2013 San Diego Minutes
1. Welcoming remarks by Mark Elliott on the reasons behind the founding of the Manchu Studies Group.
2. New Business
a. Organizational goals and bylaws introduced
b. Discussion of bylaws
• Some participants expressed mixed feelings about the Chinese title of the organization, arguing that it doesn’t reflect the inclusiveness of the English version. One participant noted that her research is on Manchu authors who wrote in Chinese and that the Chinese title does not seem to reflect this type of research. Another participant expressed disagreement, noting that lishi 歷史 in the title makes it clear that it does. Subsequently, other possible titles were discussed, but ultimately it was agreed that the Chinese title should remain as it is. It was noted that although Manchu language is an important element of MSG, the organization does not aim to exclude research that does not depend on Manchu-language sources.
• Member dues decided: $40 faculty, $20 students
c. Vote on ratification of bylaws
d. Officer responsibilities summarized, candidates stand for election
e. Election of officers
President: Mark C. Elliott
Secretary-Treasurer: Elif Akçetin
Website Editor: Devin Fitzgerald
Publications Editor: Benjamin Levey and Matthew Mosca
3. Website review
Devin Fitzgerald introduced the website, noting that there has been an amazing amount of international interest (as demonstrated by the hits on the site). Some of the points made:
• open source digital publication is very important –> to bring research to a wider audience
• the blog –> to enable active participation in the project
• Any ideas, information related to exhibitions (a good example is Traumatic arts), online sources, etc. should be sent to Devin
• the language primer: should this be only for members or the public? No conclusion was reached.
4. Open discussion of the direction of Manchu studies
Mark Elliott opened discussion and elicited response from the audience on what can be done as a group:
• Panels at the AAS and conferences
An application was made to ACLS/Henry Luce for funding “Translating Manchu in the Qing”. We will hear from them sometime in May.
• Various participants suggested the following thematic groupings that would be influential in shaping the future of Manchu studies: Frontier history; Manchu customs; art history and material culture (obviously not limited to these themes only)
• Mark Elliott drew attention to the fact that the debates in the last few years on sinicization and the response in China to NQH provide a crucial platform to rethink the field.
• Saksaha, a key publication that will bring cutting edge research to a wider audience (can include articles in Chinese as well, not confined to English only)
5. Concluding remarks