ISGS: International Society for Gesture Studies

Minutes of the Fifth Conference of the ISGS in Lund, Sweden 2012

ISGS General Assembly
Lund University
Wednesday 25th July 2012, at 18h in Palaestra


1. A brief welcome to members and opening of the General Assembly

Susan Goldin-Meadow issued a brief welcome to members of the ISGS and began proceedings.

2. Votes

Simon Harrison brought up two matters for member vote:

3. Membership

We asked the representative from John Benjamins to look into changing membership in the society (which includes subscription to the journal GESTURE for regular members) from a 1-year subscription to a 2-year subscription: this is to avoid the extreme loss of members in non-conference years. The Executive Board will follow up on this to see if the change can be implemented.

4. Treasurer's Report

By Spencer Kelly

  Credit Debit Balance
Balance as at 30/07/2010     $10996.57
Expenses   $1872.94  
Revenue $5833.61    
Current balance     $14957.24

We discussed how our surplus should be handled and there was general agreement that it should be used to provide support for students and faculty from underdeveloped universities to come to the bi-annual gesture conferences; the funds could also be used to support a summer school.

5. Report on the journal

Adam Kendon presented an overview of the state of the journal, GESTURE, which is connected to the society. The journal is now in its twelfth year of publication. The first issue of volume 12 will appear later this year, and it is hoped that volume 12 will be completed within 2012, although this may not be possible.

According to the publishers, John Benjamins, in 2011 there were 126 individual subscriptions to the journal, which is an improvement over previous years, and in 2012 there are, at the moment, 180 subscriptions. This increase is due largely to the fact that the subscription to membership of the ISGS includes an individual subscription to GESTURE at a favourable rate.

The journal is now indexed in ten different indexes worldwide. These include SSCI (impact 0.7); Socialsci Search, Journal Citation Reports/Social Sciences; Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Current Contents/Arts and Humanities; Cultures, Langues, Texte; IBR/IBZ; Language Abstracts; Psychinfo.

During the eighteen-month period from January 1st 2011 to July 2012 the journal received a total of 53 submissions. This is approximately three submissions per month, on average. Of these, 24 were rejected (two because they were deemed not suitable for the journal). This amounts to a rejection rate of about forty percent.

Kendon stated that the journal is not as vigorous as he would like it to be, and he encourages submissions. One of the problems faced by the journal is that the study of gesture has become increasingly popular and more and more accepted as a respectable academic topic. This means that scholars have a much wider choice of journals to which to send their articles.

Kendon then mentioned the book series GESTURE STUDIES, published by John Benjamins, of which he is editor. He believes that this series has enjoyed considerable success. So far, the series has published six volumes.

We asked the representative from John Benjamins to check how journals receive their classification in Europe so that the Executive Board might take steps to move the journal out of its “C” ranking.

We discussed ways of increasing the number of submissions to Gesture (e.g., inviting scholars to describe their research programs; inviting groups of scholars to put together a special issue; inviting the plenaries at the conference to write up their presentations).

We thanked Adam Kendon for the enormous amount of work that he does on the journal and the book series.

6. Election of the new ISGS Executive Committee

Prepared by Simon Harrison and Susan Goldin-Meadow.

A sheet listing the names and biographies of each of the candidates for the ISGS Executive Committee positions was distributed to all present at the meeting. There was one candidate for each of the positions with the exception of secretary, for which there were three candidates.

The following committee was voted:

7. Presentation of the site for the next conference

Carol Padden announced a bid by the University of California, San Diego, to host the next ISGS conference in 2014. We voted unanimously to accept this bid.

Suggestions were made that we have a best student paper award at the next conference, that there be methods workshops before the conference, and that a summer school be held if at all possible.