2015-01-09 MLA

Wharton Board meeting Jan 9, 12:15   Pan Pacific Hotel

Attendees: Emily Orlando, president; Paul Ohler, vice-president; Melanie Dawson, secretary; Meredith Goldsmith, editor, Edith Wharton Review; Sharon Kim, associate editor of the EWR; Donna Campbell, web-master.


  1. Recertification with MLA [Emily, Paul]

It is time to apply for recertification of the EW Society as an MLA-allied society. Emily and Paul are taking up the process of recertification.


  1. Financial Update [from Treasurer, Carole Shaffer Koros], as of January 5, 2015:
  2. CDs  $21,697.08

Cash         1,819.76

Total                $23,516.84


  1. Recent Major expenses: Spring EWR ($2,705.40) and Fall EWR ($2,664.79), estimated. One CD was cashed on spring ’14 to cover printing and mailing expenses for the Edith Wharton Review. The early withdrawal entailed a $46 banking fee.
  2. Recent Outstanding Gifts: Mary Sue Shriber gave a donation of $1000 to the EW Review. In addition, Ursinus College provided $500 a year in donations to the journal.


III. Membership Update

  1. Currently the association has 153 individual members, of whom 63 are life-time members.


  1. Resolution that scholars who take a role in EWS sponsored conference panelists should be asked to join the society, as should all scholars who published in the EW Review.


  1. Edith Wharton Review update [Meredith Goldsmith]

The Fall 2014 issue out now. The production of the journal is moving to Penn State University press in 2016; the society has copies of the contract. The move should be an advantageous one, especially in terms of digital access to the journal. The 2015 edition of the journal will function as an annual so as to facilitate the transition to Penn State U Press, additionally allowing the journal to save money during the transition to the new production schedule. Sharon Kim has become associate editor. In 2016, the journal will be published on a semi-annual basis again.


Meredith additionally asked for clarification of the editorial board’s responsibilities and proposed that during 2016, requirements and qualifications will be revisited.


  1. Discussions about recruiting the next generation of Wharton scholars.

Discussion of application for upcoming NEH seminar for high school teachers, ideas about recruiting executive board members at the graduate student level, and plans to include undergraduate panels at the upcoming international conference in 2016. The board reached a decision to make invitations to Arielle Zibrak and Shannon Brennan, who will be joining the Wharton Executive Board.


  1. 2016 Conference Update [Melanie, speaking for Jennifer Haytock as well]


Discussion of Wharton in Washington, the working name of the 2016 conference, which will be held in Washington, D.C. near a DuPont Circle location. Discussion of conference themes (which include an emphasis on nationalism, transatlanticism, material and museum cultures, seats of power, political figures, etc.), the announcement of key-note speaker (Laura Rattray), conference dates (three dates between June 8 and 11), and a discussion of the best time-table for reading proposals. Discussion of the paperwork that needs to be done to file for non-profit status; we have seen the forms and will likely need to consult with several board members, given the paperwork’s complexity. For conference content: there are plans for various roundtable discussions, including an undergraduate panel or roundtable.


Work coming up in the next two months: establishing a web presence for the conference with the help of Sharon Kehl Califano and Donna Campbell, circulating the call for papers, filing not-for-profit status.


VII. Update on Prizes and Awards [Emily]


The Beinecke prize is suspended for the next year because of renovations at the library. The Mount Prize will now be an award of $500 and will be available this year. The Graduate Prize was not awarded last year; it is a $250 prize and will be revised so that it will not necessarily include publication in the EWR, but the promise that it will go to the editorial board for consideration. Discussion of targeting graduate programs with information about the prize (especially Research I Institutions). The Undergraduate Prize entails a $100 award and it will appear online. Proposed deadline: June 15th.

VIII. Proposal of NEH Summer Seminar on “Wharton and the Mount” [Meredith]

The proposed seminar is for summer 2016 and will be approximately 2 weeks in length; it is designed for teachers across the disciplines. Housing in the Berkshires will be an issue, however. Expect updates from Meredith.

  1. Society Fundraising [Emily]

Discussion of a need to build a strong donor base, including long-term relationships that unite the general public with the goals of the society. Discussion of famous writers, directors, and political figures with interests in Wharton’s writing. Sharon Kim will head up this aspect of the development committee, and Meredith Goldsmith will assist.

  1. Guidelines for publishing on the EW Society web page [Donna]

Donna raised questions about individuals who volunteer to contribute to the EWS page. Resolution that any postings have to be approved. Discussion of creating an international or informal corner for contributions.











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