Minutes for the 2014 Executive Committee Meeting
International Spenser Society
The Executive Committee of the International Spenser Society met on January 10, 2014, in Chicago, IL. Present were David Lee Miller (President, University of South Carolina), Graham Hammill (Vice-President, University at Buffalo, SUNY), J.K. Barret (University of Texas, Austin), Craig Berry (Independent Scholar), Jane Grogan (University College Dublin), Julian Lethbridge (University of Tübingen), Gerard Passannante (University of Maryland), and Tiffany Werth (Simon Fraser University).
1. David Miller delivered the Treasurer’s report:
Beginning of the year balance $18,601
End of the year balance $18,645
There is currently $1,535 in the Graduate Student Fund (included in the end of the year balance above)
Last year, the Executive Committee voted to award $200 to graduate students presenting papers on ISS panels at MLA. The Executive Committee discussed the possibility of raising the amount awarded to graduate students to $300. These students are also invited to the annual luncheon for free.
2. David then reported on membership:
ISS currently has 292 members who have registered online. Of these, 200 are new members. David noted that
- membership registration through the website has substantially increased ISS membership;
- online registration has changed the demographics of the ISS, which is now more international than ever before;
- the website received approximately 50,000 visits last year;
- there are a couple of hundred current members who have not yet registered online.
To get more current ISS members to register online, David proposed hiring an undergraduate student to for $10 / hour to cross-check the 2011 spreadsheet of members against online registration and send a template email from him inviting members to visit the website and renew their memberships. The Executive Committee Approved this proposal.
3. David reviewed plans for the annual luncheon. The Isabel MacCaffrey Prize went to Andrew Hadfield for monograph, Edmund Spenser: A Life (Oxford UP).
4. Three members of the Executive Committee need to be replaced: Ayesha Ramachandran, Rebecca Helfer, and Jane Grogan, now the ISS Vice-President. New members nominated to the Executive Committee and elected at the luncheon are Craig Berry (Independent Scholar), Stephanie Elsky (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Colleen Rosenfeld (Pomona College).
5. The committee discussed topics for MLA, Sixteenth-Century Studies, and RSA. The RSA panel, to be organized by Melissa Sanchez, will be on “Allegory and Affect.” Possible topics for MLA include “Eco-Spenser,” “Entering and Exiting the Houses of Allegory,” “Failure in The Faerie Queene,” “Spenser’s Monsters,” “Inventing Spenser, Discovering Faeryland,” “Spenser and the Ethics (or Politics?) of Vulnerability,” and “How to Read The Faerie Queene.” The committee left final decisions for the panels to further discussion on email. In addition, David and Laura Soderberg (Penn) are proposing an MLA special session on “Antebellum Spenser.”
6. Jane Grogan reported on planning for the 2015 International Conference in Dublin, “The Place of Spenser / Spenser’s Places.” The conference is being organized by Jane, Thomas Herron, and Andrew King, and will be held at Dublin Castle, June 18-20, 2015. The call for papers will go out in January, 2014, with abstracts due later that year in September. Plenary speakers include Helen Cooper, Jeff Dolven, and Anne Fogarty.
7. Judges were selected for the 2015 MacCaffrey Prize, for essays published on Spenser in 2012-13. Craig Berry and Theresa Krier agreed to serve.
8. David gave an update on The Spenser Review. He noted Washington University’s strong support for the journal and especially singled out Douglas Knox for his outstanding help.
David reported that SpR asks each of the board members to contribute unconventional pieces. After some discussion, David settled on “Reflections: Editor’s Choice” as the title for this new section of SpR.
The committee then discussed the problem of collecting abstracts for SpR. There was general agreement that publishing abstracts is an important part of SpR, but it is sometimes difficult to get people to turn in abstracts of their work. Ideas for resolving this included hiring a graduate student RA or someone else to write abstracts of published works, creating a physical space online for people to submit abstracts, using the bibliographies generated for the MacCaffrey Prizes as a resource for listing current scholarship online, and crowd sourcing on the model of Wikis. As a temporary solution, the editors of SpR will write authors, asking for abstracts. If no abstract is forthcoming, bibliographic information for the essay, monograph, or conference presentation will be listed as “abstract unavailable.”
9. David reported that the editors of The Oxford Spenser are working to get volume one to press.
Respectfully submitted, January 20, 2014