2013 meeting minutes

Eudora Welty Society Annual Business Meeting
American Literature Association Conference, Boston
May 25, 2013

Attending: Julia Eichelberger, Sarah Ford, Bruce Jorgensen, Emily Magruder, Pearl McHaney, David McWhirter

President David McWhirter called the meeting to order at 11:00. The minutes of the May 2012 business meeting were approved without amendment.

President’s report, David McWhirter

McWhirter announced the results of society elections: Julia Eichelberger will be the new Vice President and Michael Kreyling will continue in his position as secretary/treasurer.

McWhirter then gave a report on “‘Everybody to their own visioning’: Eudora Welty in the 21st Century” The conference was a success with 45 scholars presenting papers. Jill McCorkle gave a reading, and David Kaplan, Brenda Currin, and Phillip Fortenberry presented “A Fire Was in My Head” adapted from “Music from Spain.” The society presented Forrest Galey of the Mississippi archives with an award and a Welty photograph (made possible by the generosity of the Welty Foundation). McWhirter read a thank-you note from Galey to the society. The society also presented the 2012 Phoenix award to Suzan Harrison.

McWhirter announced that he and Sarah Ford would be editing a special issue of the Eudora Welty Review made up of papers from the Welty conference. The issue will include slightly expanded versions of conference papers (12-18 pages) as well as Michael Kreylng’s interview with Jill McCorkle. McWhirter will send out a notice to conference participants with due dates soon.

2013 Awards:
–Ruth Vande Kieft Award – there were six submissions this year for the award. The committee (Sarah Ford, Suzanne Marrs, and Ruth Weston) selected the winner: Jacob Abner’s “A Collision of Visions: Montage and the Concept of Collision in Eudora Welty’s ‘June Recital’. Abner is a graduate student at the University of Mississippi. The submission deadline for the 2014 award is July 1st.
–Graduate Student Travel Award – there were no applicants this year for the award. Society members, however, agreed to split the award between the two graduate students (Travis Rozier and David Smith) who presented papers at the ALA conference.

Conference announcements:
The ALA is hosting a symposium on American literature and war, October 13th in New Orleans. Rebecca Mark will be chairing a session. A cfp will follow.
Bill Phillips is chairing a session, “Approaching Insight in Welty’s Fiction,” for SAMLA, November 13th in Atlanta.
Rebecca Harrison is chairing a Welty session for the Southern Studies conference, February 14th at Auburn University.

Treasurer’s Report – David McWhirter for Michael Kreyling
US Bank checking account balance as of May 7th, 2013: $6786.77. Kreyling reports “I have filed the 990-EZ form with the IRS for the tax year 2012. We have a total of about 40 current dues-paying members.

Welty conference:
Conference income:
Registration fees: $2970
Support for conference: $5500
($1000 from TAMU English department, $1000 from Baylor University, $2500 from TAMU Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, $1000 from TAMU Academy for Visual and Performing Arts)
Conference expenses:
$200 Suzanne Marrs (Welty photo print for Forrest Galey)
$1000 David Kaplan (towards the performance of “A Fire Was in My Head”)
$313.97 David McWhirter (Phoenix Award plaque; conference programs, etc.)

Webeditor report, Sarah Ford
Ford is making information updates as needed but reports that IT people at Baylor have suggested rewriting the website in a more current program. She will continue to investigate what costs might be involved in updating the website.

Other Business
The society discussed measures for timely membership renewals and agreed to go to a yearly renewal for all members (other than those who may have already paid for several years in advance). A yearly renewal in April will allow the treasurer to send out a notice to the entire membership, and members will not need to keep up with whether they have paid for one or two years.

The next election will be January 2015. McWhirter reported that the election procedure went smoothly this time but that the society needs to continue thinking about how to contact the membership to set up a vote.

The society discussed working with MDAH on digitization of the Welty archive and agreed to ask Mae Miller Claxton to head up a subcommittee to work with the archives.

The society agreed to continue giving the Ruth Vande Kieft award. The committee for the 2013 award will be Julia Eichelberger, Harriet Pollack, and Michael Kreyling.

Calls for Papers – Sarah Ford
The society discussed possible panel topics for 2014 ALA in Washington D.C. May 22-25 and SSSL, Arlington, VA, March 27-29.
For ALA the society proposes three sessions: Welty and African American Writers, chaired by Harriet Pollack, Extravagant Welty: Gothic/Baroque/Sublime/Magical Realism, and a joint session with the Faulkner society. McWhirter will check with Alfred Benedixon to see if ALA will let us have three sessions.
For SSSL the society proposes two sessions playing off the conference theme of “Other Souths” by using “Other Weltys” with possible topics such as extrasouthern Weltys, queer Weltys, digital Weltys, poor white Weltys, ethnic Weltys, transnational Weltys, non-fiction Weltys, undead Weltys, and altogether new Weltys.
McWhirter will send these suggestions out to the larger society on the listserv to get feedback on these topics and to see who might be interested in chairing or presenting.