2017 meeting minutes

Eudora Welty Society Business Meeting
American Literature Association ~ May 25 2017

Present: Julia Eichelberger, Harriet Pollack, Annette Trefzer, Rebecca Mark, Rebecca Harrison, Adrienne Akins Warfield, Jacob Agner, David McWhirter, Elizabeth Crews, Alicia Venchuk, Michaela Plickova.

Draft Minutes

1. Distributed and approved minutes from 2016 meeting (see below).

2. Secretary/treasurer’s report on finances, membership, related topics
Adrienne Akins Warfield reported a balance of over $3900 in the EWS account. She has a list of 30 paid-up members out of approximately 80 people who’ve been members in the past. We should probably do some sort of membership renewal campaign, maybe before SSSL 2018.
She asked for the Society to approve of making Michael Kreyling a Senior Advisor so that the EWS account could continue to have a TN address for tax purposes. This received unanimous approval.
We discussed the amount the society might award to one or more graduate students for travel to give a Welty paper. It was agreed that we would like to award more than $100 even if we divide the award between two or more students. There is money available to make multiple awards now, but because the surplus was generated by our last conference and will not be replenished by society dues, we will want to handle extra funding amounts on an ad hoc basis. The officers agreed to make a determination for how to handle this year’s award. (Two awards were given, to Alicia Venchuk and Micheala Plickova, $200 each.)

3. We discussed topics for next year’s panels at SSSL 2018 (Austin Tx] and ALA 2018) and related business. The following session topics were suggested:

“Nasty Women” in Welty’s Work
Murders and Murderers in Welty’s Work
Welty In Translation
Foodways in Welty’s Work
Welty and Friendship
Responses to Teaching Welty—21st Century Approaches
De-Anthologizing Welty
Radical Welty (although that is the name of Rebecca’s book)
Furious Welty

We plan to have 2 panels at SSSL (Austin, February 2018) and 2 at ALA (San Francisco, May 2018). The topics tentatively prioritized were:
1) Panel on the conference topic, tba
2) Possibly a roundtable on Teaching Welty, if book is available in time
3) Nasty Women
4) Possibly one on Foodways in Welty?
1) Murders and Murderers
2) De-Anthologizing Welty?

4. The group shared news of their upcoming Welty publications.
Harriet & Jacob will have essays on Welty in the collection Detecting the South edited by Deborah Barker. Adrienne will have an essay appear in Papers on Language & Literature. Teaching the Works of EW: 21st Century Approaches, co-edited by Julia Eichelberger and Mae Miller Claxton and filled with contributions by EWS members, is due out in the Winter 2017-18 season at UP of MS. An essay on Welty will appear in an upcoming collection on the swamp in Southern lit.

5. We discussed our methods of communication: the EWS listserv, the EWS website, other possibilities.
Those present seemed happy with the status quo of the listserv and the EWS website as a repository.

6. We discussed thoughts about a possible next EWS conference.
NYC was proposed as a place of great interest to Welty. Questions were: are there EWS people in the NYC area who’d be willing to make the arrangements? Would the cost of a conference in NYC be prohibitively greater than elsewhere? Might it be cheaper to fly there than other places? Would it be possible to partner with the 92nd street Y or with the Mississippians living in NYC who hold some sort of annual MS in NY day? If this conference is to occur, a local coordinator and a sponsoring university will have to be identified. There was also discussion of possibly having the conference in Charleston, SC, where Julia and now Harriet are based. Welty in NYC might be a topic rather than a location. Annette pointed out that in Oxford MS, the Faulkner conference is already taking place every year and it might be fairly easy to add on a Welty conference just before or after the Faulkner conference takes place, or even to propose Welty’s work as a topic or sub-topic for the Faulkner conference.

7. The Welty Biennial will be sending an update about its plans for 2017.
After the meeting, we received this note from Biennial organizer David Kaplan: “The Welty Biennial Celebration plan for 2018 is underway. Its plan calls for the installation of 12 billboards posting short Welty quotations in photograph-able sites throughout Mississippi. EWS member help with passage selection, or with the planning of lectures riffing on the excerpts and offered in public venues, may be invited at a later date.”

8. EWS reconvened later that evening for a dinner at Papa Razzi’s.