January 03 Letter
AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MEMBERS from AMEWS President
It was terrific to see so many of you at this year's many events sponsored by our Association. Thanks for your loyal support.
This time last year I announced that I had five goals for my presidency, and I am happy to report to you on our progress during the past year.
The first goal was to work toward launching the journal with the participation and approval of the full membership. We are now well on our way to establishing an AMEWS journal. As you know, I appointed an ad hoc task force during the summer to write a proposal for the establishment of the journal. The proposal was circulated electronically in the fall and then presented at the business meeting. Those in attendance voted in favor. Since the electronic response was also good, we are now moving forward on two fronts: appointing the Editor; negotiating with potential presses. Accordingly, I have formed a Nominations Committee who will select candidates for Editor. The Committee members are Suad Joseph (chair), Marilyn Booth, Sondra Hale, Ellen Fleishman, Omnia El Shakry. The chair of the Publications Committee, Sondra Hale, will negotiate on our behalf with the presses, and also serve as liaison between the two committees.
The second goal was to extend our membership. Our numbers have risen considerably. Thanks for all you have done to recruit new members. Keep up the good work! As for the third goal, we have not yet started to coordinate activities with those of women's groups in the Middle East and North Africa, but I know that there are some plans to do so. I would like to thank our Webmaster, Marlyn Tadros, for realizing the fourth goal: the AMEWS web site (www.amews.org) is now a clearing-house for disseminating information about the Association and its activities.
The fifth goal was to revamp the annual meeting, and in November we tried an entirely new format. In brief, the changes involved moving our events to the MESA conference days with the exception of a panel on Middle Eastern women's journals that was held on the Saturday before the official conference began. We held the business meeting in the middle of our three panels in order to constitute an AMEWS mini-conference. It was a great success with each panel attracting a large audience, sometimes standing room only! Above all, we had a wonderful party, and I would like to thank Marjorie and David Ransom who generously opened their lovely home for the party on the penultimate day of the conference.
We will repeat this format next year, and so I now invite all of you to consider organizing a panel that AMEWS might sponsor!
I would like to make an announcement about the next presidency that involves a slight change that the Board of Directors approved. When Val Moghadam was elected three years ago she found herself unexpectedly unable to assume the duties of the President. That was the reason that I took over the office without a term as President-Elect. She has since agreed to serve one year of her two-year elected office after I rotate off as President after next MESA in Alaska. Janet Afary will then serve a year of her elected term. This change was made at the request of Janet Afary, the President-Elect. Janet suggested that she and Val share the two-year presidency, with Val serving as president in 2003-4 and Janet in 2004-5.
At Amaney Jamal's request, we have decided to split the office of Treasurer and Secretary. The double duty at a time when the Association is growing became too onerous. Amaney will continue as Secretary. The AMEWS nominations committee under the leadership of Marcia Inhorn is now considering candidates, and you will soon be receiving a ballot to vote for the Treasurer.
In conclusion, I would like to draw your attention to the growing presence of young scholars working in the field of Middle East women's studies. This is an important stage in the development of our scholarship and of our Association. Indeed, we want to enhance and encourage graduate student participation in AMEWS. I propose the creation of a graduate student committee (consisting of graduate students and faculty members) whose goals will include: providing better linkages between graduate students and established scholars in the field; mentoring young scholars; organizing panels for MESA. Please let me know what you think!
We are delighted to announce that the AMEWS membership the largest it has ever been. Keep up the good work!
Pay your dues!
Tell others to join!
Get your institutions to join!
Happy New Year