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Message from President

Dec 5, 2023

A message from NACBS President

Dear NACBS Community,


It was wonderful to see so many of you in Baltimore. As your new President, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank those who made the conference a success and to preview NACBS 2024.


We had 85 panels and 375 registered participants along with two engaging keynotes. A special thanks goes out to our Program Chair, Mikki Brock, and the Program Committee. Ian Sanjay Patel presented “‘Shall I paint myself white?’: Postwar Migration and the Long End to Imperial Citizenship” and Deborah Valenze gave the Presidential Address: “Malthus and the Historical Imagination.” Citations for the numerous prizes and grants presented at the Awards Reception to our members are now available on the website. Thank you to all of those who served on and chaired these committees. Our volunteer-led organization needs you and we appreciate and acknowledge your commitment to NACBS.


Our next conference will be in Denver from November 15-17. Please save the date and look for the call for papers in early 2024. NACBS is more than a yearly conference, however. This past year under Executive and Digital Director Amanda Perry’s leadership we have launched a year-long slate of programming that includes book launches, graduate and early career development workshops and our wonderful new feature, Broadsides. We plan to continue this programming in 2024 to keep our community engaged in the intellectual and professional mission of NACBS.


I’d like to acknowledge and thank Deborah Valenze for her service as President of NACBS. During the past two years, she oversaw numerous initiatives that have made NACBS a stronger, more dynamic and inclusive organization. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is now part of the leadership arm of the NACBS and we are in the second year of awarding DEI Fellowships. Under Deborah’s leadership we did a membership survey and the Strategic Planning Committee appointed by the Nominating Committee completed their report which will be shared with the membership. I thank the members of the SPC for their dedicated service: Hilary Buxton, Aidan Forth, Alison Hight, Brendan Kane, Rupali Mishra, Radhika Natarajan, and Keith Pluymers. The wonderful website redesign is complete thanks to former Associate Secretary David Chan Smith and Amanda Perry.


The Journal of British Studies is thriving. We negotiated a new 5-year contract with Cambridge UP that deals with the complex issues of open access and a seemingly ever-changing publishing environment. During Deborah’s tenure we also brought on our new and wonderful JBS editors: Nadja Durbach and Tammy Proctor. Thank you to our editors, assistant editor Chelsea Reutcke and the book review editorial team at the University of Nottingham: Onni Gust, David Gehring and Richard Hornsey.


This year we also offer thanks to outgoing Executive Secretaries, Michael Silvestri and Stephanie Barczewski and former Executive Director Laura Beers. Thank you to the outgoing elected members of NACBS Council – Brendan Kane, Nadja Durbach, and Shannon MacSheffrey – and the Nominating Committee – Amy Milne-Smith, Asheesh Siddique and Catherine Chou.


We welcome our newly elected Vice President/President Elect, Brian Lewis, along with Treasurer, Jen Purcell and Executive Secretary Michael de Nie and Associate Secretary Amy Milne-Smith. Welcome also to our newly elected Council members – Christopher Frank, Esther Cuenca and Jennifer Wells – and Nominating Committee – Ren Pepitone, Tiraana Bains and Alex Chase-Levenson.


Finally, consider this an invitation to get involved. As a member, you have access to all that the NACBS has to offer and the opportunity to volunteer your time and serve the organization. Please do renew your membership as soon as possible if you haven’t already. Our community page lists several ways to get involved and membership is now a year-long benefit no matter when you sign up.


Wishing you all a happy holiday season ahead. Looking forward to seeing you in Denver.


Michelle Tusan

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