2004-05-29 ALA

Edith Wharton Society Business Meeting

ALA in San Francisco, 29 May 2004

Members present: Judith Saunders, Fred Wegener, Carol Singley, Carol Sapora, Irene Goldman-Price, Annette Zilversmit, Elsa Nettels, Melissa Pennell, and Sharon Califano.

The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by Donna Campbell, acting for president Julie Olin-Ammentorp. She handed out copies of the Constitution and the rationale behind the changes made at MLA 2003 and noted some of the most significant ones: clarifying officers’ duties, delineating the terms of the treasurer and the editor of the Edith Wharton Review , and mandating a written report from the treasurer and minutes of business meetings and meetings of the Executive Board. Also, since official business must be transacted at the MLA, ALA meetings will continue but will be informational, except for the process of selecting a topic for the next year’s ALA.

Other substantive changes included those relating to voting procedures. The new procedure calls for nominations for Executive Board members by April 15 and voting by paper ballots; after the results are tabulated in September, those elected will be announced at MLA. Nominees this time include Edie Thornton (for secretary) and Maureen E. Honey, Laura Johnson, Mary E. Papke, Laura Saltz, and Carol Singley for the Executive Board. Members will be able to vote for up to three candidates.

A Call for Papers for the centenary conference on The House of Mirth was handed out, and Judith Saunders described some of the activities planned for the conference in addition to the paper presentations: a screening of The House of Mirth , possibly a river cruise, and visits to nearby historical sites, including land and a carriage house owned by the Newbold family. Irene Goldman-Price also noted that a garden by Beatrix Farrand is nearby and could be visited.

Discussion then turned to next year’s ALA conference in Boston. Vice President Hildegard Hoeller will organize one panel, but two topics were proposed for the other: Wharton as Critic (or Wharton among Other Critics) and Wharton’s Constructions of Masculinity. After a vote, Wharton as Critic was chosen and will be the topic of next year’s second panel on Wharton, and Carol Baker Sapora, who proposed the topic, will chair the panel.

Carol Singley reminded those present to send their articles on Wharton to her for review in American Literary Scholarship.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Campbell (secretary pro tem)

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