4/24/2015 ESA Meeting Agenda and Minutes

4/24/2015 ESA Meeting Agenda

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Room 4433

A request was sent out on ESA-L on 4/17 for agenda items for our ESA meeting. The agenda below created from suggestions made by students.

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm

  • Approve minutes for previous meeting
  • Reminder: student organized Friday Forums 4/24 and 5/1
  • Reminder: DSC and ESA elections (and vote on ballot for by-law changes)

1:05 pm – 1:10 pm

  • Revels: Friday, May 8th – We need music! Theme?

1:10 pm – 1:120 pm

  • Committee Reports

1:20 pm – 1:30 pm

  • Discussion and Vote: English Program lounge and ESA bookcase

“There are a significant number of students who are interested in creating an environment in the lounge which more clearly encourages and fosters casual study and engagement. To that end, it has been suggested that arrangements be made for a bookcase to be set up in the lounge, with faculty and student publications, as well as any other books of interest, on display and available for student use. We would suggest also instituting a role of librarian, in which a student would ensure that the bookcase is kept neat and orderly as new books are added.

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

  • Discussion and vote?: Form ESA Editorial Committee (ad hoc or next year?)

“I would like to have the ESA vote on establishing an editorial committee to revise existing student guides/handbooks and develop a (however unauthorized it may be) ESA-authored student guide.”

“I would also like to have a vote on having the evaluation committee also hold evaluations for faculty serving on dissertation and orals committees.  (Also, can we segue to a conversation on how to hold faculty accountable? I didn’t realize until this week that there’s no way for the Program itself to know how students feel about a class given that it’s left to the ESA to administer and read evaluations.)”


Meeting Minutes

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, Room 4433
Attended:  Esther Bernstein, Elizabeth Decker, Michael Druffel, Yair Solan, Becky Fullan, Elizabeth Goetz, Paul Hebert, Sarah Ruth Jacobs, Meira Levinson, Amanda Licastro, Andrew Lucchesi, Mikey Rumore, Dadland Maye, Bradley Nelson, Jason Nielsen

Announcement: Amanda Licastro is running for Executive Council of the MLA

From Amanda:

Although my candidacy statement will be released later in May, I wanted to share with you a series of interviews MLA is hosting as part of their new Connected Academics site – a resource that will be very important for the Placement Committee to work with next year: https://connect.commons.mla.org/. I am currently the only graduate student interviewed as part of this series, but I am one of five students on the ballot to join the Executive Council. I am also the only PTF (aka Part-Time Faculty Member, adjunct, or contingent faculty) on the ballot for the Executive Council. I intend to advocate for more PTF representation on the council, as well as working to better integrate writing studies as part of the MLA, and to represent the need for gender equality in higher education. Although I was nominated anonymously, the committee stated that they accepted my nomination based on my history as an adjunct at a wide variety of institutions (including community colleges) and because of my work in digital humanities – especially my work on the future of scholarly production and communication. Many of you have heard me speak on these issues extensively in the past, but feel free to email me with questions, concerns, and ideas and I prepare for voting in November.

(Also, just an FYI, you do need to be a member of MLA to vote. Grad student membership to MLA is only $25 an you will need to join if you are attending the conference next year in Austin. They also offer $400 travel grants for students.)

I would really appreciate your support as I represent CUNY on a local and international level. Thank you all so much.

Announcement: DSC and ESA elections are still on-going. ESA vote ends Wednesday 5/4/2015 and DSC voting closes at the end of the month.

Remember that we’re voting not only on committee members for next year but also on the proposed new by-laws. For the annotated copy of the proposal, follow this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DhjAkGqEsebYkjKnVBIWRccLyYr2xUQ2ceMUvJMuta4/edit?usp=sharing

In DSC election, consider voting for as many English students as possible in the “at-large” category. These representatives can come from any program and our in addition to our program representatives. (and vote on ballot for by-law changes)

Announcement: Revels is Friday, May 8th, after the Open Executive Committee Meeting

Be on the look-out for our usual email about creating a playlist.

We’re still hoping folks bring snacks. We’ll have pizza, cheese, bread, crackers, and similar snacks in addition to booze.

Committee Reports

Friday Forum Committee

All student submitted Friday Forum results were accepted. Students should be notified shortly, then we’ll be able to announce them officially.

Executive Committee:

  1. Friday Forum theme for next year is “Science.” None of the received proposals addressed this theme, so additionally Mario is reaching out for ideas from faculty members
  2. Announced two recent prizes (Greg Pardlo – Pulitzer for poetry; Josh Mehigan Guggenheim fellowship for poetry).
  3. Matt Gold will do call for DH position that will likely not be housed in English Program but may teach in English program.
  4. Please write Carrie Hintz with your opinion on getting rid of Subject GRE scores for applicants. Jason will send email over list-serv as a reminder
  5. Shared notes on admissions efforts (because of some confidential information, see executive committee member for more details)
  6. Some discussion that PSC-CUNY deal is ready and likely will be adopted but legislature will not raise budget; therefore faculty/staff will likely receive raise but aid for students will likely not increase.

Faculty Membership Committee

  1. Latino/a search

Two candidates have been selected from the campus-based search for hemispheric literature (with emphasis on Latino/a lit). As the next stage of the process, each of these faculty will be asked to teach a course in the coming semesters. Richard Perez (from John Jay) will teach in Spring 2016 and Dalia Kandyoti (from CSI) will teach in Fall 2016.

  1. African American search

The last of the candidates’ “test courses” will be wrapping up in Fall 2015. The current plan is to review all course evaluations from the 3 – 4 candidates in the running and have them give job talks in early Spring 2016. The aim here is to make hires and have the new faculty on board by Fall 2016.

  1. Other search areas?

The committee is still debating doing a search in graphic narratives, but is uncertain if this is really what the students want right now, or if there are other areas of scholarly interest the students want addressed.

Andrew Lucchesi designed a quick, one-question survey to gather student opinions on this.  The original text is included below. We discussed how best to phrase the survey which was distributed via email later that day to English Program students.

Survey draft (to be distributed through Google Forms):

Faculty Membership Committee Student Survey

Survey description:

The English program faculty membership committee is interested in hearing from students of the program about the areas of scholarly interest not adequately covered by our program faculty. These recommendations will help the committee plan for new hires in the next few years. For instance, past surveys have shown students were interested in more courses and advising in areas like popular or visual culture, Native American literature, or science studies. Please help us survey the unmet needs of the current student body. Survey will close Friday, May 8th 2015.


What areas of scholarship are you interested in that the English program does not currently cover in terms of course offerings and faculty advisement?

Alumni Committee

No donations were received.


  • Discussion: English Program lounge and ESA bookcase

Action: this item was tabled while Jason and Paul could get preliminary feedback from Mario and Nancy. Depending on that communication, this will likely go to vote at final ESA meeting.

  • Discussion: Form ESA Editorial Committee (ad hoc or next year?)

Action: Everyone generally felt this was a good idea. It was tabled for a discussion after people had time to discuss with others. An Ad-hoc committee will likely be approved by vote at the next meeting for election at the start of Fall 2015.

  • Discussion: ESA course evaluations/faculty accountability/possible expansion

Action: Discussion included that the Executive Committee apparently uses student evaluations to consider faculty up for hire. Some discussion about how they can be improved with this in mind. Also an update from Website Committee that they course evaluations are ready to go on the ESA website.