2015 meeting minutes

Eudora Welty Society Annual Business Meeting
American Literature Association Conference
Boston, Massachusetts, May 22, 2015

In attendance: Sarah Ford, Julia Eichelberger, Barbara Ladd, Harriet Pollack, David McWhirter, Annette Trefzer, Shinji Ohno, Laura Patterson.

2014 Minutes were not circulated at this meeting but will be circulated by email.

President’s Report – Sarah Ford
Elections were held this winter, with a large number of people sending in votes.
The new Vice-President will be Barbara Ladd and the new Secretary/Treasurer will be Adrienne Akins Warfield, with current Vice-President Julia Eichelberger becoming president next year (offices turn over Jan. 1).

The 2014 Phoenix Award plaque was presented to Pearl McHaney at the 2014 SAMLA meeting by Jacob Agner
Ruth Vande Kieft Award – a. committee is needed to select the prize essay. Annette Trefzer and Harriet Pollack agreed serve on the committee.
Graduate Student Travel Award – this year a $250 award goes to Shinji Ohno.

The first Welty Biennial , a series of exhibits and events curated by David Kaplan, is underway in Jackson, with the theme “Classical Welty.” The columns from the Ruins of Windsor are reconstructed in front of the MS Museum of Art, panels with several EWS scholars will be occurring in June, and fanciful events (e.g., a dance party at the EW House with a live swing band) are also scheduled. More info is available at weltybiennial.org.

The 2015 issue of the Eudora Welty Review will be out in June. (Pearl McHaney has expressed interest in essays on “Welty and Social Class” for a future issue.)

Upcoming panels on Welty: SCMLA Eudora Welty Society Panel (Open Topic) will be at SCMLA 2015, Nashville TN (Oct. 31st – Nov. 3rd). SAMLA 2015 will have a panel on Eudora Welty and Intertextuality.

Treasurer’s Report – Sarah Ford conveyed the report sent to her by Michael Kreyling. We have over 4500 in our account; Michael’s complete report follows.

Sarah: Just to let you know — I will file the Society’s paltry tax report to the IRS tomorrow or the next day. I’ve used the 990-EZ form for the last several years and no trouble yet. We have on hand in the checking account $4512.69 and $329.74 in our PayPal account.
About half the members (mostly new) who pay dues use the PayPal app. We haven’t touched that money since the Centennial conference in 2009. PayPal charges a small amount per transaction, which is why the balance is in odd dollars and cents: $329.74

The US Bank account started the “year” since the last meeting at ALA with a balance of $4617.51. We wrote two checks: one for web hosting ($83.40) and one for the Phoenix Award expenses ($51.42). There were three deposits of $10 each for dues. Balance today is $4512.69.

We filed a 990-EZ with the feds in late March/early April — as we do every year.

The next Treasurer, whoever he or she is, will have to rattle the cup for dues. EWS has 95 names on the membership roster, but the great majority of them have not paid dues since they paid for the Centennial. Which means we all more or less went into arrears in 2011. We could start with an announcement at ALA, then go to the email list.

Hey to everyone in Cambridge/Boston.


Webeditor Report – Sarah Ford
Sarah reported that the website is currently frozen since it was written in Dreamweaver and is now essentially obsolete and not editable. We discussed this perennial problem of keeping a website updated when it is hosted by an institution but the EWS person in charge may be at a different institution. This is the same problem we have with the listserv.
It was suggested that we look into having a new EWS site hosted commercially and, if necessary, pay that company to build it and to make changes periodically. The software may be simple enough to use that we can put it together ourselves and make changes as we might edit a document. These services are not very expensive and we certainly have a surplus, currently, that could cover it. A company (Google Sites or another web hosting company for small businesses or nonprofits) might also have functionality that would let us host the listserv, send auto-reminders, and collect dues, all in one place. Sarah agreed to look into this.

New Business
To honor the late, great EWS scholars Noel Polk and Patsy Yaeger, EWS members have already suggested by email that we should hold panels commemorating their contributions to Welty studies. We noted that MLA might be the best place to honor Patsy and SSSL seems like a good fit for Noel. Barbara Ladd agreed to propose a panel on the topic “Yaeger’s Welty” for MLA. For SSSL, we agreed on a panel in honor of Noel on the topic of archival, bibliographic, and textual issues related to Welty. This leaves us with 3 more panels: one more at SSSL and two at ALA, both meetings to be held in Boston. The broader theme of SSSL is “The South in the North,” and an EWS panel on that general topic, or on “The North in the South,” was proposed. People were also interested in Welty’s modernity and urbanity, a related topic, and on “Welty in/and New York.” People felt that this year’s practice of having two panels on the same topic was fruitful. We also could consider having one panel and one roundtable on related topics. Julia Eichelberger will circulate a drafted CFP this summer for ALA and SSSL.
Discussing future conferences, Annette Trefzer asked if EWS members might be interested in a theme of “Faulkner and Welty” or “Faulkner, Welty, and Wright” for some future annual Faulkner conference in Oxford. There was interest in this idea. Other topics that others wanted to pursue at some point were a possible marathon reading of a Welty work, studies of Welty’s temporalities, and Welty and Media (a topic Harriet Pollack hopes to turn into an essay collection).