2003 Minutes

Minutes of the 2003 Rousseau Association Business Meeting

St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, June 28, 2003

The meeting, held at the end of the Association’s Thirteenth Biennial Colloquium, was attended by John T. Scott, President of the Rousseau Association; Byron Wells, Vice President; Laurence Cooper, Secretary-Treasurer; Ourida Mostefai, Director of Publications; and approximately fifteen non-officers.

The minutes of the 2001 Business Meeting were approved.

Laurence Cooper gave the Secretary-Treasurer’s report. Regarding membership: The Association lists 87 members who have paid dues in the last year, and another 38 who have paid dues two years ago but not in the last year. Regarding finances: As of April 30, i.e. immediately prior to our receipt of colloquium fees and to our mailing the 2003 dues solicitation, the Association’s assets totaled $4,471.15. None of this money will be needed to cover costs from the Oxford colloquium.

Chris Bertram proposed that the Association collect members’ dues electronically, perhaps through Paypal. Discussion ensued. Laurence Cooper agreed to investigate the possibilities and to move toward implementing this reform.

John Scott reported on the pending publication of the papers presented at the 2001 Montreal colloquium in a volume edited by Claude Dauphin. Hoping to gain a larger readership than past volumes, the Association has arranged to have the Montreal papers published as a volume in the Studies in Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century series (SVEC). Only minor editorial work remains to be done, though no publication date has yet been set. Discussions are underway regarding the best way to make the forthcoming volume available to Association members. The Association plans to purchase volumes at a reduced rate and distribute them to members. (Members will need to have paid dues the preceding two years (i.e. 2003-2004) in order to receive copies as part of their membership dues.) The cost of the volume will depend on the number of hours of editorial and production work. Regarding the prospect of publishing future volumes as part of the SVEC series, it was noted that there are both advantages and disadvantages to this course. The chief advantages are the wider dissemination of members’ work, gains in quality of scholarship, and greater ease of distribution. Among the possible disadvantages are that SVEC’s outside readers will be able to reject papers and that SVEC’s editors may wish to request contributions to the volumes by contributors who have not participated in the Association’s colloquia. The sense of the officers and members present was that the benefits outweigh the potential disadvantages.

Discussion was held regarding the publication of the volume of papers from the Oxford colloquium:

  • As was the case with the Montreal volume, participation in the colloquium will not guarantee publication of one’s paper in the resulting volume. For this reason the organizers of the colloquium accepted only very good paper proposals, ones they thought would be likely to be accepted for publication.
  • Those whose papers will be published will receive specific instructions regarding format, etc.
  • Regarding the length of the volume and of the papers: longer papers will now be permitted, indeed, encouraged or required.
  • Officers and members expressed general satisfaction with these new arrangements. Technical questions were asked and answered.
  • Christopher Kelly led the membership in thanking John Scott and Ourida Mostefai for their years of hard and successful work on these new publication arrangements.

Officers were elected for two-year terms: John Scott, President; Byron Wells, Vice President; Laurence Cooper, Secretary-Treasurer; John O’Neal, Program Chair; and Ourida Mostefai, Director of Publications.

Regarding other publications:

  • The Bulletin which the Association formerly published became very expensive to produce and required much work. There is some interest in starting an electronic journal.
  • A new URL for the Association’s website would be desirable. (Currently the site is hosted by Wabash College.) This would require a new domain name and a new host server. Members were asked for assistance in this area. Ourida Mostefai volunteered to update the website. Zev Trachtenberg volunteered to attain a new domain name and account/server.
  • The officers will investigate a joint electronic project with the Voltaire Foundation.

Arrangements were made for the 2005 colloquium: John O’Neal volunteered to coordinate the colloquium, to be held at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. The subject of the colloquium will be the Rêveries du promeneur solitaire/Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Details will be posted on the website. Alexandra Cook volunteered to organize some botanical activities and asked for assistance from others.

Discussion was begun regarding the 2007 colloquium. Michael O’Dea agreed to coordinate the meeting (with others) in Lyon, France. A possible topic is “Rousseau et les philosophes.”