Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 12:00pm
New Orleans , Louisiana
Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 9:00am
Arlington , Virginia

The 2019 SHAFR Annual Meeting will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel in Arlington, Virginia (Washington, D.C. area) from 20-22 June 2019.


     Rates increase after June 1

Conference Program (6 May 2019)

Participants are also invited to register to participate in the Pre-Conference Workshop on Historians and Public Engagement, which will be held at Georgetown University on June 18-19.  [Registration required by May 15]


Call for Papers [Deadline: 1 December 2018]


Looking forward to SHAFR 2019?  You can go ahead and book your room online now at the SHAFR Conference special rate of $175/night.  Rooms must be reserved by May 30, 2019, and in past years our rooms have sold out well ahead of that date.

A hospitality suite has been reserved for participants with infants and young children to access throughout the conference.

If you are seeking a roommate to share the cost of lodging, please contact [email protected].

Social Event:

The social event for the 2019 conference will be on Friday, June 21st at the Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Arlington (picture below), a short walk from the Renaissance Arlington Hotel.  Please plan to join us.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 8:00am

SHAFR Council Meeting Minutes
Thursday, June 20, 2019

8:00 AM-12:45 PM

Boardroom, Arlington Renaissance Capital View
Arlington, Virginia

This meeting was held in accordance with SHAFR By Laws.

Council Members Present: Barbara Keys (presiding), Vivien Chang, Matthew Connelly, Mary Dudziak, Peter Hahn, Kristin Hoganson, Julia Irwin, Andrew Johns, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Brian McNamara, Lien-Hang Nguyen, Amy Sayward (ex officio), and Kelly Shannon.

Council Members Absent: David Engerman and Kathryn Statler

Others Present: Anne L. Foster, Petra Goedde, Antonia Javier, Savitri Maya Kunze, Julie Laut, and Patricia Thomas

General Business

SHAFR President Barbara Keys called the meeting to order at 8:00 am. Keys welcomed the Council and thanked outgoing Council members Matthew Connelly, David Engerman, and Julia Irwin; Amy Sayward, George Fujii, and conference organizers Julie Laut and Amanda Bundy for their hard work organizing the 2019 Annual Meeting, along with Program Committee Co-Chairs Kaeten Mistry and Jay Sexton; and Passport editor Andrew Johns and outgoing Diplomatic History editorial team Anne Foster and Nick Cullather for their contributions and service to these publications and to the Society.

Julie Laut, Conference Coordinator, joined Council to present a brief oral report on the annual SHAFR conference.

Executive Director Amy Sayward noted that since the January 2019 meeting, Council had approved the following motions via correspondence: the minutes of the January 2019 meeting; SHAFR participation in action to promote the creation and preservation of historical diplomatic records; and the implementation of training regarding, and arrangements for, the sexual harassment/misconduct policy at the 2019 SHAFR Conference. With regard to the latter issue, Council had discussed and voted to approve three measures proposed by Keys: (1) hiring consultant Sherry Marts to advise on the handling of any complaints during the conference; (2) formation of a Conference Code of Conduct Task Force; and (3) provision of sexual harassment training to Council and Task Force members before the conference. Council votes were: for (1), unanimously in favor (14-0-0); for (2) 12 for, 1 against, and 1 abstaining; and for (3) 12 for, 1 against, and 1 abstaining.

Financial Matters

Sayward presented financial reports for the first six months of the current fiscal year and the proposed FY2019-20 budget with input from Peter Hahn as chair of the Ways & Means Committee, which had met the previous evening. Both Sayward and Hahn noted the expected deficit in this and in future fiscal years that would create budget constraints in upcoming years. Hahn suggested that Council will need to consider efforts to trim expenses and increase revenues, including possible membership fee increases, conference registration fee increases, reduced spending on communications, and enhanced development initiatives. Hahn proposed that no call for proposals for a Summer Institute after 2020 be made and instead that the Summer Institutes be placed on indefinite suspension. After careful deliberation, Hahn motioned to approve the FY2019-20 budget, Brian McNamara seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously (12-0-0).

Council took up the proposal for a Second Book Workshop and Writing Retreat from the Women in SHAFR Committee. The Council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal (12-0-0).

