ASLE Seeks Candidates for Elected and Appointed Positions

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE) is a nonprofit professional association with a dynamic membership and one dedicated, part-time professional staff member. ASLE thrives because of the commitment of its members to carrying out our work. ASLE invites you as a member to sustain vital work and to shape our future by considering serving in 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 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, ASLE will hold elections for:

  • Vice President
  • two designated Executive Council seats:
    Public Engagement Officer
    Contingent/Independent Advocacy Officer
  • Diversity (Co-)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:

  • Digital Strategies Coordinator (DSC).

Applications for DSC are due by November 10, and should include a letter of application and a CV or resume. Please send all candidate or application 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 are below.


Vice President
(Term: 2023-2025)

The Vice President will serve for two years in that role. They will also serve on the voting executive of the Association for a third year as Immediate Past Vice President.

The Vice President is expected to participate in (recently held virtually) the EC retreat held in non-conference years, and attend the EC meeting during biennial conference years.

Responsibilities

  • Act as President pro tem whenever the President is absent, has resigned, or is otherwise unable to perform the duties of that office
  • Organize and host the off-year EC annual meeting, and assist with moving agenda items forward from the conference-year EC meeting.
  • Assist the President(s) with organizing the Executive Council meeting at the biennial conference.
  • At least once per year, work with the President(s) to assess, prioritize, and assign or take on various organizational goals set forth in the ASLE Strategic Plan.
  • Serve as a member of the Budget Committee (2-year budget cycle)
  • Chair the Nominating Committee for fall elections
  • Serve as member of the Biennial Performance Review Committee for the Managing Director, chaired by the ASLE Executive Secretary
  • Serve as a member of the conference committee, and take on specific duties in consultation with Conference Chair and conference committee members.

The IPVP will serve as a mentor and liaison to the incoming VP, and continue to support the Association’s mission and to advance the Strategic Plan in consultation with the President(s) and VP. The IPVP may be called upon to initiate special projects, and serve on ad-hoc committees. The IPVP retains full voting rights on the EC.


Executive Council: Public Engagement Officer Seat
(Term: 2023-2025)

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 electronically as necessary. Formal discussions and votes currently occur mostly remotely. EC members are expected to participate in (recently held virtually) the EC retreat held in non-conference years, and attend the EC meeting during biennial conference years.

In the 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 Public Engagement Officer.

Responsibilities

Emphasize public writing and equip members to do it; examples include:

  • Develop new programming and digital spaces to help ASLE members and groups make their own work more visible
  • Use existing tools (the website and social media) to more effectively promote members’ work and public projects
  • Provide opportunities for members to learn to write effectively for the public
  • Establish a network of ASLE members to provide training for other members.

Help ASLE to achieve the goal of increasing public humanities engagements between members and grassroots community groups, non-profits, agencies, NGOs, and funders; examples include:

  • Organizing pre-conference workshop(s) on public engagement appropriate for new or aspiring practitioners.
  • Organizing workshops / convenings for practitioners of different levels of experience to deepen and mutually support work in the academy.
  • Promoting advocacy and activist panels at all conferences, remote, in-person, and regional
  • Developing relationships with funders for higher education and also local and regional funders for public health, environmental justice, inclusive placemaking, responsive philanthropy.
  • Looking at interdisciplinary projects like University of Idaho’s Confluence Lab, PPEH, LENS as examples, and put out a call for others who are doing work like this, working with regional leaders and collaboratories and featuring their work on the ASLE website

Helm efforts to develop or use existing tools to help ASLE members and groups make their own work more visible, providing pportunities to learn effective public writing, and establishing a network of training. Possible methods include:

  • Provide support to members with guidelines about publicizing work by providing a PR document on the website and updating the press kit on the website
  • Create a concrete list of experts to post on the website (E.g, experts in indigenous studies, environmental justice, ecomedia, climate change communication, food, vegan studies) for media and for collaborative work
  • Send out regional press releases about the conference, off-year symposiums, and collaboratories
  • Publicize specific public-facing panels at the conference, off-year symposiums, and collaboratories
  • Pitch themed series to national publications
  • Post guidelines on how to pitch and develop templates for different types of series or posts (e.g., interviews, book reviews)
  • Make lists of publications and contacts
  • Organize the ASLE website to foreground information for media
  • Organize workshops at conferences about public communication
  • Highlight public pedagogies and develop the teaching resources database on the site
  • Research grants for public science, environmental writing
  • Cultivate relationships with EH series editors and create opportunities for ASLE members to interact with them

Executive Council: Contingent/Independent Advocacy Officer Seat
(Term: 2023-2025)

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 electronically as necessary. Formal discussions and votes currently occur mostly remotely. EC members are expected to participate in (recently held virtually) the EC retreat held in non-conference years, and attend the EC meeting during biennial conference years.

