MINUTES OF THE EIGHTEENTH IACS BOARD MEETING
LEIDEN, 27 AUGUST 2000
Present: Stephen EMMEL (President), Tito ORLANDI, Martin KRAUSE, Jacques van der VLIET, Peter GROSSMANN, Nathalie BOSSON, Anne BOUD'HORS, Włodzimierz GODLEWSKI, Marie-Hélène RUTSCHOWSCAYA.
The President convened the meeting at 20.30.
1. The Board heard and discussed a report from the Congress Secretary concerning arrangements for the Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies.
2. The Board heard, discussed, and approved financial reports for 2000 (up to 23.08.00) and for 1996-2000 (up to 23.08.00) from the Editor-Treasurer and the President-Elect (see 7th Business Meeting, point 5). The President-Elect apologized that he had not yet managed to complete the transfer of IACS funds from Rome to Münster, but assured the Board that this transfer would be effected during September/October 2000. The Editor-Treasurer informed the Board that in accordance with German law, to which the IACS is now subject, the quadrennial financial report must be audited by someone who is not a member of the Board, in order to release the out-going Board from liability; the President undertook to arrange for the required audit soon after the up-coming Business Meeting. On the recommendation of the Editor-Treasurer, the Board decided to convert its funds currently held in USD into DEM.
3. After careful consideration, the Board approved an application from the President for reimbursement of DEM 1,000.00 that he had to spend in order to travel to Paris in May 2000 to help make suitable arrangements for the congress in 2004.
4. The Board reviewed the list of new members, approved since the 1996 Congress, and approved two additional members whose applications were received too late for circulation before the Congress (see 7th Business Meeting, point 3). The Board also reviewed the current status of IACS membership in general, which it found very satisfactory.
5. The Board decided that the advent of the euro (EUR) makes it most sensible to adopt this currency as its official currency. On the recommendation of the Editor-Treasurer, the Board decided to propose to the Business Meeting that new fees be set in EUR (see 7th Business Meeting, point 7). The Board also decided to set equivalent fees in NLG that would be valid for payments made during the Congress.
6. The President reported that his inquiries concerning possible payment of fees by credit card had revealed that at least for the time being this procedure is too expensive for its use by the IACS to be feasible.
7. The Board agreed to recommend to the Business Meeting the revisions to the IACS Statutes proposed in Newsletter 40 (February 2000), pp. 7-8, with a few minor changes (retention of the title "Congress Secretary" rather than adoption of the proposed change to "Congress Coordinator"), as well as to recommend adoption of the related agreement between the IACS and the CISADU (see 7th Business Meeting, point 8).
8. RUTSCHOWSCAYA and BOUD'HORS reported on progress in negotiations for the Eighth International Congress of Coptic Studies in 2004 to be held in Paris. Initial hopes that the congress might be organized at the École du Louvre could not be realized for technical reasons, and facilities generously offered by the Institut du Monde Arabe unfortunately had to be deemed inadequate for the needs of the congress, as are the scheduling restrictions that would be imposed. Negotiations are currently underway with the Collège de France, which has already expressed its willingness to host the congress. The Board's discussion focused particularly on the need to schedule the congress at a time when Europeans as well as North Americans are free to attend (see 7th Business Meeting, point 13).
9.a. The President reported that he had recently received a letter from Dr. Fawzy G. ESTAFANOUS (St. Mark Foundation for Coptic History Studies), representing His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, inviting the IACS to hold its ninth congress, in 2008, in Cairo, hosted by the Coptic Church.
b. The Board met with Dr. ESTAFANOUS from 19.00-19.30 on 1 September in order to discuss this gracious invitation (see 7th Business Meeting, point 14).
10.a. The Board discussed the Journal of Coptic Studies, in particular an unsolicited application it had received from Prof. Dr. Karlheinz SCHÜSSLER (Universität Salzburg) to become the journal's Editor-in-Chief.
b. The Board met with Prof. SCHÜSSLER from 10.30-11.00 on 31 August in order to discuss his application, as a result of which it decided to appoint him as Editor-in-Chief, although it was not possible to inform him of this decision before the Business Meeting because he had to leave the Congress a few days early (see 7th Business Meeting, point 10).
11. The President reported that the American University in Cairo has officially begun a fund-raising campaign in order to establish a Chair of Coptic Studies. Their goal is one million dollars, of which about one quarter has already been raised or pledged, and there is no time limit for the effort: whenever the goal is reached, the chair will be created (see 7th Business Meeting, point 15).
12. The President-Elect reported briefly on his activities with respect to the IACS Website, in particular raising the question of recommended links, i.e., whether or not there are any Websites having to do with Coptic studies that the IACS judges to be especially recommendable. The Board decided that it is not ready to pass judgement on this question.
