Member Opportunities: Elected and Appointed Positions

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) is a nonprofit with a dynamic membership and one ongoing part-time professional staff member. ASLE thrives because of the commitment of its members to carrying out our work. ASLE invites our members to sustain vital work and to shape our future through an elected or appointed position.

The next several years involve implementing a new strategic plan, while also responding creatively and flexibly to the ongoing duress imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since early 2020 when the strategic planning process began, these critical areas have only gained in importance and urgency. If you would like to nominate yourself or another ASLE member for one of these positions, please contact us at [email protected].

This fall of 2021, ASLE will hold elections for:

  • (Co-)President
  • two newly designated Executive Council seats (converted from previously at-large seats): Conference Chair and Regional Collaboratories Officer
  • Graduate Student Liaison (junior)

Members with interests and strengths in areas of work of strategic importance are particularly encouraged to run or apply. Online voting will be conducted during the month of November. Candidate statements for elected office (300-500 words) are due by October 28.

In addition, we seek applicants for a key appointed position:  Professional Liaison Coordinator (PLC)

Applications for PLC are due by November 10, and should include a letter of application and a CV or resume. A call for applications for a newly created appointed position, Sustainability Officer, will be posted in the coming months.

Please send all materials via email as PDF or Word attachments to [email protected] Feel free to inquire if you have any questions about the offices, duties or statements; job descriptions for each office are below.


President or Co-Presidents (Term: 2022-2024)

The President(s) will serve for two years. The President(s) will also serve on the executive of the Association for a third year as Immediate Past President(s).

Responsibilities:

  • Further the strategic work of the organization, including strategic planning on regular cycles as mandated by the bylaws.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with funders, potential funders, and institutional co-applicants for major grants.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with existing and emergent collaboratives and non-academic partners, for example, intergovernmental agencies and coalitions, culture sector entities and organizations. Pursue, with ASLE affiliates worldwide, opportunities for furthering environmental humanities participation in shaping conversations pertaining to the ecological and social crises of our times.
  • With the MD and others, including legal counsel as appropriate, develop and regularly review policies and memos of agreement with project collaborators and/or partners to ensure fairness and transparency in use of ASLE’s name and endorsements for conferences, events, and affiliations.
  • Collaborate with the Regional Site Coordinator to infuse strategic priorities into the conference program.
  • Appoint non-elected coordinators and officers to vacant positions, upon approval by majority vote of the Executive Council.
  • Supervise the operations of ASLE in a judicious and diligent manner.
  • Meet regularly with the Managing Director of the Association.
  • Set agenda for Retreat with MD and VP, with VP leading on logistics
  • Make recommendations for strategic allocation of funds to Treasurer and MD, ahead of preparation of budget, and present budget and rationale to EC.
  • Preside at meetings of the ASLE officers, Executive Council, and the general membership
  • Report to the general membership biannually on the state of the Association
  • Represent the Association and its purposes to other organizations and the general public.

In voting by the Executive Council, the President(s) will vote only to break a tie.

The Immediate Past President(s) will assist the President and Vice President in managing ASLE projects in support of the Association’s mission and to advance the Strategic Plan. The IPP may be called upon to initiate special projects and appoint ad-hoc committees. The IPP does have full voting privileges.


Executive Council: Conference Chair Seat (Term: 2022-2024)

The Executive Council (EC) is the primary policy-making body of the Association. The EC reviews programming, procedures, and policies of the Association regularly and revises them as needed to meet the Association’s mission most effectively.  The EC meets at least once every calendar year, at the call of the President. Between formal meetings, EC members will be consulted and vote electronically as necessary. EC members are elected for three-year terms.

In the 2021 Strategic Plan, ASLE officers decided to designate several EC positions to carry out particular core functions of the organization. One of these new designations in our revised bylaws is the Conference Chair.