Keys proposed the creation of a task force to develop criteria to help frame decisions on which activities and external groups SHAFR sponsors, endorses, or funds.

Personnel Matters

Sayward introduced a recommendation for a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Conference Consultant Amanda Bundy for 2019-2020, including bonuses for the Conference Consultant and Conference Coordinator following the conference. Mary Dudziak offered a friendly amendment to allow the Executive Director and President to negotiate the MOA for up to three years, which Sayward approved. Council indicated its support of these recommendations.

Keys introduced her proposal for annual performance reviews of salaried non-editorial staff. McNamara suggested that the procedure be added to relevant MOAs. Dudziak asked whether the evaluation should be completed annually or every other year. In response, Sayward explained, and Hahn concurred, that because Council is asked annually to approve renewals and stipend amounts, it makes sense to complete annual evaluations.

Keys introduced for discussion the Executive Director evaluation, during which Sayward recused herself. Council discussed the important, demanding, and multifaceted role the Executive Director plays and offered recognition and great appreciation for the work that Sayward has done and continues to do in the position. Council noted that previously there had been an assistant to the Executive Director and that the extent of the job seemed to warrant continuing use of the new assistant Sayward has recently retained. Dudziak suggested that a task force could investigate how the work of Executive Director might be restructured in the future to make the position more sustainable, a suggestion with which Council concurred. Hahn made a motion to approve the three recommendations put forward in the Executive Director evaluation with slight revisions: first, that SHAFR carry out a review of the position no later than June 2022; second, that Sayward’s contract as Executive Director be extended for two years to August 30, 2022; and third, that Sayward receive a bonus of $3,000 in 2020 and in 2021. Connelly seconded Hahn’s motion, and Council voted unanimously in favor (12-0-0).

Information Technology (IT) and Web-Related Matters

Council reviewed the Web Committee Report and expressed support for the Committee’s proposal to create a LinkedIn community page for SHAFR.

Council reviewed IT Director George Fujii’s Report. Council noted the timeline for the required website overhaul. Kristin Hoganson suggested that Council create a task force on communications generally that would situate the web-redesign process in a larger context, which received general support from Council.

Publications-Related Matters

Anne Foster, current co-editor of Diplomatic History, and Petra Goedde, incoming co-editor as of July 1, joined the meeting to discuss their report on the previous year and the transition as the journal moved to joint administration between Temple University and Indiana State University. Foster highlighted the draft MOUs with Temple, Indiana State, and the editorial staff. She noted that future e-mail correspondence to the journal will be sent to [email protected]. Foster also emphasized the role her current co-editor, Nick Cullather, has played in ensuring that the journal has run smoothly during the five years he served as editor for Diplomatic History while also holding a demanding administrative position that prevented him from using the teaching relief and other funding budgeted for the journal. Dudziak suggested passing a resolution to thank Cullather for his role as editor of Diplomatic History and for his service to SHAFR. Council members agreed that such a thanks would be in order. Hoganson asked about whether the incoming editors had plans to publish closer to their page budget, and Foster explained that the team has ideas about publishing more state-of-the-field and invited contributions. Council asked whether the editors favored inclusion of a Gold Open Access option. Foster and Goedde recommended that Council make a decision in consultation with Oxford University Press.

Patricia Thomas and Antonia Javier of Oxford University Press Journals joined the meeting for a discussion of their report. Thomas noted that Diplomatic History could have an online-only subscription option for 2020. She also suggested that Oxford would be able to send a follow-up email to members who did not renew by a certain point in the year. Keys raised the issue of Gold Open Access. Thomas noted that Gold Open Access has been an option for some Oxford Journals for several years, because some research funding has become contingent on publishing funded research in fully open-access format. Thomas noted there were different types of licenses under which a journal article can offer Gold Open Access and recommended CC BY-NC-ND (Creative Commons: attribution, non-commercial, no derivatives) as a potentially good option for Diplomatic History. She noted that most comparable journals charged $3,000 per article for Gold Open Access and that price did not seem to influence uptake. Council members queried whether offering this option would lead to inequities; Keys responded that because the open access requirement came from funding agencies, only scholars with research grants needed to take up this option, though she noted that it was possible the UK’s Research Excellence Framework might impose an open access requirement uniformly. Adriane Lentz-Smith moved that SHAFR proceed with the Gold Open Access under the CC BY-NC-ND license for a fee of $3,000. Hoganson seconded the motion, which passed with eleven votes in favor and one abstention (11-0-1).

