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Minutes of the UKCASA Ordinary General Meeting, 23rd June 2017

February 2, 2018

Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, London


Present: Tony Chafer (ASMCF, Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France, UKCASA President), Susan Hodgett (British Association for Canadian Studies and UKCASA Treasurer), Insa Nolte (African Studies Association of the UK, UKCASA executive committee), Deirdre McKay (Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the UK), Cosima Bruno (British Association for Chinese Studies); Jon Oldfield (BASEES, UKCASA Secretary)

Apologies: Christopher Hood (BAJS), Chris Tinker, Helen Drake (UACES), Emily Linnemann (UACES), Brian Ward (BAAS), David Wood (SLAS).


  1. Minutes and matters arising: 

Minutes for the meeting 2 March 2017 were agreed as an accurate statement.

  1. Chair’s Report

The Chair reported on his activities during the last year:

  • New subject benchmark for Area Studies was adopted last summer (Susan Hodgett has acted as Co-Chair of the benchmark review group) and the Chair had also had formal input to the process.
  • The Chair had responded to a HEFCE consultation on REF2021 on behalf of UKCASA. He noted that 8 member associations had assisted in shaping this response. The consultation on the REF process had closed 17 March 2017.
  • Noted the key issue concerning the proposal to link Units of Assessment to HESA returns. In this scenario, Area Studies UoA would be subsumed within Geography. The Chair had made a strong argument that the proposed HESA units (teaching) were not best suited for research assessment, and it would have complicated implications for e.g. production of environment statement etc. The Chair was hopeful that the final proposals by HEFCE would seek to avoid the link to HESA returns.
  • The Chair attended various meetings during the course of the year on behalf of UKCASA e.g.  British Academy, UCML, Arts & Humanities Alliance etc.
  • The UKCASA meeting in March 2017 had included two HEFCE representatives who had responded to member association concerns during a Q&A session.
  • Susan Hodgett flagged the Blurring Genres – AHRC network initiative. Susan reviewed events to date and highlighted forthcoming events in Berkeley (CA) and Ulster. Susan also noted the intention to develop one or two additional events and encouraged input from member associations in this regard.
  • More details can be found here:
  • Insa Nolte reported on her recent engagement with the GCRF (Global Challenge Research Fund) and with a specific focus on work linked to African Studies. This opened up a broader discussion around the potential for Area Studies to push the agenda with respect to the GCRF. There was discussion around the scope for UKCASA to be active in this area. One short-term possibility would be to invite a member of the GCRF Steering Committee to a UKCASA meeting. It was agreed to explore this possibility.
  1. Treasurer’s report 

Balance of account: £753.98.

One subscription had been received in 2016-17. It was noted that UKCASA tends to request monies every 2-3 years from member organisations dependent upon need.

  1. Reports from member representatives:
    1. Noted that the BASEES (British Assoc. for Slavonic and East European Studies) annual conference would take place in Cambridge at the end of March 2018. Deadline for submission of panels/papers autumn 2017.
    2. The African Studies Association of the UK had established workshops in order to encourage African scholars to publish in the UK. And, there had also been success in encouraging US colleagues to provide a similar initiative via a collaboration with US African Studies in the US and the newly established African Studies Association in Africa.
    3. Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the UK had established a series of research and impact awards open to SE Asian scholars (6 awards to date).
    4. British Association for Canadian Studies – noted that its 2017 conference had focused on the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Federation. Awards for PGRs and other student were also highlighted.
    5. Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France provided Visiting Scholarships supporting movement of scholars from Francophone countries to the UK.
  2. AOB – there was no other business to report

Chair concluded the formal affairs and brought the meeting to end.

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