2020-01-10 MLA Minutes

EWS Board Meeting: January 10, 2020

meeting notes

Members of the Executive Board of the Edith Wharton Society met beginning at 8:45 a.m. on 10 January, 2020 in Seattle during the Modern Language Association annual convention.

In attendance were:

Melanie Dawson, President

Paul Ohler, Immediate Past President

Carole Shaffer-Koros, EWS Archivist

Sheila Liming, Membership Coordinator

The following items were discussed:

  • Planning for the 2020 Conference in New York City

We discussed, as per the suggestions of the conference organizers, releasing a “provisional” version of the program in advance, so as to allow time to correct for cancellations, etc.

We discussed plans for Francis Morrone’s keynote presentation and the issue of honorarium funds.

We revisited figures from the 2016 conference in Washington, D.C., which included:

147 presentations

136 presenters

17 of whom were undergraduate students

To that end, we also discussed executive board nominations of undergraduate student work that might be presented at this year’s conference

  • Membership update

Sheila Liming presented an update on the membership roster, which lists 254 active members.

  • Edith Wharton Review

Paul Ohler gave a report on the status of the EWR journal, which has recently been made available through Project Muse

We discussed an upcoming special issue on topics relating to “queerness” and Wharton, to be edited by Shannon Brennan

We talked about the delays to issue 35.2 and plans for the upcoming special issue (36.2)

  • Treasury Report

Sharon Kim provided Melanie with an update on the organization’s finances .

$19,366.94 in total assets, with more stored in CDs.

  • Changes to membership

We discussed making some minor changes to membership options provided on the EWS website (and its associated Paypal site) in advance of the upcoming conference

Among them was the idea of adding multi-year options for membership (as a convenience option, not necessarily a budget option)

It was resolved that 2- and 4- year options for individuals (not institutions) would be added to the website reflecting current, regular rates of membership. The 4-year option, in particular, was thought to be useful as it would see members through an entire conference cycle.

2-year membership: $60

4-year membership: $120

The new membership options are currently being implemented on both websites, and will be made available along with conference registration.

  • Archives update

Carole Shaffer-Koros presented briefly on her efforts to establish an archival history of the organization. According to her research, the EWS began in 1985 following a conference at Long Island University; the first organizational conference was held in 1987.

The society was formed in accordance with guidelines established by ALA author society (namely, the Hawthorne and Emerson societies which, together, established the ALA)

Carole mentioned that a few conference programs are currently missing from the Society archives

  • 2021 MLA EWS panel

Topics were discussed for the EWS panel to be held at the 2021 MLA convention in Toronto; Sheila suggested a theme relating to “Wharton and the Culture of the 1920s,” in light of the centennial.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 a.m.