ASSEMBLEIA GERAL DO COMITÊ INTERNACIONAL DE CIÊNCIAS HISTÓRICAS

Segue o relato da Assembleia Geral do Comitê Internacional de Ciências Históricas ocorrido em Moscou nos dias 29 e 30 de setembro.

 

ICHS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

MOSCOW 29-30 SEPTEMBER 2017

REPORT OF THE GENERAL SECRETARY



I am very honored to present my first report before the General Assembly as the successor of Robert Frank who did very much to enliven ICHS activities. The work of the General Secretary has now a permanent residence at Sciences Po Paris thanks to the possibilities offered by the Centre d'histoire. In this respect I would like to underline Pascal Cauchy's constant help in securing this very favorable situation.

As many of you have noticed, we did also improve the website and we will continue in the future: we need for example to design a new logo. Yet the visibility of the website must be the responsibility of you, ICHS members, as well: please provide us with material and do not forget to report any error or change to our webmaster Hélène Naudet, whom I also warmly congratulate for her work.

The Board met three times since the Jinan Congress: we had a small board meeting in February 2016 in Amsterdam; a full board meeting followed in June 2016 in Leipzig. At the end of October, President Andrea Giardina and myself visited Moscow to meet our Russian partners and prepare the General Assembly. This year saw only the full board meeting of Neuchâtel in March because of the convocation of the General Assembly. The board functions very well, we are a good team that gathers in a friendly atmosphere. The main task of the last full board meeting was to elaborate the provisional program of the next Congress: this will be presented to you this afternoon by vice-president Eliana Dutra.

Since the 2012 General Assembly in Budapest, we ask the organizers of the assemblies and full board meetings to hold a scientific conference. Last year in Leipzig we were hosted by Matthias Middell and took part in the workshop of the Global and European Studies Institute on the following topic: "What are the features and consequences when historiographies transnationalize?". And now we are in Moscow where the Russian Committee of Historians has given us the opportunity to listen to the contributions of the conference: "The Russian Revolution of 1917 and its historical footprint"; yesterday you were able to take part into the ICHS symposium "The anatomy of Civil War" which we plan to publish so as to present the book at the 2020 Congress. We are very satisfied to report that ICHS is not only producing administrative work at the international level but also contributes to historical research besides the congresses. We would like to continue on this path and look forward to have a conference organized by the host at each intermediary General assembly: next one will be in 2022, we already received a proposal from the Canadian Committee whom I sincerely thank for that. I am also pleased to inform you that the papers presented at ICHS-Unesco conference organized by Robert Frank and myself in November 2014 are published: some in the special issue of the journal Monde(s); the others are in print at Peter Lang's publishing house and will be ready at the beginning of 1918 just to mark the commemoration of World War One's end.

Let me now describe the details of the board's tasks:

- First we had to draw a balance of the Jinan Congress which everyone considers a success but we also looked at some problems that have to be solved in the future: better involvement of younger researchers; achieving a real global dimension (Africa, Asia, Latin America); high quality of the panels; more comparative and interdisciplinary approaches.

In this respect it is very interesting to listen to the experience of the participants. Thanks to the initiative of Andrea Giardina and the Italian Committee (Giunta Centrale per gli studi storici) I was able to attend a meeting in March 2016 that looked back at the Jinan Congress. It was very stimulating.

- Thus the main task of the Board is to prepare the next Congress in Poznań: we will have a board meeting there at the end of June 2018 and you will see in a few moments the presentation prepared by the Polish delegation. Already now, at the end of October, Andrea Giardina, Pascal Cauchy and myself will make our first visit to Poznań.

- Another important task of the Board is to initiate new membership and/or reactivate sleepy ones. On this level we have to report good and less good results. As some of you may remember, Robert Frank had taken the initiative to invite delegates for "regional" meetings during the Jinan Congress: it proved to be a success for Latin America as you will hear today, as well as for Armenia. But unfortunately this was not the case for Africa: no new membership application followed this meeting in spite of the interest shown by many delegates. After having considered the financial concerns expressed by the only active African national committee, which is Morocco, I was able to pay a visit to the main academic institutions last April: I was very warmly welcome and could meet with many colleagues from Rabat, Marrakech and Fes. The Association of historians seemed keen on sending a delegate here to attend the General Assembly and they showed also their interest in applying for the organization of a congress, but at the end of the summer they finally abandoned both projects. The treasurer will tell you more on how we could try to attract and support committees that are financially dependent on associative means rather than on state funds. We must continue our work toward association of affiliated commissions as well: the last adhesion we registered was the International Federation of Public History and I was host of their meeting at Ravenna last June. We hope to give you good news in the next future on the creation of the International Commission for the History of the Mediterranean. Concerning national committee, we must try to be more present in Africa (only Morocco is an active member, Tunisia has to be reactivated) and in Asia. This task is also yours and you can help us thanks to transnational contacts.

- For the second time, the International Prize for History will be awarded and this is something we are really proud of as Andrea Giardina just mentioned. The third edition will be delivered in Poznań. The call for applications will be sent at the end of next year.

- Other initiatives were launched by the Board in the course of its first two-years tenure:

1. We plan to organize during the next Congress a new form of meeting we call "Research Forum" (Rencontres de la recherche). I will tell you more about that this afternoon. According to the suggestion made by the National Center for Scientific Research (France), the French Committee for Historical Sciences, the International Association for the History of States and Administration, the Committee for the History of the Indian Ocean, the following proposal has been formulated. The objective is to hold discussions and meetings of representatives of research institutions, PhD students and Postdocs. It is a well established practice of international associations of political science, law or economics to organize during

their congresses meetings between universities worldwide and doctoral students. This serves a double purpose: - Present the research groups and fields of study for an audience of confirmed scholars and PhD students eager to advertise their own works. - Lead these meetings to eventual recruitment. Universities (History Departments) speak about their recruitment policy and PhD students or Postdocs consult and discuss with them. This process has a double benefice: valorize the program of the universities and research institutions; enable a better circulation of the information on positions, temporary recruitment and integration to research teams worldwide. This initiative is fully beneath the ICHS mission to encourage Young scholars and also helps to provide direct links to academic institutions able to relay the activities and works of ICHS. The practical details of the stands/rooms will be decided with the Congress organizers. The project was approved by the full Board, we present it now before the General Assembly and if adopted, it will be integrated into the organization of the Congress.

2. The newsletter: it was an old project that comes to its concretization: Matthias Middell will tell you more on that this afternoon.

- Finally we have to think of the renewal of the Board in 2020. Five board members will leave us and must be replaced taking into account age, gender, continental balance : Andrea Giardina, who will become our honorary president in place of Marjatta Hietala (presidente 2010-2015); vice-president Pim Den Boer; Tao Wenzhao (we have to excuse him of his absence today because of health problems): Lim Jie-Hyun; and Lorina Repina. The commission that will preside over the choice of the new board members is already constituted and Pim Den Boer will speak about that this afternoon. The applications must emanate from National Committees or affiliated Commissions and will have to reach the Board at the beginning of 2019.

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