ISGS: International Society for Gesture Studies


Minutes of the Second Conference of the International Society for Gesture Studies (ISGS) held in Lyon, France 2005

Interacting Bodies,
June 15-18, 2005,
The Second Congress of the International Society for Gesture Studies
(Universite Lyon 2, France)

Minutes ISGS General Assembly June 5th 2005, 7:00pm

The assembly was organized and directed by the president of ISGS, Jürgen Streeck. There were 36 people who attended the assembly. The assembly started with an announcement conferring an Honorary ISGS Presidency on Adam Kendon for his life long and significant contributions to the gesture field. A plaque was given to him by Jürgen Streeck. During the assembly the following agenda items took place.

1. President's report

President Jürgen Streeck referred to the report for the activities of the last 3 years (See Appendix 1). This report was already sent to the members by email earlier to the assembly. Thus it was not read again.

2. Treasurer's report:

Treasurer Gale Stam also referred to the report of last 3 years activities (See Appendix 2). This report was already sent to the members by email earlier to the assembly. Thus it was not read again.

3. Amendments to by laws:

Voting took place to accept amendments to the by laws proposed by Jürgen Streeck. The amendments (as below) contained the following information and this was distributed to everybody in the room. Amendments to ISGS by-laws as requested by the Internal Revenue Services prior to granting of tax-exempt status and voted on by the Executive Board. The amendments were approved unanimously.

Article 1

This corporation is organized exclusively for scientific and educational purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future United States Internal Revenue law. (B) No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, any of its members, trustees, officers or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the exempt purposes. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. (C) Upon the winding up and dissolution of the corporation, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the corporation, the remaining assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

Article 8, 11

No Board member may vote upon a matter coming before that body in which he or she has a direct financial interest. Immediately upon becoming aware that such a conflict may exist, a Board member must disclose the existence of the potential conflict to the remaining Board members, withdraw from further deliberation on the issue, and refrain from voting on the matter. Any such disclosure and withdrawal shall be fully documented in the organization minutes.

Article 9

The Scientific Committee was replaced by The local organizers of ISGS conventions form a scientific committee to serve as advisors and peer-reviewers of proposals and abstracts submitted for the convention. All members of the Executive Board are members of the Scientific Committee.

Article 10

The Executive Board: In point 1, Scientific Committee was replaced by General Assembly, and at point 3 of the current paragraph was replaced by 3. The Executive Board consists of the ISGS President, a Vice-President, the immediate Past President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Public Relations Manager, and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Gesture. Point 4 was replaced by 4. The officers of the Executive Board are elected by the members during the General Assembly for a period of up to three years.

4. The fee structure for ISGS

The current fee and discounts for students were discussed, but it was decided that we should keep the same structure.

5. GESTURE journal

Some issues concerning difficulties in subscribing to the journal were discussed, but no solution was reached since Cornelia Müller and Adam Kendon needed to consult with Benjamins first.

6. Next conference

Ric Ashley from the Music Department of Northwestern University gave a presentation concerning his proposal for the 3rd ISGS conference in Chicago to be held in early summer of 2007. He said that he would organize the conference in collaboration with the University of Chicago. His plans were accepted by the assembly.

7. ISGS Summer School

Some ideas for how to organize a Gesture summer school were discussed. Cornelia Müller suggested that she would incorporate this idea and funding into a Volkswagen grant she is writing. But she also noted that she would need support if she gets the funding. Another possibility discussed was to link it to LSA summer school. But there were no volunteers who wanted to initiate this project. Jürgen Streeck and Irene Mittelberg agreed to help Cornelia Müller with her proposal.

9. Gesture centers

There were reports from new Gesture Centers including Nijmegen Gesture Center, Berlin Gesture Center and South Africa.