Council discussed the Passport report, submitted by its editor, Andrew Johns; supplemental information from Keys that noted that 36 of the last 37 stand-alone book reviews were of books by men, a trend that had become more pronounced since Council first expressed concern over the gender proportion in January 2018; and a response from Johns discussing the challenges around stand-alone book reviews. Dudziak emphasized the importance of actively reorienting priorities to successfully move toward gender equity. Johns noted that the stand-alone book reviews started five years ago as a means of reviewing more books than Diplomatic History was able to given its page limits. He said that Passport continued to consider books Diplomatic History was unable to review but that in the five years since beginning the stand-alone book reviews, publishers have stopped sending as many books to the journal. Johns emphasized that it would be prohibitively time-consuming to seek out books to review, considering the many other kinds of articles Passport publishes. Julia Irwin suggested that perhaps books could be selected for review by coordinating with SHAFR’s book prize committees. A number of Council members echoed support for the idea that book reviews might best be spread among a team of people or delegated to a book review editor. Dudziak suggested that the issue be taken up by the upcoming communications taskforce, an idea Council members supported. Council members also expressed recognition that Johns had greatly expanded the scope of Passport during his tenure as editor and commended his contributions to the publication. Keys reiterated the importance of taking pro-active steps to ensure that the books reviewed reflect SHAFR’s membership, noting that the substantial amount of work to solicit book reviews might be alleviated by hiring a book review editor. 

Conference-Related Matters

Keys and Irwin presented a preliminary report on plans for the SHAFR 2022 conference. Irwin stated that a task force was in the process of looking into hosting the annual SHAFR meeting outside the continental United States in 2022, including reviewing a bid to host it in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Council discussed the possibility of formalizing a call for proposals that would go out annually in June, with a clause for SHAFR 2022 noting that areas outside the continental United States would be encouraged to apply. Council generally agreed that asking the Conference Committee to help formalize the requirements for bids might improve the bidding process.

Hoganson presented a preliminary report on SHAFR 2020 in New Orleans. She noted that the conference would be at the Westin Canal Place Hotel, the opening reception would take place at the National World War II Museum, and the theme of the conference would be “Gulfs, Seas, Oceans, and Empires.”

Membership Matters

Keys presented her proposal to establish a committee on the job crisis in academia. Council agreed about the need for such a committee considering the state of the present academic job market.

Keys opened discussion of the Membership Committee’s report on By Law changes by explaining that she had tasked the Committee with looking into membership ramifications of the new conference code of conduct. The Committee’s report reviewed possible changes to the membership section of the By Laws, including the addition of a new section articulating the grounds, procedure, and implications of exclusion or suspension from SHAFR as well as a definition of the meaning of “good standing.” The Membership Committee report noted that the by-laws provision detailing the duties of Council would also require amendment if suspension and expulsion are contingent upon a Council vote. Council agreed that a task force should carefully consider the alternatives and present proposals to Council in the future.

Council then considered Keys’s proposals for three by-law changes: (1) to change the term “Vice President” to “Vice President/President-Elect,” for greater accuracy and for clarity in external communications; (2) to have the presidency begin on November 1 rather than January 1 in order to allow the new president more time to prepare for the annual January Council meeting; and (3) to remove the outdated requirement that Program Committees have only five members. Kelly Shannon moved to approve these proposals. Lentz-Smith seconded, and the motion received unanimous support (12-0-0).

Council reviewed the Graduate Student Committee report. Keys commended Cindy Ewing, chair of the Graduate Student Committee, for her leadership and thanked the committee for its contribution to SHAFR, noting that the value of this new Committee was being demonstrated by several new initiatives at the conference, including a happy hour and staffing at a welcome table.

Other Reports

Sayward presented the Executive Director report, particularly highlighting that the digitization of past issues of Passport was almost complete.

