Letter from Executive and Advisory Boards

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the new IAGS Executive and Advisory Boards, we would like to convey our greetings and appreciation for our election.

Thanks to the efforts of Daniel Feierstein and his team, our term got off to a quick start in Argentina. Over 200 participants from around the world, including a large number of scholars from Latin America, participated in the proceedings.

The conference was preceded by a trip to two former concentration camps, OLIMPO and ESMA. The tour was a powerful experience and laid the basis for later plenary sessions with child abductees (taken from prisoners killed in such camps) and grandmothers of the disappeared.

This emphasis on Argentina and Latin America was supplemented by a number of interesting case studies and theoretical and comparative papers. We’d like to thank all who participated. For those who were unable to make it, we look forward to seeing you at the next meeting. The minutes of our business meeting are attached.

We’re happy to report that the state of the IAGS is strong in many respects as we enter the 2011-13 term. The past and present Executive Boards met, as did the new Executive and Advisory Boards. We agreed to communicate more frequently with each other and the membership.

In addition, each member of the Advisory Board has agreed to take on a specific set of duties, ranging from membership to new media development. The Executive and Advisory Boards also agreed to appoint five members to the Resolutions Committee:

  • Federico Gaitan Hairabedian (Argentina)
  • Jean-Pierre Karegeye (Rwanda)
  • Deborah Mayerson (Australia)
  • Hadley Rose (U.S.)
  • Philip Spencer (England)

As the composition of this committee suggests, the IAGS is a truly international association. The members of the Executive Board come from four continents (North America, South America, Africa, and Asia) and our Advisory Board includes members from Australia and Europe.

This representation is reflected in our membership, which, as of the time of writing, stands at 339 and counting. Of this total (minus a few people for whom we don’t have information), 146 come from North America, 88 from Latin America, 66 from Europe, 12 from Asia, 12 from Africa, and 8 from Australia. (Our thanks to Daniel Feierstein for compiling these figures.) We are currently undertaking an ambitious membership campaign and aim to have over 400 members by the end of our term.

Moving forward, we have a number of issues to deal with and goals to accomplish. During and immediately after the conference, the Executive and Advisory Boards agreed on several initiatives.

1. To expedite bookkeeping and retain members, we are introducing two year memberships. Details about this change will be forthcoming.

2. To allow members as much time as possible to plan for our conferences, we will be submitting a call for site proposals for our conferences in 2013 and 2015. At the same time, we will issue a call for site proposals for 2014. If a compelling proposal is submitted, we would consider experimenting with an annual conference, an idea that has been much discussed but never tried before. We encourage all of you to spread the word about the call for site proposals and to consider submitting something yourselves.

3. Thanks to the efforts of Greg Stanton, the IAGS was granted full non-profit status on July 14, 2011. This means that we are tax-exempt and can raise tax-exempt donations in accordance with the relevant laws.

We also wanted to alert you that we have two amendments pending. One, submitted on June 20, 2011 by Alex Hinton and Daniel Feierstein, would create a New Media / Communications Officer position on the Executive Board and a permanent student representative on the Advisory Board. The idea is to enhance our communications abilities and emerging scholar participation.

We should also note that, thanks to the efforts of Kjell Anderson, Yehonatan Alsheh, and others, we now have a dynamic emerging scholars group. They have a number of great ideas, including the revival of the IAGS Facebook site and the holding of an emerging scholars conference. They will be in contact in due course with more information.

In addition, Hannibal Travis has submitted an amendment that would alter the IAGS by-laws on the Resolutions Committee. Both amendments were proposed roughly six weeks ago, so voting will begin quite soon in accordance with the by-laws. We will send the proposed amendments out a second time for review and discussion on the list-serv if so desired.

Two versions of a resolution have also been submitted to the Resolutions Committee and are currently under consideration. Finally, we wanted to assure you that there has been no discussion of ending the IAGS elections by us or by Bill Schabas. To the contrary, we view elections as a critical part of our Association.

We wanted to update you on some of the things that are now going on and to let you know that the IAGS continues to grow and flourish. For this, we owe thanks to all of you.


IAGS Executive Board

Alex Hinton, Daniel Feierstein, Geoff Hill, and Tetsushi Ogata

IAGS Advisory Board

Kjell Anderson, Joyce Apsel, Peter Balakian, Amb. John Evans, Amy Fagin, Donna Frieze, Adam Jones, Linda Melvern, Ernesto Verdeja