International Edith Wharton Society
Minutes: Business Meeting at MLA
Dec. 28, 2000
Abby Werlock, President, called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m.
She began by emphasizing the Society’s name change to the International Wharton Society, as we now have about 130 members in 11 different countries, including Japan, Spain, Korea, Italy, and Portugal, among others. She announced that the Wharton conference planned for England in 2003 is still in the early planning stages; members can check the website for updates and to volunteer to help organize the conference. She introduced Donna Campbell, our website manager, to the group and urged members to consult it regularly for scholarship and business information.
Abby also announced the new standing committees that will be organized between January and May, and urged interested members to contact Augusta Rohrbach after Jan. 1 if they are interested in serving on them. She mentioned the ongoing good work and success of the Edith Wharton Review, which published a previously unpublished letter in its latest issue, as well as a review of the new Terence Davies film of The House of Mirth, and noted that the frequency of new films made from Wharton works is a good sign for Wharton scholarship.
Donna Campbell was nominated for Secretary; she is the author of Resisting Regionalism and of a new edition of The Fruit of the Tree, as well as the very capable manager of the Wharton Society website. She was elected by acclamation. Abby introduced Augusta Rohrbach as the new President, and Julie Olin-Ammentorp as the new Secretary (both effective 1/1/01), as well as Carole Shaffer-Koros, current and ongoing Treasurer.
Carole Shaffer-Koros passed out her annual report and emphasized the financial health of the institution, which now has about $12,000 in its coffers. The full report will be appended to these minutes. In addition, Donna Campbell reported that the domain name Edith Wharton.com, .org, and .net will cost the Society $210 for three years.
As in the past, the topic for one of the sessions at next year’s MLA will come from the current Vice President (Augusta Rohrbach), while the second will come from the floor. Several topics were nominated: Wharton and Other War Writers (Harriet Gold); The Gothic Wharton (or “Wharton Goes Goth,” Jeffrey Winstock); Wharton and Philosophical Writings (Fred Wegener); Film Adaptations of Wharton (Julie Olin-Ammentorp). After voting, the first proposal won; Harriet Gold will chair the panel on Wharton and Other War Writers.
Abby urged members to check the website in the coming months, as the proposed constitutional changes will be posted here in preparation for the meeting at ALA; it was also agreed that the current constitution should be posted on the website. She mentioned that proposed changes include shifting voting from “members present” at the MLA and ALA to a mail ballot.
In other business, Margaret Murray announced that she will be chairing a Wharton panel at the conference at SUNY Cortland (Halloween weekend, 2001); the focus will be posted on the website. The ALA calls for papers are due soon: Hildegard Hoeller’s is due 12/30/00, while Augusta’s is due 1/5/01.
Carole Shaffer-Koros, speaking as editor of the Wharton Review, urged members to send submissions-particularly on lesser-known works-to the Review.
The meeting adjourned about 6 p.m.