2012 meeting minutes

Eudora Welty Society Business Meeting
American Literature Association Meeting, May 26, 2012

Attending: Julia Eichelberger, Sarah Ford, Rebecca Mark, Suzanne Marrs, David McWhirter, Mae Claxton Miller, Candace Waid

The president called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m. The minutes of the May 2011 business meeting were approved without amendment.

President’s Report, David McWhirter
McWhirter announced that Liz Welty Thompson, Eudora Welty’s niece, died in March. The society donated $100 to the ALS Association. Treasurer Michael Kreyling received an acknowledgement of the donation.

SSSL – there were four Welty panels this past spring at the Society for Southern Literature conference and a few Welty papers as well in panels with other topics. One of the librarians at Vanderbilt donated her personal collection of Welty material to the library; Welty scholars were invited to view the material (photographs and first editions) and attend a luncheon.

Phoenix award – the Phoenix award is presented every other year and is selected by a committee of former winners. This year the committee has chosen to honor Suzan Harrison; her award will be presented next April at the Eudora Welty conference.

Vande Kieft Award – this award was instituted two years ago at the ALA in San Francisco and is for the best essay by a young scholar (within five years of the PhD). The scholar receives $150 and the essay is published in the Eudora Welty Review. The 2011 award winner was Kathryn Stelmach Artuso, and her essay, “Transatlantic Rites of Passage in the Friendship and Fiction of Eudora Welty and Elizabeth Bowen,” appears in the Spring 2012, volume 4, edition of the review. The judges for the 2012 award are Suzanne Marrs, Ruth Weston, and Sarah Ford.

Graduate Student Award – the Welty society awards $250 for a graduate student to travel to the ALA conference. No one, however, applied this year. The members discussed the need to be flexible on this award and offer it to a student travelling to SSSL or a Eudora Welty conference as well.

2013 Election procedures:
“Nominations and self-nominations for Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer are due to the President of the Society by January 30 of odd-numbered years. A Nominating Committee, to consist of the Past President (Chair), Vice-President, and one additional member to be appointed by the President, shall, in consultation with members of the Advisory Board, solicit and consider nominations, and select one or more candidates to stand for each office. Election will be by simply majority vote of participating dues-paying members; the Secretary-Treasurer will conduct the election by mail ballot or on-line, with voting to begin March 1 and close April 1 of odd-numbered years. Officer’s terms begin January 1 of even-numbered years.” McWhirter will send out a notice for nominations at the end the year.

Treasurer’s report, David McWhirter for Michael Kreyling
US Bank checking account balance as of May 7, 2012: $5625.90. Michael Kreyling reports: “I’ve filed the 990-EZ form with the IRS for tax year 2011. I have begged them to let EWS file the online ‘postcard’ but they are deaf to my pleas, so we use up paper and postage. We have a total of 85 dues paying members, nine new members since the last filing with the IRS. Enough members’ dues are payable for next 2/4 years that we could send out a notice via the website. Expenses: $100 donation to ALS Association in honor of Liz Welty Thompson.”

Webeditor Report, Mae Miller Claxton
Website – Claxton has been maintaining the website; Sarah Ford volunteered to take over this job.
Discussion about MDAH/EWS collaborations and digitizing possibilities – Claxton had looked into perhaps a NEH grant, but they want larger projects. Harriet Pollack asked if perhaps a digitizing project could be done through the UVA/ Crossroads project. McWhirter indicated that A&M has a center for digital humanities and suggested a panel at the Welty conference on digitizing Welty’s work. There was also discussion about how to address these issues with the archives, which might be challenging, and a suggestion that we begin with manuscripts and less controversial material. Suzanne Marrs agreed to have an informal conversation with the archives to find out what is possible and Peggy Prenshaw agreed to help as well.

Old Business, David McWhirter
Recognition for Forrest Galey – the suggestion was made that we invite Galey to the conference in Texas with an honorium to cover her expenses and have a panel on the archives.

New Business, David McWhirter
Procedures for insuring timely membership renewals and reminders and providing mechanisms for donations to the society – the membership agreed that the dues and contributions need to be through the website. McWhirter and Ford will work with Kreyling to try to set this up.

Report on 2013 Conference. The conference will be entitled “’Everybody to their own visioning’: Eudora Welty in the 21st Century” and will be held April 4-7, 2013 at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. A committee met earlier at the ALA conference to discuss speakers, panels, the call for papers, etc.

Calls for Papers, Sarah Ford
Ford led a discussion of possible topics for panels for the ALA at Boston, May 23-26, 2013. Topics generating the most interest were “Welty, Labor, and Leisure,” “Welty and Religion,” “Welty and War,” and “Welty and Consumer Culture.” Members also discussed how to generate papers with the Welty conference being held the month before. Ford will send out an email at the beginning of the fall to see who is interested in coming to Boston to form panels around certain ideas.