2003 president’s letter

President’s Letter

January 2003

Greetings EMW members!

I am delighted to be writing to all of you in my capacity as the incoming President of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, which has flourished this past year under the leadership of outgoing President Margaret Hannay. We tender Margaret our most enthusiastic appreciation for all her efforts on behalf of EMW, which is well-positioned to move into further prominence nationally as a result of Margaret’s initiatives. Margaret has contributed to the strength and stability of EMW for many years, from her groundbreaking work as one of the Founders of EMW, to her continuing service as EMW Secretary from 1993-97, as VP in 2001, and finally her most recent work as 2002 EMW President.

I want to call attention to the impressive new website for our society that has been developed by our EMW Webmistress, Karen Nelson [knelson@umd.edu]. All calls for papers, sponsored sessions, calls for nominations, awards, and a complete list of officers and functions of the society can be viewed at www.ssemwg.org.

Other exciting recent news is the approval of the application for MLA affiliated status submitted by this year’s President Margaret Hannay, which was accepted in time to hold our first EMW cash bar/business meeting at the MLA Convention on December 28 in NYC. Beginning with the 2003 MLA Convention in San Diego, EMW will be eligible to arrange two sessions per convention, one of which will certainly be an academic panel, while the other will likely be another cash bar/business meeting, co-sponsored in 2003 with the Brown Women Writers Project.

As the Executive Committee had agreed several years ago, the Vice President/President Elect is affirmed by acclamation. (All committee positions are contested elections.) It is a delight to welcome Sara Mendelson as our new Vice President. If you would like EMW sponsorship of a conference session, please contact Sara at mendelso@mcmaster.ca OR saramendelson@hotmail.com. We currently have guaranteed conference sessions at the MLA, the SCSC, and the RSA conferences every year.

The annual meetings of EMW were held in conjunction with SCSC in San Antonio on October 24-27, 2002. Ann Rosalind Jones gave the plenary address on “Editing as Burial Ground: Early Modern Women Poets Revised into Respectability,” followed by a very successful reception organized by our outgoing secretary Mary Ellen Lamb, to whom we also owe a great debt of thanks for her service as EMW secretary from 1998-2002. EMW sponsored or co-sponsored eight panels at SCSC, covering an impressive range of scholarly topics. At the open business meeting, the scholarly awards for work completed in 2001 were presented. (See enclosed lists of sponsored sessions and awards.) Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you to Abby Zanger and her excellent Awards Committee.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new EMW Secretary, Jane Couchman [couchman@yorku.ca], and our new EMW Treasurer/Membership Secretary, Nancy Gutierrez [nancy.gutierrez@asu.edu]. Both of them have already been instrumental in keeping the business of EMW running smoothly as we undergo the yearly calendar shifts of officers and committee chairs. As with our outgoing secretary, Mary Ellen Lamb, I’d like to recognize the contributions of our previous treasurer, Susanne Woods, who stepped in to fill a gap at a crucial moment.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the Attending to Women Conference sponsored by the University of Maryland Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies on Nov. 6-8, 2003. Thanks not only to Karen Nelson, who has been overseeing the placement of the EMW events on the program, but also to Catherine Anne-Marie Field, who has been serving as our graduate student representative and liaison to ATW. The full ATW conference program can be accessed on the web at http://www.inform.umd.edu/atw5. Our EMW plenary address will be delivered by Bernadette Andrea, on “`Turning Apostata’: Theorizing the Exchange of Women between East and West.

The Executive Committee discussed practical matters of finance and administration, and agreed to donate five scholarships of $200 each to support travel for graduate students to the next Attending to Women conference in November 2003. Travel grant applications should be sent electronically to EMW Secretary, Jane Couchman (couchman@yorku.ca), by April 1, 1003. Complete information regarding travel grant applications and deadlines can be found on the EMW website.

An important matter for further consideration by the EMW board in the coming year is the possibility of starting an EMW journal, which has been under discussion this year by Jane Donawerth (representing the Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies at the University of Maryland), and the EMW Executive Board. Additional discussion of this matter will occur at the EMW Board and General Business meetings at ATW in November.

This letter comes with numerous enclosures: a form to renew your membership for 2003; a ballot for 2003 officers and committee members; a report on EMW sponsored sessions that occurred in 2002, as well as upcoming sessions at the RSA in Toronto, March 28-30, 2003; and a list of 2002 award winners.

In 2001, the Executive Council decided to raise dues in order to maintain the organization and to fund new initiatives, including offering the graduate student scholarships to support travel to the Attending to Women conference in 2003 (the first raise in dues since EMW was founded in 1994.) [While the travel grants themselves are modest ($200), the honor that goes with them can often translate into support from home institutions.] The current dues structure is as follows:

  • Sustaining membership $50
  • Regular membership $25
  • Graduate student/retired/independent scholar membership $15

Please send your 2003 dues to Prof. Nancy Gutierrez, EMW Treasurer, Associate Dean for Academic Personnel, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1701.

Our thanks to Mihoko Suzuki for her work as Chair of the Nominating Committee this year, resulting in a stellar slate of candidates for election, that reflect EMW’s aim of attaining a balance of discipline, geographical distribution, and rank, among its officers and committee members each year. A ballot for 2003 EMW committee members is included with this letter, and should be returned to EMW Treasurer/Membership Secretary Nancy Gutierrez by February 28, 2003. For ease of response, the ballot and dues/membership renewal form can be returned to Nancy in a single mailing.

Elspeth Whitney, Chair of the Nominating Committee, has called for nominations for next year’s EMW committee members to be sent to her [elspeth@unlv.edu] no later than April 15, 2003, along with 100-word bios for every candidate, whether self-nominated or nominated by another. This timetable will enable us to send out a formal slate for elections in October 2003, allowing the elections to be completed before the start of the new year.

EMW awards for the coming year will be drawn from publications in the year 2002 and will be based on nominations from authors, publishers, and others working in the field. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2003. Awards will be presented under the following categories: book award, essay award, edition award, collaborative projects award, arts and multimedia award, and graduate student conference paper award. Please note this last, new category of awards and consider nominating conference papers by graduate students. We welcome self-nominations for awards in every category.

The members of the committee would be grateful to receive three copies of any book, article, paper or edition nominated, but they are also willing to consider any suggestions without these materials. To be eligible for the next round of awards, each publication should have appeared in print, and the conference paper should have been presented, in the calendar year 2002. Please send copies of nominated works to Amy Froide, Chair. SSEMW Awards Committee, History Department, Clark University, Worcester, MY 01610. You may also contact Amy at Afroide@clarku.edu.

For updates on EMW business, calls for papers, and other announcements, please do use the listserve and website. To subscribe to the listserve, send an email message to listserv@umdd.umd.edu that includes only the following: Subscribe emw-1 your name (your first and last name only). When your subscription is confirmed, you will receive instructions on how to post to the list. We hope that you will continue to post the successes of our members, so that we can celebrate together.

If you have ideas for additional ways that EMW might continue to foster scholarship on early modern women, including thoughts on the possibility of a national EMW journal, and ideas for bringing EMW into greater public visibility in terms of contemporary popular culture, please contact me at njmiller@u.arizona.edu. I look forward to seeing many of you in College Park, MD this coming November.
With all best wishes,

Naomi J. Miller
EMW President, 2003

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