii.     Megan: that would be a good segue

e.     Brainstorming for the 2015 conference

                                               i.     Contentiousness of the conference theme—I remember or lest we forget

                                             ii.     Jill: ANYbody can put together a panel. But you have to submit by Nov 1 with participants and topics and names. Planning has to start on Monday! You can start now.

                                            iii.     Lance: doesn’t have to be a panel with papers.

                                            iv.     Alex: one stipulation is to only affiliate with two panels. You can only give a paper on two panels—clarify?

                                             v.     Jill: you can chair or do roundtables.

                                            vi.     Megan: just don’t try to hog it.

                                          vii.     Jill: you can present work and

                                         viii.     Megan: school system, have to pick French catholic or protestant or English with catholic and protestant. These are public. Private schools are either ecumenical or don’t give a religious education. Just in Montreal. What to do with this question.

                                            ix.     Heather: Comedy and religion, because it is such the butt of jokes.

                                             x.     Jill: How about "God that’s funny”

                                            xi.     Guillermo: I know someone on the Christian  comedy circuit.

                                          xii.     Megan: a panel about the realities of non-traditional grad students. Kelly agrees

                                         xiii.     Roy: Promote online what people are working on? Interviews? Like with R&T scholars and do promotionals. Creative video conversations online?

                                         xiv.     Megan: that could be a panel on featuring new work.

                                          xv.     Lance: TED as religion. NYT article on TED talks

                                         xvi.     Peter: Iconography and memory.

                                       xvii.     Claire: anamnesis; "do this in memory of me”

                                      xviii.     Kelly: civil religion; nationhood

                                         xix.     Cliare; educate ourselves about first Nations practices and spritualities

                                          xx.     Lance; there’s a play about Bishop Romero. Keep telling stories. So many sotires about religion in this country are BAD.there are other stories that need to be told. Various organizations that are helping and serving children coming into this country from Central America. Religions in forefront of civil rights in 1960s. Religion for source of social change, good, cohesion.

                                         xxi.     Jill; Testimony as performance as memory. Adds something urgent. Invite a performer. Wonderful dynamic.

                                       xxii.     Heather: Wendy Davis filibuster, fighting religious right in Texas; infiltrates political and personal sphere.

                                      xxiii.     Guillermo: When did theatre stop being religion? I want a panel on this.

                                      xxiv.     Allan: Question for the last couple of minutes. Preconference ideas? Perhaps Theatre history, or Theatre and Social Change?

                                       xxv.     Jill: usually do it every other year.

                                      xxvi.     Peter: Interactive theatre committee that we could partner with?

                                    xxvii.     Lance: I think it’s their first year.

                                   xxviii.     Megan: Now who do I talk to? Who else? Email us! 

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