Volume IV, Number 4, August 2007
Annual General Members meeting
A year ago we (the General Members Meeting upon a proposal by the Executive Committee) decided to expand the functions of our association towards a community that aims to do much more than annually organising a conference. Conference organisation by now has become a routine (don’t tell this to the people who are in the middle of organising it!) setting free our energies for new activities.
Some of these efforts should benet especially our younger colleagues, such as the best conference paper awards and the other prizes, a summer school and the Theme Groups. The EC, during its meeting before the coming conference, will again discuss the issue of the summer school, especially ways to nd funding for such a plan. Regarding the Theme Groups: we now have two (Tourism in Socialist Countries, led by Heike Wolter, and Mobility and Technology, led by Luísa Sousa and Sjoerd van der Wal) and during next conference a third will be proposed by Paul van Heesvelde: on History and Transport Policy. On Saturday, a lunch sponsored by the EC will be organized for special guests from companies and institutions that might be interested in supporting such a group, including sponsoring. A fourth Theme Group on Pre-industrial Transport and Mobility is currently being discussed.
For the entire transport and mobility history community other new activities will be discussed, such as a book series. On Sunday, 28 October, we will have a plenary session discussing the ‘Cultural Turn’ our eld is currently in the process of taking. No doubt, during this session, the question ‘Are we a eld? And if so, what are our main common characteristics?’ will also arise. After all, this session is the result of a discussion within the EC last Spring where concerns were raised about the direction our association should take in the light of our cooperation with tourism historians, planning and policy experts and the museum world in general, and Public History in particular.
Setting up a book series is not very well possible if we have not at least dened a common gorund which binds all of us. Is it history? Or transport and mobility? Is it mainly culture? Technology? Or both? And by the way: do we need a ‘canon’ of ‘classics’ of our eld, or is this a thing of a modernist past? If so, how to decide what types of books a book series will have to carry? On quality alone? Now that we get our hands and minds free to ponder on these issues, it is about time that we start doing so, because a lot of our future depends on this. For instance: when we, during the coming weeks, elect our next president it would be nice to have him or her present a plan about the road to be taken into our common future.
Related to this is the issue of our new journal. As the reader will remember, when we founded T2M we decided to afliate with the Journal of Transport History
for three years, and then assess the situation again. Since last year in Paris, the EC has been discussing this issue and a special committee is currently investigating the several options, while another one has been renegotiating with JTH’s Manchester University Press. We will report to our members during the annual meeting on Saturday afternoon, 27 October. No doubt the debates during the EC meeting, the General Members meeting on Saturday afternoon, and the plenary session on Sunday will be vivid and sometimes even heated. Good! But, then, we really need a good swing during our Saturday evening banquet, to chill off. Don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!