13. The President reported on his recent contacts with Mr. Carl-Martin BUNZ (Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken), who is trying to persuade the Unicode Consortium to treat historic scripts, including Coptic, in a more scientifically responsible manner than is presently the case. High on his list of priorities is the disunification of Coptic from Greek. On the recommendation of the President, following a recommendation from Mr. BUNZ, the Board asked the President and the President-Elect to compose a resolution on this subject for presentation to the Business Meeting (see 7th Business Meeting, point 9).
14. Privately to each member of the Board except KRAUSE, the President recommended the nomination of Rodolphe KASSER, Martin KRAUSE, and James M. ROBINSON as Honorary Presidents of the IACS, and the Board agreed (see 7th Business Meeting, point 4).
15. The Board set the agenda for the up-coming Business Meeting.
16. The Nominations Committee was established: EMMEL (presiding), ORLANDI, VAN DER VLIET, KRAUSE, GROSSMANN, BOSSON, RUTSCHOWSCAYA (see 7th Business Meeting, point 16).
17. GROSSMANN reported on severe deterioration to the site of Abu Mina, where the water table has risen nearly 30 meters to where it is now only 1 meter beneath the surface, a result of efforts to irrigate the surrounding area in the interests of agriculture. The Board agreed to propose a resolution to the Business Meeting in support of efforts, especially on the part of the UNESCO, to rescue the site from complete destruction (see 7th Business Meeting, point 11).
The President adjourned the meeting at 00.30 (on 28 August).
MINUTES OF THE SEVENTH BUSINESS MEETING OF THE IACS
LEIDEN, 2 SEPTEMBER 2000 (at the end of the Seventh International
Congress of Coptic Studies), Stephen EMMEL presiding
The President convened the meeting at 10.50.
1. The President expressed the thanks of the IACS to Leiden University, especially its President and its Faculty of Arts, and in particular to Prof. J.F. BORGHOUTS, Chair of the Section of Egyptology and Coptology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, for their generosity in hosting the IACS's Seventh International Congress of Coptic Studies. The President also thanked the Congress Organizing Committee, especially the Congress Secretary, Jacques VAN DER VLIET; the Congress Secretary's volunteer assistants, especially Magdalena KUHN; the plenary speakers; the chairpersons of the sections; and all other active participants in the Congress. He also made grateful reference to the Congress's financial sponsors, who were listed in the Congress program.
2. The members of the IACS deceased after the previous congress were silently commemorated: René-Georges COQUIN, Paul DEVOS, Charles GOODWIN, Antoine GUILLAUMONT, Jacques-É. MÉNARD, Hishmet MESSIHA, Gamal MOKHTAR, Paul VAN MOORSEL, Werner PHILIPPEIT, Hans QUECKE, Torgny SÄVE-SÖDERBERGH.
3. The members confirmed all the new IACS members approved by the Board since the 1996 Congress: Diljana ATANASSOVA, Ramez Wadie BOUTROS, Elizabeth Ann Graham BROCK, Paola BUZI, Florence CALAMENT, Malcolm CHOAT, Stephen DAVIS, Antoine DE MOOR, Ismo DUNDERBERG, Maged ELGOHARY, David FRANKFURTER, Christian GAUBERT, Victor Corneliu GHICA, Monika HASITZKA, Lucy-Anne HUNT, Magdalena KUHN, Cornelia KULAWIK, Marion MAIER, Maria MOSSAKOWSKA-GAUBERT, Ursula Ulrike MÜLLER, Lester NESS, Uwe-Karsten PLISCH, Caroline T. SCHROEDER, Phillip SELLEW, Satoshi TODA, Frederick W. WEIDMANN, Bernd WITTE, and Klaas A. WORP; and one institution: The Chester Beatty Library.
4. The members applauded the nomination of Rodolphe KASSER, Martin KRAUSE, James M. ROBINSON, and His Grace Bishop SAMUEL as Honorary Presidents of the IACS.