10. Nominations

The following nominations were made for the following positions:

11. Elections

All the positions with one candidate nominations were accepted by all the members. For the PR position Mandana Seyfedinipur was elected. Mandana Seyfedinipur received 32 votes and Nick Enfield 4 votes. The new Executive Board of ISGS contains (until 2007):

The assembly ended with flowers given to Jürgen Streck by Cornelia Müller for his important contributions for starting up basic foundations of ISGS and his efforts for the last 3 years.

Respectfully submitted by Asli Ozyurek,
General Secretary of the ISGS


Appendix 1

President's Report 2002,2005

1. Incorporation

Following a vote of the Executive Board, ISGS was incorporated as a non-profit corporation, pursuant to Article 3.02, in the State of Texas, U.S.A. (Filing No. 800174938). Attorney D.J. Powers of Austin/TX advised me on the process of incorporation and filing for tax-exempt status on a pro bono basis. The initial directors of ISGS were Kathleen Stewart, Siri Mehus, and Jürgen Streeck. I called an organizational meeting of the initial Board of Directors for March 12, 2003. Present were all initial directors. A vote was taken to replace the initial Board of Directors by a new Board, consisting of all members of the Executive Board of ISGS, elected in Austin/TX on June 7, 2002, and no other members. The official seat of ISGS is Austin/TX.

2. Tax-exempt status

Papers for tax-exempt status were filed with the Internal Revenue Service in March 2003. The IRS requested that the by-laws of the association be amended by inclusion of two additional articles/paragraphs (see attached). The Executive Board voted on these amendments, and articles of amendment were filed with the Texas Secretary of State September 9, 2003. On the same day, a revised application for tax-exempt status was filed with the IRS. ISGS was granted tax-exempt status in November 2003 (EIN 43-2004946).

3. Web-sites and on-line proceedings of the Austin conference

Much of our initial effort was devoted to building a user-friendly and attractive website for ISGS. Work on the website was done by Jürgen Streeck and Sae Oshima at UT Austin. The website was designed to include on-line proceedings (abstracts and short papers) of the 2002 Austin conference. At the time we only received occasional technical support. A considerable amount of time was spent developing Flashed pages for the conference program, and to solicit and format the contributions. In retrospect, it appears that these efforts were misplaced: we received only a relatively small number of contributions (about 30), and it is doubtful that the website with its sophisticated program/content pages with color-coded pop up abstracts was ever visited by enough people to make the time spent worthwhile.

4. Redesign of the website, future

The attempt to create an equally dynamic home-page for the website led nowhere. Finally, following a change in task-assignments for the group that made this possible, the Instructional Design Group in the College of Communication at UT Austin took over the website and completely redesigned it. The redesigned page includes a new newsletter, Manufacts, and a spotlight feature, i.e. a series of pages about an ongoing research project. The webmaster for ISGS website is Jacob Villanueva. The new site was launched in April 2004. It includes easy downloads of membership application forms, as well as links to all important ISGS documents. Still missing is a protected members area, which would include a members data base (see proposals, below). At or after the Lyon meeting, a decision will have to be made whether the website should continue to be hosted at UT Austin or be moved to the home-institution of the public relations officer, under whose responsibility maintaining the site falls.

5. Future conferences

Another important duty was to find organizers and a location of the next conference. I learned in February 2003 that Reinhard Krüger at the University of Stuttgart, who had expressed an interest in organizing the next meeting, did not receive a promise of financial support from his university. In April 2003 during an informal meeting in Mannheim/Germany, I broached the subject with Lorenza Mondada who agreed in September 2003, with the support of Jacques Cosnier, to organize the meeting in Lyon. The Executive Board approved the plan. In April 2004 Richard Ashley of Northwestern University first contacted me about the possibility of organizing a future conference in Chicago. He will make a presentation and submit a proposal during the General Assembly in Lyon.