The Contingent/Independent Advocacy Officer on the Executive Council should have experience working on issues or advocacy relevant to contingent faculty or independent scholars, and is charged with representing these constituencies’ issues and concerns on the Executive Council.

Responsibilities:

  • Review the ASLE Strategic Plan and work with officers to prioritize and implement the goals and action items of the Association that relate to contingent and independent members
  • Participate actively and thoughtfully in ongoing ASLE policy deliberation and decision-making with this constituency in mind
  • Participate in EC votes
  • Assist with and help develop non-conference programming and projects that will serve the needs of contingent faculty and independent scholars.
  • Assist the Conference Committee with organizing programming at the conference that will serve the needs of contingent faculty and independent scholars.
  • Encourage and facilitate greater involvement in the organization by contingent faculty and independent scholars.
  • Help recruit candidates for officer positions
  • Assist with mentoring contingent faculty and independent scholars as appropriate

Diversity Officer (or Co-Officers)
(Term: 2023-2025)

The Diversity Officer is an elected position with voting privileges; term of office is three years. The Diversity Officer should provide significant evidence of affiliations with diverse groups and/or organizations. The Immediate Past Diversity Officer will overlap with the subsequently elected Diversity Officer for one year and serve in an advisory and mentoring capacity.

The Diversity Officer will oversee and participate in the activities of the Diversity Caucus to reach across national, disciplinary, cultural, sex/gender, and other boundaries to enhance diversity and inclusiveness for ASLE. The Diversity Officer is expected to participate in (recently held virtually) the EC retreat held in non-conference years, and attend the EC meeting during biennial conference years.

Responsibilities

  • Report to the EC at its annual officer meeting on specific goals to work toward diversity
  • Work with Conference Committee to include diverse voices in conference events and programming
  • Work with Conference Committee to implement the accessibility guidelines, and review the guidelines with the accessibility working group after each conference to consider ways they could be updated and/or improved
  • Cultivate, establish, and maintain affiliations with other diverse groups and/or organizations
  • Review the ASLE Strategic Plan and work with officers to prioritize and implement the goals and action items of the Association as they relate to diversity
  • Participate actively and thoughtfully in ongoing ASLE policy deliberation and decision-making
  • Participate in EC votes
  • Organize, run, and report on meetings of the Diversity Caucus

Graduate Student Liaison (junior)
(Term: 2023-2024)

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. The GSLs are expected to participate in (recently held virtually) the EC retreat held in non-conference years, and attend the EC meeting during biennial conference years.
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 student-related social media outlets
  • 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
  • Stay up-to-date on professionalization, graduate studies, and graduate student trends, challenges, and opportunities beyond ASLE to better serve our member community
  • Answer inquiries from ASLE student members or other interested parties

Digital Strategies Coordinator
(Term: 2023-2025)

The Digital Strategies Coordinator (DSC) is an appointed position; the DSC is requested to make a commitment of three years, with renewal of appointment possible thereafter.

The Digital Strategies Coordinator actively seeks out news and information from ASLE members in order to tell the story of ASLE for members, the press, and the general public. They will oversee the design and publication of the “Stay Informed” section of the ASLE website, including ASLE News, the Member Bookshelf, Scholar of the Month, and Member News, as well as seek out stories as appropriate that will enhance other sections of the website. They will supervise any volunteers who help to produce news content stories for the coordinator to publish.

Responsibilities:

  • Oversee the design and publication of the Stay Informed section of the ASLE Website, including ASLE News, Member Bookshelf, Member News, and any additional sections the Digital Strategies Coordinator may wish to create, working in close conjunction with the Managing Director.
  • Coordinate with the Managing Director to organize an e-newsletter with links to new site content to send to members at least four times annually.
  • Contribute articles, features, and brief write-ups to the web content as needed to supplement and refresh the current content
  • Communicate regularly with elected and appointed officials in ASLE for input on newsletter contents and to deliver periodic updates.
  • Communicate regularly with International Affiliate organizations to request updates for the “Stay Informed” section of the ASLE Website.
  • Maintain a schedule of relevant professional conferences and contact affiliated organization professional liaisons for reports in a timely fashion.
  • Confer with the Digital Strategies Committee to periodically review ASLE News to ensure the content best serves ASLE’s membership and Strategic Plan.
  • Attendance at the annual meetings of ASLE’s Executive Council as a non-voting member is encouraged, but not required.
  • Provide annual written updates to the EC on DSC activities.