Lien-Hang Nguyen and Lentz-Smith provided a report on the work of the Committee on Minority Historians. They noted that Christopher Fisher and Perin Gurel will co-chair the Committee next year. They also noted the Committee had organized a conference panel this year on “Decolonizing SHAFR.”

Council reviewed Richard Immerman’s report on the Historical Documentation Committee. Council expressed deep concern about the ongoing state of affairs at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), noting among other issues the cessation of systematic declassification at presidential libraries, which means that only Mandatory Declassification Review requests will result in declassification of documents at those archives. Council agreed that SHAFR should collaborate with other historical organizations with an interest in protecting NARA to help lobby for, among other things, increased funding.

Lentz-Smith motioned to end the meeting, seconded by Irwin; Council unanimously approved the motion. Minutes were taken by Savitri Maya Kunze.

Friday, January 4, 2019 - 8:00am

SHAFR Council Meeting Minutes
Friday, 4 January 2019
8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Palmer House Hilton, Indiana Room
Chicago, Illinois

Council Members Present: 
Barbara Keys (presiding), Vivien Chang, Mary Dudziak, David Engerman, Kristin Hoganson, Julia Irwin, Andrew Johns, Adriane Lentz-Smith, Brian McNamara, Lien-Hang Nguyen, Amy Sayward (ex officio), and Kelly Shannon  Council Members Absent: Matthew Connelly, Peter Hahn, and Kathryn Statler

Others Present: 
Nick Cullather, Anne L. Foster, Savitri Maya Kunze, Ilaria Scaglia, and PatriciaThomas

Introductory Business: 
SHAFR President Barbara Keys called the meeting to order at 8:00 am. Keys welcomed the Council, briefly outlined meeting business, and thanked retiring members Terry Anderson, Amy Greenberg, Amanda Demmer, and Tim Borstelmann.  

Executive Director Amy Sayward noted that since the June 2018 meeting, Council had approved the following items via correspondence: minutes of June 2018 Council meeting; motions related to matters of concern following the annual meeting; contracts for the SHAFR 2020, 2021, and 2023 conferences; and a survey of the membership regarding the advocacy issue. There was no further discussion. 

Diplomatic History Business:

Nominees for Editorial Board

Keys introduced the nominees put forward by the editors of Diplomatic History for the editorial board: Max Friedman, Erez Manela, and Joy Schulz. The new editorial board nominees would serve terms from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2021. Brian McNamara motioned to approve the editors’ nominees for the editorial board, David Engerman seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously (11-0-0).
Scholarly Debate and Norms of Professional Conduct in SHAFR Publications 

Council had a lengthy discussion about the norms of scholarly publishing as they are implemented in SHAFR publications, including the format for debates, decision-making policies and adherence to them, and civility and respect. Council emphasized the place of the Stuart L. Bernath Prize and Presidential lectures in Diplomatic History, noting that the journal publishes them without peer review, thus setting them apart from other types of contributions. Council also noted the importance of asking the incoming DH editors to adhere to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) recommendations. 

Editors’ Report 

Anne L. Foster and Nick Cullather, editors of Diplomatic History, joined Council to discuss their editors’ report. Conversation focused on the editorial processes used in relation to unsolicited rebuttals published in the journal and on adherence to the policies on the DH website, and stressed the importance of adhering to usual practice of seeking more than one external review of unsolicited essays. Council suggested, and the editors agreed, that when a response to an article published in a subsequent issue of the journal, the website should include a link to the response with the original article (or some other indication that the article was followed by a response).

Publisher’s Report

Patricia Thomas, Executive Editor, US Humanities Journals at  Oxford University Press, joined Council to discuss the publisher’s report. She pointed out that the new Oxford University Press browser platform had successfully brought more traffic to their journals’ websites. She also noted the success of the cross-journal digital collection of articles (a “virtual issue”) on the intersection of history and food. Both Thomas and Council expressed enthusiasm for pursuing other such digital collaborations in the future. 