6. Subscription GESTURE

In January 2004 I met with Bertie Kaal of Benjamins B.V. in Amsterdam to discuss a discounted subscription to GESTURE for ISGS members. Benjamins agreed to reduce the annual subscription rate for members to 65 Euro. (Benjamins B.V. is also planning a Gesture Studies book series. Bertie Kaal will inform about this in Lyon.)

7. Local gesture centers

A grassroots initiative by ISGS members is the establishment of local gesture centers, to bundle and publicize research conducted in the area, organize lectures and research colloquia, etc. Two gesture centers are now active, the Berlin Gesture Center (http://www.Berlingesturecenter.de) and the Nijmegen Gesture Center (http://www.mpi.nl/world/projects/Gesture.html).

8. Summer Schools

During an informal meeting at the MPI in Nijmegen that included three Executive Board members, the idea of organizing an ISGS summer school was discussed. Mandana Seyfeddinipur subsequently researched funding and organizational possibilities. One is funding by a large German research foundation, Stiftung Volkswagen, which may imply that the summer school would be held in Germany or at the MPI in Nijmegen. The second and third possibilities are combining the summer school either with the next ISGS conference or with the LSA Institute. Richard Ashley has agreed to discuss the second possibility with colleagues in Chicago, should the next conference be held there. I have contacted the President of the Linguistic Society of America, who agreed to discuss the possibility of including gesture-related courses at the 2007 LSA Institute at Stanford with colleagues in the LSA. A decision should be made in Lyon about the one alternative most fruitful to pursue.

9. Proposal: Amendments to the By-laws

I will propose that the membership of ISGS adopt the following amendments to the by-laws during the General Assembly in Lyon:

Article 9: The Scientific Committee

I propose that the present article be replaced by "The local organizers of ISGS conventions form a scientific committee to serve as advisors and peer-reviewers of proposals and abstracts submitted for the convention. All members of the Executive Board are members of the Scientific Committee."

Article 10: The Executive Board

I propose that in point 1, "Scientific Committee", be replaced by General Assembly, and that points 3 of the current paragraph be replaced by 3. "The Executive Board consists of the ISGS President, a Vice-President, the immediate Past President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Public Relations Manager, and the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Gesture." Point 4 should be replaced by 4. "The officers of the Executive Board are elected by the members during the General Assembly for a period of up to three years."

10. Proposal: Gesture researcher rolodex

Wearing my hat of officer of NCA I have recently sent out calls via mailing lists for researchers who study language and social interaction in workplace and institutional settings to send me information about their identity and area of research. On the basis of the responses I have assembled a "rolodex". I propose that the new officers of ISGS do the same for Gesture Studies. The "rolodex" could alternatively only include ISGS members and thus serve as a recruiting tool or simply list ISGS membership as one identity marker. (The LSI at Work Rolodex is available for download at http://research.communication.utexas.edu/downloads/streeck/LSI_at_Work_Rolodex_june05.pdf )

Jürgen Streeck
Austin/TX June 11, 2005


Appendix 2 — Treasurer's report

The bank account for the International Society for Gesture Studies was established on June 23, 2003 following the incorporation of the society. Credit card processing was established in November 2003. For credit card processing, the society pays a minimum processing fee of $15.00 a month, a computer account access fee of $10.00 a month, and a dial pay authorization fee of $1.00 a month. In addition, for each credit card processed there is a fee. It was 3.72% and increased to 3.92% in April. What this means is that the society's bank account receives $48.04 for each $50.00 credit card dues currently processed. I put the account on inactive status during the summer months to minimize these fees. As of its May 31, 2005 statement, the International Society of Gesture Studies had a balance of $4014.94. This does not include credit card processing for June. Since June 23, 2003 account activity has been the following:

Total Membership Dues Deposited $4871.57
Expenses 476.76
checks, deposit slips, stamp (76.76)
credit card set up (200.00)
incorporation & tax exempt fees (200.00)
Merchant Fees -379.87
Balance (5/31/05) $4014.94

Respectfully submitted, Gale Stam,
Co-treasurer