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Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Network: Minutes of Steering Committee Meeting, 2006


Minutes of the WAGNet meeting, held on January 28th, 2006 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Present: Denise Gimpel (Chair)-DG, Marianne Hester-MH, Maria Jaschok-MJ, Nicola Spakowski-NSp, Cecilia Milwertz-CM, Anne Gerritsen (minutes)-AG.

Apologies: Red Chan (RC), Fiona Moore (FM)

  1. Membership of the steering group
    1. We discussed what it means to be on the steering group. The discussion clarified some of the history of WAGNet, which grew out of a desire to make gender more visible among researchers who work on China, particularly at meetings of the European Association of China Studies (EACS). The general consensus was that the steering group generates ideas and initiatives, and seeks to involve the membership to implement those.
    2. We discussed current membership of the steering group, and decided to keep it as is (i.e. MJ, CM, MH, NSp, DG, AG, FM, RC). In the near future it may be possible to extend membership with an eastern Europe representative.
    3. The main tasks of the steering group include:
      1. Links with other bodies, including EACS.
      2. Organisation of graduate workshops.
      3. Maintenance of the WAGNet website and listserv.
      4. Online review journal (WAGRev, see below)
  2. Relationship between WAGNet and other professional bodies.
    1. We discussed the relationship between WAGNet and EACS. Although there is no officially established link, we see EACS as an important site for communication and interaction with others interested in China, and for raising awareness of and support for women and gender studies.
    2. The WAGNet steering group would like to continue to be involved in the choice of convenors for the gender panels at EACS conferences.
    3. We agreed that the two steering group members on the EACS Board will ask for a slot on the official schedule for the conference for the WAGNet meeting (lunchtime). Making that request, and having that noted in the minutes will help to raise awareness on the Board of WAGNet’s existence and its activities.
    4. We agreed that one of the aims of WAGNet is to create awareness of the field of women and gender in other professional bodies and organisations. One way of realising this is to have a set item for a WAGNet (steering group) meeting agenda entitled ‘relationship with other professional bodies’ (EACS, ICAS, AAS, Chinese networks?)
  3. Graduate Workshop
    1. MJ briefly discussed the history of our WAGNet workshops, and outlined the current situation. Despite our attempts to secure contacts in Budapest and other East-European locations, we have sadly not been successful. In the long term, we would still like to pursue these contacts, but for now, the steering group decided to make concrete plans for a workshop to be held in 2007 in Copenhagen or Bremen.
    2. Concretely, we decided on the following actions:
      1. DG will look into the possibility of organising this in Copenhagen, check the implications for visas and possibilities for funding (NORPLUS, CCK), and gauge departmental support.
      2. NSp will look into Bremen if Copenhagen proves not practical.
      3. MH and Rachel Murphy will look into possibilities at Bristol.
      4. As before, RC will share her extensive files on workshop organisation.
    3. From our previous experiences, we noted the following useful lessons:
      1. It helps to ask senior discussants to offer complete and written comments on the papers.
      2. It might be worthwhile considering the scheduling of more time for general discussion, or some presentation on methodology from the discussants, perhaps using a central text. There was also some suggestion of ‘writing workshops’.
      3. There has always been excellent feedback on the collegial and non-hierarchical way of all interactions at the workshops.
  4. Electronic Review Journal
    1. The WAGNet initiative to create an online Review Journal is now taking concrete shape. The name for this will be in full Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review, and for short WAGRev.
    2. NSp will serve as the WAGRev editor, and RC has offered her support. NSp’ term as editor will be for one year, and then the steering group will appoint the next editor.
    3. Practicalities and organisation.
      1. Copyright will remain with the authors of the articles. We accept that this means authors can submit them elsewhere.
      2. There will be a notification on the WAGRev webpage indicating that the views of the authors are not necessarily those of WAGNet or its steering committee.
      3. Reviews will be ordered chronologically, and retrievable from the archive through keyword searches.
      4. Once reviews are posted, there will be an online location for comment and discussion on that specific review. Comments will be delivered to NSp first, to ensure basic rules of polite interaction are preserved.
      5. Announcements of the posting of a new review will be sent to the listserv, with an embedded link to the WAGRev section of the website.
    4. Language. We decided already to have English and Chinese as review languages. Non-native speaker submissions will need checking: RC can check Chinese submissions for acceptability, and DG for English. We will not do any substantial copy-editing.
    5. Publicity.
      1. The EACS meeting in Ljubljana will be a good opportunity to announce WAGRev. Perhaps a flyer should be made for distribution and display.
      2. We will contact publishers (US, China, UK, Germany etc.) so they know about WAGRev and consider sending us titles for review.
      3. NSp will contact FM about technicalities. She will also oversee the writing of an announcement of the project in English and Chinese.
      4. g. NSp will prepare a page with guidelines (in Chinese and English) on how to submit reviews. We decided on max. 800 words for review of a monograph, max. 500 words for reviews of articles, and max. 3000 words for ‘state of the field’ articles.
    6. 5. Website/listserv.
      1. In general we are delighted with the number of members (270!) and the volume of messages sent out. MJ, FM, and our WAGNet colleague in Hong Kong, Yuen-ting Lee, do wonderful work in creating and maintaining this resource for everyone. There are, however, some possible ways of improving what we do, and we discussed those.
      2. AG will explore the possibilities with FM to create a questionnaire to find out some more information about WAGNet website and listserv usage.
      3. MJ will talk to FM about the website. They will discuss
        1. deleting some of the unused sections such as ‘reading lists’
        2. adding a counter to keep track of number of hits.
        3. adding a ‘signature’ to each WAGNet listserv. message, reminding members of how to send a message to the WAGNet listsev.
      4. We will all try to expand the number of contributors to the listserv., especially colleagues based in Asia. Specifically the following names were mentioned as those who could report back, with the initials of the person contacting them: Clara Ho (MJ), Nora Sausmikat (MJ), Yi Chou-lan (MJ), Cai Yiping (CM), and several other colleagues in China (CM).
      5. MH promised to make announcements for the Bristol Chinese Studies activities on the Listserv.
      6. DG offered to
        1. send a reminder of the WAGNet meeting at the next EACS conference to the Listserv.
        2. Email FM about putting a direct link to the EACS conference site on the WAGNet website.
    7. The future
      1. The next WAGNet meeting will be organised by the WAGNet steering group members participating in the Ljubljana conference, and open to all interested in WAGNet.
      2. The next steering group meeting should be held in Ljubljana after the general WAGNet meeting, and before everyone disperses to their own institutions.
      3. In the long term, we hope to continue to grow, to involve more members in our activities, and to create awareness of and support for women and gender in Chinese Studies.
Administrator: Maria Jaschok
Webmaster: Fiona Moore
Contact WAGNet: wagnet@herald.ox.ac.uk