Mary Dudziak brought up a matter that SHAFR leadership has raised previously with OUP: how a SHAFR demographic survey of its membership could interface with Oxford University Press, suggesting that after the membership sign-up process, the press website could link members directly to a SHAFR website so that the Society would be able to collect relevant information. The Council as a whole affirmed the importance of this measure. Council also affirmed the need to add an ethics agreement as a mandatory aspect of the membership sign-up process. 

There was also discussion of how funds would be divided (between membership fees and subscription fees) under the new publisher’s contract. Engerman requested and Thomas agreed to provide a model based on the previous year’s numbers that the Executive Director and Council could use for future financial planning.

Conference Business:

Bids for Conference Coordinator

Council discussed the status of the conference coordinator vacancy and offered support for Sayward’s efforts to move forward with the process in a timely way.

Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and Procedure

Julia Irwin presented the report that she and Brian DeLay had compiled in their capacities as co-chairs of the Task Force on Conference Conduct. The task force was created in late October in response to former SHAFR President Peter Hahn’s request to discuss safeguards SHAFR should adopt to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct at the annual conference. Irwin explained the importance of creating two documents: a public-facing policy statement on sexual harassment and misconduct and an internal document of procedures.
Council commended the task force’s work in researching and creating the policy and procedural documents on sexual misconduct and harassment. Council members expressed general approval of the public-facing document. Kelly Shannon asked if the public-facing document could include a definition of consent. She emphasized the importance of spelling out explicitly, in language that might mirror that used on U.S. college campuses, that if a person is impaired or physically incapacitated, they are unable to give consent. Council agreed that this addition would be in the best interest of promoting a productive and safe environment in future conference settings. Other small changes to the draft document included a deadline for the annual report and changing the “Title IX” wording to be more reflective of campus policies beyond the United States.  Engerman moved that the amended policy draft be adopted, pending approval by SHAFR legal counsel. McNamara seconded the motion, which passed unanimously (11-0-0).

Council then turned to discuss the procedural document regarding conference conduct. Members were in general agreement that it would be helpful if a third-party individual, outside of SHAFR (such as a professional ombudsperson), could be available during the annual conference to act as a resource for conference participants. Returning to the public-facing document, Keys suggested that Council add another friendly amendment to the report that would remove the formal requirement of having an ombudsperson onsite, rather than accessible in some way, during the conference. Council agreed to formalize the internal procedural document via e-mail correspondence in consultation with legal counsel so that the procedural document would be in place by the June annual meeting. 

Dudziak noted that the additional requirement that all SHAFR members agree to ethics standards would likely require a change to membership requirements in the by-laws. Council agreed to place the item on the agenda for the June 2019 meeting and suggested that it could create a task force to review the by-laws and recommend needed changes. Council also agreed that all conference participants would need to accept the terms of the sexual harassment and misconduct policy before they could complete their registration for the conference. 

Financial Business

Overall Financial Picture

Sayward presented her financial reports to Council and summarized what SHAFR had spent in the previous fiscal year. She noted that the previous work of Council accounted for the good financial position that SHAFR found itself in during the past fiscal year and that the budget estimate for the fiscal year that had just started on November 1 indicated a small projected surplus.   

Keys, in presenting the work of the Ways & Means Committee (which had met the previous evening), expressed the committee’s views that any further decisions about significant budget adjustments could be deferred until there was clarity in how the new Oxford contract would divide the membership/subscription rates. Following that, Council could choose to trim the budget, to adjust its endowment spending rule (for example, raising it from 3% to 4%), to adjust its membership rates, or to continue holding its present course.

Dudziak moved that Council approve a 2% cost-of-living adjustment for IT Director George Fujii. Shannon seconded the motion, which passed unanimously (11-0-0).

Pre-Conference Public Engagement Workshop Proposal

Keys introduced a proposal from Kelly McFarland, the Director of Programs and Research Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, which the Ways & Means Committee had considered previously. The proposal requested a contribution of $1,000-$2,000 to help defer travel and hotel costs for SHAFR members who attend the Institute’s pre-conference public engagement workshop. It also asked for SHAFR’s assistance in publicizing the event and registering participants, similar to the ways in which SHAFR had supported the Miller Center’s 2017 workshop. The motion that SHAFR contribute $1,000 was made by Adriane Lentz-Smith, seconded by Andrew Johns, and approved unanimously (11-0-0).

