Thursday, January 19, 2017

BABEL: Call for Parliamentarians and #BABEL17

a message from the BABEL WORKING GROUP

[Prepping or organizing for January 20? See Jeffrey's rundown of resources and events.]

Parliament of birds. 'Attar, Mantiq al-Tayr (Conference of the Birds), dated AH 898 (1493-94 CE). Bodleian Library MS Elliott 246, fol. 25v; explore more here.


BABEL is an ever-evolving entity. Historically, our leadership has been comprised in a couple of different ways – thriving on the time and energy of a couple of people, steered by a dozen committee members, or driven by several subcommittees. The one constant over time has been the energy of BABEL’s membership. With our 2017 elections, it is time to evolve once again, to better harness the energy of BABELers everywhere. We aspire to avoid hierarchies, foster balance, encourage individual commitments, embrace inclusiveness, and recruit/mentor newbies, all while caring for our fundamental responsibilities and seeding new growth. We therefore imagine a new rhizome: a parliament of monsters. First and foremost, we welcome all members of the BABEL community (yes, this means you) to become as involved as you would like to be. A number of parliamentarians will be elected, and will include anyone who applies, is willing to put in the work, and then puts in the work. We will also be electing three fates responsible for three aspects of leadership: spinning visions, numbers, and timing. Finally, the parliament will include a number of chompers, who will mentor and speed parliamentarians and fates as they deliver on their promises.

We therefore issue our 2017 Call for Parliamentarians. If you would like to serve, please submit a proposal for a project by Jan 31 for public discussion until Feb 13. Suggestions are welcome from those who have ideas for projects but cannot serve at this time, and candidates are welcome to adopt legacy projects or routine necessities. Projects may be large or small. Starting on Feb 14, the current steering committee will discuss and select as many of these projects as possible, resulting in our roster of 2017 parliamentarians and giving each 2017 parliamentarian a project by Feb 23. Please note that all parliamentarians will be expected to join Slack, the platform where our conversations take place, and to participate in larger conversations about the running of BABEL.

To propose and discuss projects, please visit this shared document of proposals.

Legacy Projects and Routine Necessities could include:

• Website redesign and maintenance
• Annual Spring fundraiser
• Awards
• Regular conference sessions and events (Kzoo, MLA, MAA, etc)
• Biennial BABEL Meeting
• Social media presence
• Documentation of BABEL events
• Ensure BABEL events and actions are accessible
• Invite and include various communities as part of BABEL events – poets, scientists, PoC, queers, Anglo-Saxonists, high school students…


The Call for Sessions for #BABEL17 ("MAKE / RISK / WORK" in Reno, NV, 26-29 October 2017) is now extended to January 31!

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