5. The President presented the financial report for the five-year period 1996-2000 (01.01.96-23.08.00):
BALANCEas of 01.01.96: ITL 10,000,648.00
INCOME ITL DEM USD NLG
Membership fees 1,541,290.00 30,438.39 2,305.00 200.00
Interest 165,914.00 5.08 0.00 0.00
Postage refund 0.00 113.02 0.00 0.00
ICCoptS 6 sale 0.00 4,887.71 816.53 0.00
Totals 1,707,204.00 35,444.20 3,121.53 200.00
Administrative 1,310,894.00 2,208.28
Payments to SAC 1,440,000.00 2,976.33
Printing & postage 1,250,000.00 3,358.41
ICCoptS 6 purchase 0.00 9,565.48
Totals 4,000,894.00 18,108.50
BALANCES 10,000,648.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
+ Income 1,707,204.00 35,444.20 3,121.53 200.00
- Expenses 4,000,894.00 18,108.50 0.00 0.00
= Totals 7,706,958.00 17,335.70 3,121.53 200.00
TRANSFER ITL ® DEM -5,023,900.00 +5,010.00
BALANCES, 23.08.00 2,683,058.00 22,345.70 3,121.53 200.00
The President stated that the report must still be audited by someone who is not a member of the IACS Board, in accordance with German law. The members approved the financial report.
6. The President reported on the functioning of the Münster Secretariat, established since the 1996 Congress. He emphasized how important it is for the members to provide information about themselves for dissemination: especially changes of address and news about their publications and other Coptological activities.
7. The members approved the recommendation of the Board that new membership fees be established in euros (EUR), as follows:
Normal Members EUR 25.00
Retired People 12.00
The Secretary will provide recommended equivalents in USD each year, as has been done in recent years for equivalents in DEM.
8. The members approved the recommendation of the Board that the IACS Statutes be revised according to the proposal published in Newsletter 40 (February 2000), pp. 7-8, with a few minor changes, namely, to retain the title "Congress Secretary" (instead of the proposed change to "Congress Coordinator"), and that the IACS enter into the agreement proposed there between the IACS and the CISADU. [For the full revised text of the Statutes and their annexed agreements, see the forthcoming new edition of the IACS Brochure.]
9. The members approved a resolution recommended by the Board, to be communicated to the Unicode Consortium during the 17th International Unicode Conference (San Jose, California, beginning on 5 September 2000), requesting that Coptic be disunified from Greek in Unicode's Universal Character Set. The text of the resolution follows:
"Coptic is a writing system that developed from the Greek script, but claims script status of its own and therefore also deserves disunification from Greek in ISO/IEC 10646-1, for the following reasons:
"1. Coptic is the language and writing system of a living religious community, the Coptic community, whose diaspora now extends from Egypt southward into Africa and north and west throughout Europe and across the Americas. The Coptic church is autocephalous. A very active scholarly community investigates the language, literature, history, etc. of Coptic civilization in Egypt, and produces editions and studies of Coptic texts in ever increasing numbers.
"2. Over seventeen centuries, a rich and flourishing tradition of graphic representation of Coptic, independent of Greek, came to characterize Coptic document-production, in manuscripts as well as in print. Coptic typography started in Europe as early as 1629, distinct from Greek in layout and typeface.
"3. The Coptic writing system uses glyphs such as cannot be found in any reasonable Greek font.
"4. The Coptic writing system has features that are alien to Greek. Especially the superlinear elements of the system behave differently from Greek accent and breathing marks. Therefore, it is impossible to administer Coptic text by means of Greek characters.
"5. The Coptic community, both religious and secular, and the international community of scholarship dedicated to Coptic studies (Coptology), have been engaged in the electronic processing of textual data for many years already. There is an increasing number of projects worldwide that create and maintain textual databases in Coptic and are interested in exchanging textual data on the basis of the Universal Character Set, such as:
Corpus dei Manoscritti Copti Letterari: http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/~cmcl
Packard Humanities Institute: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/Texts/papyrus.html
Bibliothèque Copte de Nag Hammadi: http://www.ftsr.ulaval.ca/bcnh/
St. Shenouda the Archmimandrite Coptic Society: http://www.stshenouda.com
"6. Coptic authors and writers lived in a shared environment together with Greek authors, and so Coptic literature developed in close contact with the Greek-speaking people of ancient Egypt. Therefore it is natural and unavoidable that in Coptic text editions and in studies in the field of Coptology, quotations of Greek text form an integral part; technically, Coptic is processed contiguously with Greek. Coptic text-processing requires, by definition, a clear-cut distinction between Coptic and Greek passages within the same context, which is best realized by a distinction of coded characters on plain text level.
"Therefore, the International Association for Coptic Studies (IACS) requests the Unicode Technical Committee and the Working Group 2 in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2 to disunify Coptic from Greek in the Universal Character Set. The IACS is prepared to provide expert advice and guidance in the matter of defining a Coptic character set, for the mutual benefit of Unicode and Coptic studies."
The members approved the resolution.
10. The President announced that the Board was expecting to appoint a new Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Coptic Studies, which should resume publication in 2001.
11. The members approved the Board's recommendation that a resolution be passed empowering it to act in any way it deems appropriate to help efforts to prevent the destruction of the site of Abu Mina.