Membership Rates

Council then discussed the possibility of raising membership rates for SHAFR for the 2020 renewal cycle. Council noted a number of items in favor of and against such a change. Sayward noted that SHAFR membership now included access to the online SHAFR Guide, which in the past year was only available to members for a fee. Council members agreed that this benefit increased the value of SHAFR membership but decided to postpone a vote on membership rate increases for the coming year (noting that May is the deadline each year for notifying Oxford of membership rate increases). 

Summer Institute Proposals 

Council then discussed the proposals that it had received for a 2019 or 2020 SHAFR Summer Institute. (Sayward recused herself given her involvement in one of the proposals.) After expressing general praise for the merits of both proposals, Council examined the funding structures and resources detailed in each proposal. Lentz-Smith motioned to support the “Women in the World” Summer Institute proposal. Lien-Hang Nguyen seconded the proposal, which passed with ten votes in favor and one abstention (10-0-1). 

Endowed Prize Policy

Keys introduced the draft “Endowed Prize Policy.” Council expressed its commitment to covering a specific prize amount regardless of the earnings in any given year. It reached consensus that the Endowed Prize Policy should follow the endowment spending rule and be part of SHAFR’s endowment fund, except in exceptional circumstances, such as the Bernath endowment. Sayward agreed to revise the draft policy in line with these recommendations.

Additional Business:

Report from Committee on Women in SHAFR
Ilaria Scaglia joined the meeting on behalf of the Committee on Women in SHAFR to present “The Status of Women in Diplomatic and International History, 2013-2017: A Follow-up Report.” She discussed how the Committee on Women in SHAFR had focused its attention on how best to offer broad support to women in the field. She specifically suggested initiating a mentorship program and some type of grant or workshop to assist members in working toward completion of their second monograph. Council members praised the report, particularly the compilation of data on women in SHAFR. They agreed with the committee’s recommendations and indicated their support for implementing a mentorship program and a second-book workshop. 

Clarification of Advocacy By-Law Vote

Sayward’s presentation of her Executive Director’s report highlighted the first-ever vote by the membership on whether to support an advocacy issue under the new by-law amendment. Noting that at least one member had requested the option of abstaining, she asked for guidance on the question of whether members should have the option to abstain (in addition to the option to vote “yes” or “no” to support the advocacy being promoted) and whether an abstention would count as part of the 30% of the membership that had to vote in order for SHAFR to take a public stand. Dudziak moved to add abstention as an option for such online voting and moved that members deciding to vote “abstain” would count toward meeting the quorum required by the by-laws.  Shannon seconded the motion, which passed with ten votes in favor and one vote against (10-1-0).

Formation of a Membership Sub-Committee for Two-Year and Community College Faculty

After reviewing the report and recommendation of the Membership Committee, Council supported the creation of a Sub-Committee for Community-College and Two-Year College Faculty Members within the existing Membership Committee and encouraged the President and Vice-President to take steps to create the sub-committee.

Teaching Committee Report and Voices & Visions Project Proposal

As part of its written report, the Teaching Committee endorsed a proposal related to Voices and Visions, an on-going, primary-source project of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The proposal recommended a formal connection between SHAFR and Voices and Visions. Sayward noted that the project’s organizers had volunteered to attend the Council meeting in person to discuss the proposal. Dudziak expressed the opinion that the Web and Teaching committees should be involved in a discussion about the merits of the proposal. McNamara expressed the consensus that Council request a more in-depth proposal from Voices and Visions that would specifically indicate how SHAFR’s partnership would be qualitatively different for SHAFR members than the current link under the “Teaching” section of the SHAFR website.  


After Johns recused himself, Council members expressed concern about the gender distribution of the authors/editors of books reviewed in Passport, which had also been noted in the report by the Committee on Women in SHAFR and by Council in its January 2018 meeting. The consensus was that the SHAFR President should request the Passport editor to include in the regular June 2019 report on Passport an indication of how this issue was being addressed. 

McNamara motioned to adjourn at 1:00 pm, Engerman seconded, and the motion was approved unanimously (10-0-0).