As part of its outreach SHARP has established a number of affiliate relationships with scholarly societies and organizations. These affiliations have frequently resulted from a member approaching the Coordinator of Affiliate Societies (liaisons[at]sharpweb.org) to express interest in securing a relationship with another society to which he or she belongs. This interest is then discussed with the SHARP Executive Committee and, upon approval, the Coordinator works with the proposer to set up affiliate status with the proposed group. Typically, the proposer serves as the first liaison to the new affiliate. SHARP’s Affiliate Coordinator and other Executive Committee members have also initiated the process to set up such relationships. Many scholars are conducting work in what is called “book history” but are unaware of the field or its relevance to their work. Through establishing affiliate relationships with various societies and organizations, SHARP liaisons help draw attention to SHARP as a highly collegial forum devoted to studying any aspect of the written word, no matter the medium, historical period, or geographic area.
At present SHARP has affiliate relationships with a number of scholarly organizations including the Modern Language Association (MLA), American Historical Association (AHA), Bibliographical Society of America, Bibliographical Society (U.K.), American Studies Association, Reception Study Society, Implementing New Knowledge Environments Project (INKE), American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and many more. Currently affiliate societies are primarily organizations based in North America, but efforts are underway to expand these relationships geographically.
Because the societies with which we are affiliated can vary greatly from one another, the nature of our relationship with each organization differs as well. In the case of very large annual conferences such as AHA or MLA, SHARP has a guaranteed panel. Yet, in most cases the liaison proposes SHARP-sponsored panels for consideration and, if accepted, the SHARP affiliation is noted in the program. We offer affiliates the opportunity to do the same for SHARP conferences. Liaisons also are active in publicizing affiliate conferences, other events, and relevant publications to SHARP membership, and SHARP activities to the affiliate organization.
The prime role of SHARP liaisons is to facilitate communications between the organizations in a variety of ways. Often SHARP liaisons organize one or more SHARP-sponsored panels at affiliates’ annual conferences. Through SHARP-L and SHARPNews liaisons report on activities with SHARP affiliates and inform affiliates of SHARP conferences, scholarships, and other activities. On occasion liaisons plan get-togethers such as a tour of a special collection or arrange for gathering at a restaurant or café for lunch or drinks at the affiliate’s annual conference for SHARP members and those interested in learning more about SHARP. You can access a list of current liaisons to SHARP affiliate societies as well as a list of the suggested tasks by clicking on the appropriate sidebar link. If you are interested in serving as a liaison or would like to see SHARP have an affiliation with a particular organization, please contact the Coordinator of Affiliate Societies Liaisons (liaisons[at]sharpweb.org).