Edith Wharton Society Business Meeting
May 28, 2005
Boston , MA
The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m. with ten members attending. The items of business covered were as
1. The Celebrating the Centenary of The House of Mirth conference was announced.
2. The Edith Wharton Society is in the process of becoming registered with the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation. As Carole Shaffer-Koros explained, having the EWS account under Kean University ‘s nonprofit status threatened that status for the university, so we had to incorporate in order to conduct business, keep a bank account, and so forth. This will also enable us to accept credit card payments, which will make paying for conference fees and membership dues much easier, especially for our international members. The members expressed their thanks to Robert Koros, who has taken care of this matter for us.
3. The EWS constitution must be amended to include the sections necessary for certification of nonprofit status by the IRS. Although the changes cannot be formally voted upon until MLA, a copy of these changes was distributed to the
members and a nonbinding vote was taken: the vote was unanimous in favor of the amendments affecting nonprofit status. A nonbinding vote will be taken at the House of Mirth conference.
4. To allow for more flexibility in voting on the constitution in the future, a proposed amendment that would allow voting on the constitution at MLA, at the EWS biennial conferences, or by paper ballot. Like the others, this amendment will be voted on at MLA. The document with the proposed changes will be available at the Wharton Society site.
5. Since Edie Thornton has received no nominations for the three new positions on the Executive Board, Donna Campbell extended the deadline to June 30, after the Celebrating the Centenary of The House of Mirth Conference. Those wishing to nominate someone should contact Edie in writing, either by using the form on the Edith Wharton Society site, by
sending her an e-mail, or by sending the information by postal mail.
6. Because the constitution makes no provision for an absence of nominees, Donna proposed an amendment that stipulates that in the absence of nominees, the nominations will be extended until May 31 (after ALA ). This amendment will be voted on at MLA. She also mentioned that the site has changed servers and encouraged the members to use our domain name address, www.edithwhartonsociety.org .
7. ALA next year will be in San Francisco at the same hotel as in 2004, the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero Center ; in 2007, it will again return to the Westin Copley Plaza in Boston at the same room rate.
8. The EWS will begin offering an essay prize to beginning scholars; the winning essay submitted will be published in the Edith Wharton Review, and the writer will receive $250. A draft version was circulated, and those present offered corrections and additions; the final copy will be available online, and the prize will formally be announced at the House of Mirth conference.
9. Carole Shaffer-Koros gave the treasurer’s report. The organization is financially healthy, although the House of Mirth conference expenses will reduce the total amount in the bank. The biggest expenses are those involved in putting out the Edith Wharton Review . Linda Costanzo Cahir will be taking over as editor of the EWR beginning with the next issue.
10. Topics proposed for next year’s ALA in San Francisco were as follows: Margaret Murray, Edith Wharton and Local Color; Carole Shaffer-Koros , Terror and Evil in Edith Wharton’s Works. The latter topic won the most votes so that will be one of the panel topics for next year’s conference. As vice president, Hildegard Hoeller will chair the other, which will probably be on Edith Wharton and the Harlem Renaissance. The call for papers will be posted to the usual places in September.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 a.m.
Secretary pro tem