12. The Congress Secretary announced that several publishers had expressed interest in publishing the acts of the Congress; that the offer of Peeters Press to print them in its series Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta seemed the most attractive; that the deadline for submitting papers, as hardcopy and on computer diskette, probably would be the end of December 2000; but that authors should await instructions.
13. Anne BOUD'HORS invited the members to hold their next congress in Paris, in 2004, probably to be hosted by the Collège de France, but in cooperation with other institutions in Paris with an active interest in Coptic studies. The members greeted this invitation with acclamation.
14. The President reported that the IACS has been invited by the Coptic church to hold its congress in 2008 in Cairo, an invitation that the Board finds very attractive. The members expressed their appreciation for this possibility.
15. The President announced the initiation of a fund-raising campaign by the American University in Cairo to establish a Chair of Coptic Studies, and he encouraged all IACS members to consider making a financial donation to this worthy cause.
16. The members approved the nominations for the new IACS Board (2000-2004), as follows:
President: Tito ORLANDI
President-Elect: Theofried BAUMEISTER
Secretary: Stephen EMMEL
Webmaster: Alberto CAMPLANI
Director, Cairo Center: Peter GROSSMANN
Congress Secretary: Anne BOUD'HORS
Members at Large (2 terms): Sarah J. CLACKSON
Jacques VAN DER VLIET
Nathalie BOSSON and Marie-Hélène RUTSCHOWSCAYA, elected in 1996, continue as Board Members at Large for a second term. The President expressed thanks to retiring board members Wł odzimierz GODLEWSKI and Martin KRAUSE.
17. Other Business
a. The members approved two resolutions proposed by Bentley LAYTON that (1) the new President should write a letter of thanks to the president and board of the American University in Cairo for deciding to establish a chair of Coptic studies; and (2) that he should also send greetings to the president of Egypt, the minister of higher education of Egypt, and the president of Cairo University, and express the hope that the government of Egypt will establish an independent department of Coptology in an Egyptian university.
b. Elizabeth BOLMAN asked whether it would be possible to hold congresses of Coptic studies at more frequent intervals than every four years. The President replied that the amount of work, time, and money involved makes more frequent IACS congresses unfeasible, but that the IACS encourages regional meetings on a smaller scale scheduled to take place between the international congresses. For example, such meetings are held at regular intervals in France by the Association Francophone de Coptologie (Journées d'études coptes) and in Germany at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Internationale Hallesche Koptologentagungen). [The President wishes to add the series of Coptic symposia that the St. Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society in Los Angeles, California, has initiated recently; and that the American Research Center in Egypt could be encouraged to devote more attention to Coptic studies at its annual meetings in the USA.]
c. Gawdat GABRA proposed that the IACS endorse a statement of support for the on-going excavation and conservation work at the Syrian Monastery in the Wadi Natrun. The President responded that such expressions of support are better made in writing by the sitting President in response to specific needs of the project, and he offered to confer with the relevant scholars about what the IACS might be able to do in support of their work.
18. The President expressed his personal thanks to the members of the out-going Board for the pleasure of their fruitful collaboration. Martin KRAUSE expressed the thanks of the IACS to the retiring President.
The President adjourned the meeting at 12.15.
MINUTES OF THE NINETEENTH IACS BOARD MEETING
LEIDEN, 2 SEPTEMBER 2000
Present: Tito ORLANDI (President), Theofried BAUMEISTER, Stephen EMMEL, Alberto CAMPLANI, Anne BOUD'HORS, Peter GROSSMANN, Nathalie BOSSON, Sarah J. CLACKSON, Marie-Hélène RUTSCHOWSCAYA, Jacques van der VLIET.
The President convened the meeting at 12.30.
1. The President outlined several themes that he expects to make the focus of his attention during his four-year term:
a. Improvement of the situation of Coptic studies in the occidental universities, where this field of research is in grave danger of disappearing altogether.
b. Further development of the use of the Internet within the IACS, where the two main issues are stability and reliabilty; that is, the IACS must be able to guarantee a Website that will maintain a high standard of quality without interruption for the foreseeable future.
c. Enhancement of the popular awareness of, interest in, and knowledge about Coptic studies.
2. With regard to the IACS Website, the Board discussed ways in which the site's administrative usefulness for members might be enhanced.
3. The Board reviewed steps that need to be taken in order to implement the decisions of the Business Meeting.
The meeting broke for lunch 13.00-14.30.
4. The Board discussed plans for the Eighth International Congress of Coptic Studies (Paris 2004) and offered the Congress Secretary several specific recommendations.
5. The Board agreed that the invitation from the Coptic church to hold the congress in 2008 in Cairo should be provisionally accepted.
The President adjourned the meeting at 16.00.