Responsibilities 

  • Establish a timeline and process for formation of a Conference Committee for the biennial conference; workflow and communication with the EC, managing director, and co-presidents; and for managing contractual obligations (site, hotels, honoraria, etc.).
  • Recruit, assemble, chair, and convene the biennial Conference Committee
  • Work with the Conference Committee, Regional Collaboratories Officer, and Managing Director to plan and execute the Biennial Conference
  • Conference priorities should include:
    • Diversity: this is a top priority of the Strategic Plan, so the CC would advance this goal in all aspects of the conference, via the CFP language/theme, program stream topics, keynote speaker selection, site acknowledgements and relationships with/in host communities, etc.
    • Accessibility: ensure ASLE meets the highest standards for accessibility in conference spaces, and in delivery of presentations. Methods will include vetting facilities, accommodating A/V needs, considering virtual presentations, providing clear guidance to participants, nametags with preferred pronouns, etc.
    • Sustainability: work with the newly appointed Sustainability Officer to mitigate travel impacts and on-site impacts, such as reducing single-use plastic, using composting, catering foods that are local and vegan/vegetarian, etc.
  • Participate in the EC retreat held in the spring of non-conference years
  • Attend and participate in the EC meeting held just before the biennial conference
  • Review the ASLE Strategic Plan, and work with officers to prioritize and implement the goals and action items of the Association
  • Participate actively and thoughtfully in ongoing ASLE policy deliberation and decision-making, including all votes called.

The Conference Chair on the Executive Council should have excellent organizational skills, lots of energy and enthusiasm, and experience:

  • Working on academic events and programs
  • Chairing committees and delegating tasks
  • Working with diverse groups of people and skill sets

Executive Council: Regional Collaboratories Officer Seat (Term: 2022-2024)

The Executive Council (EC) is the primary policy-making body of the Association. The EC reviews programming, procedures, and policies of the Association regularly and revises them as needed to meet the Association’s mission most effectively. The EC meets at least once every calendar year, at the call of the President. Between formal meetings, EC members will be consulted and vote electronically as necessary. EC members are elected for three-year terms.

In the 2021 Strategic Plan, ASLE officers decided to designate several EC positions to carry out particular core functions of the organization. One of these new designations in our revised bylaws is the Regional Collaboratories Officer*.

Responsibilities

  • Identify possible regions, understanding participants’ interest in engaging with both place of primary residence and region of work.
  • Issue a call to members to identify those interested in forming a regional network.
  • Identify/tap regional liaison(s)who will coordinate the network and get a preliminary sense of what is needed, and what might work, in given regions.
  • Work with the Treasurer and Managing Director to determine seed funding amounts and designate/distribute funds.
  • Work with the newly designated EC member, the Conference Chair, to create space and time for regional collabs to meet and strategize at the next biennial conference, and to feature the work of the seeded collab in a workshop or sponsored panel at the conference.
  • Manage communication between the regional liaison(s) and the ASLE EC and Managing Director.
  • Assist with training and onboarding new participants in any collaboratories that are formed.
  • Encourage regional collaboratories to partner with public writing and digital strategies groups to generate content featuring scholarly and pedagogical experts in the region.
  • Participate in the EC retreat held in the spring of non-conference years
  • Attend and participate in the EC meeting held just before the biennial conference
  • Review the ASLE Strategic Plan, and work with officers to prioritize and implement the goals and action items of the Association.
  • Participate actively and thoughtfully in ongoing ASLE policy deliberation and decision-making, including all votes called.

The Regional Collaboratories Officer on the Executive Council should have excellent organizational skills, and experience with:

  • working on public events and programs
  • managing workflows for projects and committees
  • working with diverse groups of people

* The Strategic Plan defines Regional Collaboratories as follows:

“We propose that ASLE actively foster self-organizing regional collaboratories and seed these as needed/desired. Because of their smaller size and regional anchoring, regional co-labs present numerous opportunities and advantages for ASLE members. These include: gathering together people from multiple disciplines, diverse kinds of academic institutions (CCs, HBCUs, HSIs, liberal arts colleges, public regionals, R1s, etc.), cultural sector entities, community organizations and collectives; encouraging cost-effective and carbon footprint-lowering, multi-institutional visiting lecture series; bolstering education in the environmental humanities at institutions with limited resources; building and strengthening relations of reciprocity among academics, grassroots networks, and local and regional nonprofits to build more just environmental futures. ASLE might consider seeding one region as a pilot. Long-term outcomes might include the creation of a regional institutional consortium, in which schools with funding and schools with fewer resources can pool resources to fund conferences and other events; the development of a summer field school; as well as ties of relationships and reciprocity with regional populations facing precarious futures together.”


