You are here
2013 Annual Meeting - College Park, MD
Submitted by RMooney on September 25, 2014 - 8:52pm
Emily Dickinson International Society
President's Welcome and Report
The EDIS annual Members’ Meeting began at 9:13 a.m. Thirty-one members were present. President Jonnie Guerra welcomed the members present and explained that she was stepping down. A new president would take over by the end of the meeting.
Guerra recognized the following charter members of EDIS: Jane Eberwein, Suzanne Juhasz, Cristanne Miller, and Martha Nell Smith. Founding member Gary Stonum was not present for the meeting. Without the efforts of these members, no one would be present to celebrate the Society’s 25th anniversary today. Guerra also presented the members of the board.
Guerra announced that the Society’s bylaws are now in conformity with Massachusetts law and will soon be posted on the EDIS website.
Guerra discussed upcoming conferences, telling members that they would hear more about the 2014 Amherst annual meeting later.
The 2015 annual meeting will be held in Pacific Grove, California, at Asilomar Conference Center. The theme will be “Emily Dickinson and the Sea.” Barbara Mossberg will organize this meeting.
The 2016 EDIS international conference will take place in Paris. Antoine Cazé will be the primary organizer.
Nominations Committee Report
Eleanor Heginbotham has been reelected to the board as member-at-large by EDIS members in spring 2013 was
Board member Marianne Noble stepped down with one year left on her term, and Barbara Mossberg has been elected by the board to replace her.
Board members reelected for another term were Páraic Finnerty, Hiroko Uno, Jonnie Guerra, and Antoine Cazé.
The slate of officers for 2013-2014 will be Martha Nell Smith, president; Barbara Mossberg, vice president; James Fraser, treasurer; Nancy List Pridgen, secretary.
Guerra thanked Marianne Noble for her service to the EDIS board and presented her with a few small. Noble will also be guest of the board at the Willard Tea.
Guerra stated the board is eager to explore new venues for our annual meetings and invited any member to make suggestions for locations for future annual meetings.
Approval of the Minutes of the August 2012 Meeting
Guerra asked Secretary Nancy List Pridgen to present the minutes for the August 4, 2012 Members’ Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, copies of which had been placed in registrants’ packets, and ask for additions and corrections. No changes were forthcoming, and the minutes were approved as presented.
James Fraser gave the treasurer’s report.
The Society’s bank balance on July 1, 2012, was $14,453. The balance on June 30, 2013 was $21, 238, showing a net increase of $6,784. Receipts from the conference are still coming in. Receipts for the conference are $29,766, which is the largest amount of receipts for a conference and expenses for the conference were $22,982, which is again the largest total of receipts. Copies can be obtained from J. Fraser for those who want one.
The numbers do not represent the volunteer support of individuals, including the building and maintenance of the EDIS website by Martha Nell Smith and her students, particularly Rebecca Mooney. There is now a big blue “Donate” button on the website.
Other yearly expenses include publication of the EDIS Bulletin, $23,000 twice a year, four graduate fellowships at $1,000 each, and one Scholar in Amherst at $2,000.
J. Fraser said EDIS is also struggling to get our tax exempt status back from the IRS. The loss of the tax exempt status is something that the organization partly caused and the custodian of EDIS’s tax exempt status and EDIS’s status with the Massachusetts Corporation did not keep up with the Society’s obligations properly. The Society is now in good standing with Massachusetts and has applied for good standing with the IRS. It has been eight months since the application went in to the IRS. Diana Fraser is now the Society’s clerk, who takes care of several housekeeping tasks with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In order to sign papers such as EDIS’s annual report file with changes in board members, the secretary or clerk must be a resident of Massachusetts. EDIS has to pay a small fee each year to maintain its good standing with Massachusetts.
Membership Committee Report
Elizabeth Petrino, chair of the membership committee, listed the members of the committee and their areas of interest:
Alexandra Socarides young scholars
As of August 2, total membership was 292. Johns Hopkins University Press, who publish the Emily Dickinson Journal, require 300 members to guarantee EDIS will not be charged fees.
Petrino said that Hiroko Uno has represented EDIS with the Emily Dickinson Society of Japan and advertised the EDIS graduate student awards and scholar in Amherst awards with them.
She reported that Socarides has continued to work with new directions in Dickinson studies and that Dunning has worked on the graduate website.
Petrino stated that MacKenzie and her graduate student Liza Gilglum designed the Dickinson pins that were sold at this conference.
New member packets were sent to thirty-one new members. They include a certificate of membership, a letter from the EDIS president, puzzles, and a magnet. Emails are also sent to welcome new members. Email letters were also sent to members reminding them to renew.
Petrino discussed some ways to increase membership. They include contacting Dickinson researchers who have published or presented papers on Dickinson at other conferences in the last five years. EDIS will also send a pdf flyer to some of the major doctoral programs with American poetry or literature concentrations to distribute to their students, encouraging them to join EDIS. Petrino asked that anyone who knows high school teachers or individuals who are interested in Dickinson to let her know. Martha Nell Smith suggested that members consider giving gift memberships. Petrino referred to this as an add-a-member program, pointing out that those who receive gift memberships have the potential to renew.
2014 Annual Meeting
Petrino reported on the 2014 Annual Meeting, which will be held in Amherst, Massachusetts, on August 8–10, 2014. Petrino and Socarides are members in charge of planning and preparing for the meeting, which will include an Institute the first day. During the Institute, scholars who are preparing Dickinson papers will have the opportunity to share their in-progress papers with one another and receive feedback. A call for works in progress will be issued in September. Abstracts need to be submitted by mid-January 2014, with the theme of “Emily Dickinson and New England Writers of the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries.” Socarides and Petrino then will group the abstracts into small groups, giving these scholars an opportunity to workshop their ideas with other scholars.
Members not involved in the Institute will have an opportunity to attend another master class on the theme of the meeting.
Karen Kilcup will be the keynote speaker. She is a scholar who has worked on Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost and regionalism.
Emily Dickinson Museum Update
Jane Wald, Executive Director of The Emily Dickinson Museum, presented a report on the Museum’s current status.
Wald made available an attractive booklet entitled, “Ten Years: 2003-2013: The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and the Evergreens.” Wald stated that 2013 is the tenth anniversary of The Emily Dickinson Museum’s formation from the Homestead and the Evergreens. It is also the 200th anniversary of the construction of the Homestead.
Questions and Comments from Members
Guerra asked for comments, questions, and announcements from members present.
Greetings from Incoming President
Smith said, “First of all, I just want to say that I am very honored to be the new president of the Emily Dickinson International Society.” She stated that Guerra had been unparalleled in leading the Society, and that, although, she is not Guerra, she would do her very best.
She stated that it was a joy to have the conferees at the University of Maryland, and that what makes conferences outstanding is the people who come. She thanked the English department for the free use of the space, which usually rents at a high rate. She thanked the president of the University Wallace Lowe for providing a place to hold the EDIS conference, and in particular, for the use of the president’s conference room for the board meeting. She stated that the University wants to show its support of EDIS.
Smith assured the members that they could still purchase tee shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and pins.
Smith also thanked Rebecca Mooney both for her photography at the conference and for her regular efficiency at keeping the EDIS website up to date. She reiterated that requests for additions to the website are usually acted upon within twenty-four hours and at the latest thirty-six hours.
Smith ended the conference by thanking the members present again.
The Members’ Meeting was adjourned at 10:13.