Minutes for the 2016 Executive Committee Meeting
Corner, JW Marriott, Austin, TX, 8th January 2016
The Executive Committee of the International Spenser Society met on January 8th 2016 in Austin, TX. In attendance were Graham Hammill (President), Jane Grogan (Vice-President), Tiffany Werth (Simon Fraser University), J.K. Barret (University of Texas), Stephanie Elsky (University of Wisconsin), Stephen Guy-Bray (University of British Columbia), Jessica Junqueira (representing The Spenser Review).
- The minutes from the 2015 Executive Committee meeting were agreed.
- Treasurer’s Report: The treasurer’s report was delivered on 9th January at the Spenser Luncheon/AGM. The Society currently has 550 members (an increase of over 100 on last year), and a balance of $19,217. The 2015 Dublin conference made a profit and returned $5,316.40 to the Society.
- Fifth International Spenser Society conference, Dublin 2015: JG reported on the success of “The Place of Spenser/Spenser’s Places,” the fifth International Spenser Society conference, held in Dublin Castle, 18-20th June 2015, and organised by Thomas Herron, Jane Grogan and Andrew King. Approximately 174 delegates attended, 150 attended the conference dinner and 95 went on the tour to Kilcolman castle and Youghal. Our partners included University College Dublin, the Royal Irish Academy, Marsh’s Library and the Irish tourist board. A selection of papers from the conference will be published in a forthcoming issue of Spenser Studies (edited by the journal’s editors along with Thomas Herron).
- The Spenser Review: JJ gave a report on the healthy state of The Spenser Review: 115,596 unique visitors have accessed The Spenser Review worldwide, even attracting readers with 30 languages other than English. The highest ever number of readers per month (7854) was recorded in October 2015. JJ reminded the Committee that David Lee Miller will be stepping down as Editor after the Fall 2017 issue, and gave a description of her own role (Graduate Research Assistant) and the workload. The Committee discussed the matter of finding a new editor, the requirements of the role, the necessity of consulting those who currently support and have roles in The Spenser Review, and agreed to pursue it in the near future so as to allow the new editor to “shadow” DLM for a couple of issues, should he be willing. TW suggested forming a sub-committee to help with the transition so as to ensure that the committee fully supports both DLM and the incoming editor. GH confirmed that he would remind attendees at the Spenser luncheon/AGM of this issue, to canvas potential interest or ideas.
- British and Irish Spenser Seminar: JG presented a document advertising the revival of the British and Irish Spenser Seminar, led by Andrew Zurcher, Joe Moshenska and Jane Grogan, and sought the support and recognition of the International Spenser Society. In the discussion that followed, such recognition was agreed, and it was decided to advertise the BISS to the AGM, and it was decided to explore further ways in which to build on this relationship in the future. The Committee will revisit the issue next year once the first British and Irish Seminar has been held, so as to consider making a more concrete gesture of support, and what form that might best take, so as to make a recommendation at the AGM about it.
- New committee members: The terms of committee members Andrew King, JK Barret and Tiffany Werth have come to an end. Tiffany Werth becomes Vice-President in January 2016, and JK Barret will stay on as an ex officio member as the ISS liaison officer with RSA (together with Colleen Rosenfeld). New members nominated by the Executive Committee and elected at the luncheon are Dennis Britton (University of New Hampshire), Andrew Wadoski (Oklahoma State University) and David Baker (University of North Carolina).
- Session topics: The Committee discussed potential session topics for SCSC 2016 (2 panels), RSA 2017 (up to 5 panels) and MLA 2017 (1 panel; deadline 28th Feb 2016). Topics agreed were as follows: SCSC (Bruges 2016)—“Spenser and Europe” and “Spenser’s Travels” (organized by Ayesha Ramachandran); RSA 2017—“Spenser and Translation,” “Spenser and Sustainability,” “Spenser and the Commons/Collectivities” (organised by JK Barret and Colleen Rosenfeld); MLA 2017—“New Directions” (to be organized by Stephen Guy-Bray). Besides revisiting the 2015 suggestions, other suggestions included Spenser and historicism, Teaching Spenser, Spenser and Shakespeare, Spenserian Technologies, Spenser’s Hymnes, Ecocritical/new materialist approaches, Sexualities.
- MacCaffrey Prize: The winner of the 2016 MacCaffrey Prize was David Wilson-Okamura, for Spenser’s International Style (Cambridge University Press, 2013). Two new judges were selected for the 2017 and 2018 Isabel MacCaffrey Prize (Stephen Guy-Bray and Catherine Nicholson) under the direction of the vice-president, Tiffany Werth.
- Any other business: The committee began to explore the potential of moving the AGM, Committee meeting and MacLean lecture to RSA, given the shrinking numbers at MLA, the greater number of ISS panels at RSA and the increased potential to internationalise the membership and committee of the ISS by such a move. TW offered to consult with other relevant scholarly societies to help the Committee continue such deliberations.
GH set out the order of business for the Spenser luncheon on Saturday 9th January 2016, to include Roland Greene delivering the MacLean lecture on “Spenser’s Unwritten Poetics.”
Respectfully submitted, 12th January 2015