Graduate Student Liaison, Junior (Term: 2022-2023)

The two Graduate Student Liaisons (GSLs) represent the interests, needs, and concerns of ASLE’s graduate student members. One GSL will be elected for a two-year term each year, serving as non-voting junior GSL in the first year, and voting Senior GSL in the second year of their term. In conference years, the senior GSL will serve in an advisory capacity through the next biennial conference cycle to provide continuity, mentoring, and guidance.

GSLs work with the ASLE Mentoring Coordinator and other ASLE Officers and Program Coordinators to develop and implement policies, initiatives, and programs that support the wellbeing and development of graduate students and graduate studies.

Responsibilities:

  • Work with the Mentoring Coordinator, ASLE officers and coordinators, and ASLE members to organize panels, workshops, and other professionalization/ mentoring/social events for graduate students and junior academics at the ASLE Biennial Conference
  • Develop material pertinent to graduate students and graduate study for the ASLE website
  • Work on initiatives for undergraduate students as appropriate
  • Manage the ASLE Graduate Student Facebook page and other social media
  • Provide virtual and physical forums for discussion between GSLs and ASLE graduate student members, including the Graduate Student Interest Group Meeting at the ASLE Biennial Conference
  • Direct the Graduate Student Working Group
  • Stay up-to-date on professionalization, graduate studies, and graduate student trends, challenges, and opportunities beyond ASLE to better serve the ASLE community
  • Answer inquiries from ASLE student members or other interested parties

Professional Liaison Coordinator

The Professional Liaison Coordinator (PLC) for ASLE is an appointed position. While there is no set term, we request that the PLC make a commitment of at least three years, renewable upon review. The person in this position serves an important public relations role for ASLE by managing our professional affiliations with a variety of other organizations in the field, as well as relations with various ASLE internal groups.

The PLC needs to work consistently to make sure that ASLE’s obligations are being met in our formal relationships. This includes ensuring that panels at various non-ASLE conferences are properly submitted and chaired, as well as performing outreach to new groups, either directly or with the assistance of interested members who volunteer their services. ASLE’s Strategic Plan puts an emphasis on diversity, so ideally the PLC will have (or will be willing to cultivate) contacts from numerous organizations and disciplinary areas to ensure that ASLE meets this strategic initiative.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates ASLE’s formal affiliations with other professional organizations, including but not limited to:
    • Maintaining a list of current professional affiliated organizations and ASLE liaisons to each one, and updating the ASLE Managing Director and President when any changes occur to this list;
    • Evaluating requests for new or continuing Affiliate organizations, including notifying organizations of their affiliate status, and requesting renewals according to the established schedule;
    • Assuring that there is an active liaison for each of ASLE’s affiliated professional organizations;
    • Working with affiliate liaisons and the Managing Director to maintain an up-to-date schedule of when affiliate conferences are held and when CFPs are generated;
    • Working with affiliate liaisons to ensure there is a qualified chair person for each of the sessions that ASLE hosts at the affiliate organizations’ conferences;
    • Working with the ASLE Executive Council and Officers, as well as the Diversity Coordinator, to identify new organizations for formal partnerships and affiliations, and  pursuing these new affiliations by making appropriate contacts and completing any necessary paperwork or correspondence.
  • Works with liaisons to ensure that any Calls for Papers, Manuscripts, or related items are generated and disseminated to the listserv and other outside sources and forwards them on to the Managing Director for posting to the web.
  • Coordinates oversight of ASLE’s Interest Groups, including but not limited to:
    • Maintaining a list of groups and group moderators and updating the ASLE Managing Director and President when any changes occur;
    • Evaluating requests to form new Interest Groups;
    • Assuring there is an active moderator or moderators for each Interest Group;
    • Requesting brief yearly updates from moderators about interest group activity and any activity between interest groups and outside organizations, (such as ASLE-sponsored panels at other conferences).
  • Endeavors to attend the annual meetings of ASLE’s Executive Council. Although he/she is not a voting member, the PLC’s very active and ongoing work on behalf of the organization makes attending these annual meetings necessary for clear communication within the organization.