2004 presidents letter

President’s Letter

January 2004

Greetings EMW members!I am delighted to be writing to all of you in my capacity as incoming
President of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, which has
flourished this past year under the leadership of outgoing President
Naomi Miller. We tender Naomi our most enthusiastic appreciation for
all her efforts on behalf of EMW, which has attained increased
international prominence as a result of Naomi’s initiatives. Naomi has
contributed to the strength and stability of EMW since it was founded,
having served on the first EMW Executive Board in 1994-95. She has
continued her energetic and dedicated service to the EMW throughout its
existence, most recently in her work as 2002 EMW Vice President and
2003 President. All of us will be calling on Naomi’s wisdom and
experience in her new role this year as immediate past president.

I’d like to call attention to the impressive website for our society
that has been developed and maintained by our EMW Webmistress, Karen
Nelson [kn15@umail.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
College Art Association affiliated status submitted by this year’s
President Naomi Miller, which was accepted just in time to be announced
at ATW5 last November. Beginning with the 2005 CAA Convention, EMW will
be eligible to sponsor one session each year at the Association’s
annual convention. There is also the option of giving a more extended
presentation to conform to the theme of that year’s conference. When
the CAA CFP is announced, it will be posted on the EMW website.

As the Executive Committee 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 Diane
Wolfthal as our new Vice President. If you would like to apply for EMW
sponsorship of a conference panel, please send proposals for complete
panels to Diane via e-mail (wolfthal@asu.edu) or snail mail
(Diane Wolfthal, School of Art, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
85287-1505). We currently have guaranteed conference sessions at the
MLA (one sponsored panel and a cash bar), the SCSC (up to four
sponsored panels), the CAA (one sponsored panel), and the RSA (an
unlimited number of sponsored panels) every year. EMW just finished
its first full year in affiliation with the MLA, with an EMW-sponsored
panel on Katherine Philips organized by Margaret Hannay, and a
successful cash bar/reception. RSA will meet in Cambridge, UK 7-9
April 2005. The deadline for submission of RSA panels sponsored by EMW
is 23 April 2004. SCSC will meet in Toronto 28-30 October 2004. The
deadline for submission of SCSC panels sponsored by EMW is 10 March
2004. Please check the EMW listserv for other details about forthcoming

The annual meetings of EMW were 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. Many thanks to Karen
Nelson, who was responsible for overseeing the placement of the EMW
events on the program and other organizational details. Our EMW plenary
address was delivered by Bernadette Andrea, on “‘Turning Apostata’:
Theorizing the Exchange of Women between East and West” followed by a
very successful (and delicious!) reception organized by our EMW
secretary, Jane Couchman. At the open business meeting, the scholarly
awards for work completed in 2002 were presented. (See enclosed lists
of sponsored sessions and awards.) Congratulations to all the award
recipients and many thanks to Amy Froide and her excellent Awards

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our EMW Secretary, Jane Couchman [couchman@yorku.ca], and our EMW Treasurer/Membership
Secretary, Nancy Guttierez [nancy.gutierrez@asu.edu]. Both Jane and
Nancy have been instrumental in keeping the business of EMW running
smoothly as we undergo the yearly calendar shifts of officers and
committee chairs. Each has worked incredibly hard over the past year in
what are undoubtedly the most labor-intensive jobs on the Executive
Board, and fortunately for all of us, they will continue to serve EMW
in the same capacities this year.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the SCSC,
to be held in Toronto on 28th-30th October, 2004. Let me take this
opportunity to welcome our new graduate representative, Katie Larson
(University of Toronto), who will be serving as EMW liaison to SCSC.
Since Toronto is almost my home town (I live in nearby Hamilton,
Ontario) I’d like to extend an especially warm welcome to EMW members
to encourage all of you to come to the SCSC. Remember, we have four
guaranteed sponsored panels every year at the SCSC, so send your
proposals for EMW-sponsored sessions to Diane, our new Vice President.
The EMW plenary address at the SCSC will be given by Gweno Williams,
Reader in Early Modern Drama at the College of York St John, entitled
“Zealous daughters, public voices: performance and gender in Ben
Jonson’s Masque of Blackness (1605), Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of
Mariam (1613), and Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure

The Executive Committee discussed practical matters of finance and
administration, and agreed to continue the EMW’s policy of donating
five scholarships of $200 each to support travel for graduate students
to the current year’s EMW venue (this will be the SCSC in October
2004). Travel grant applications should be sent electronically to EMW
Secretary Jane Couchman (couchman@yorku.ca), by 1 April 2004. Complete information regarding travel grant applications and deadlines can be
found on the EMW website.

An important matter under consideration by the EMW board is the
possibility of starting an EMW journal, which has been under discussion
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 SCSC in October.

This letter comes with numerous enclosures: a form to renew your
membership for 2004; a ballot for 2004 officers and committee members;
a report on EMW-sponsored sessions that occurred in 2003, as well as
upcoming sessions at the RSA in New York City, 1-3 April 2004; and a
list of 2003 award winners for works published in 2002.

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 which supported travel to
the Attending to Women conference in 2003 and will be offered for
travel to the SCSC in 2004 (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 2004 dues to Prof. Nancy Gutierrez, EMW Treasurer,
Associate Dean for Academic Personnel, College of Liberal Arts &
Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1701.

EMW will be sending out an electronic directory later this spring, once
we have updated our membership information with the dues payments.
Listings will include mailing addresses, email addresses, office
telephone numbers (not home numbers), and research interests. Please
note that the mailing address listed will be according to your
preference, either your home or your work address. Thus the affiliation
listed will not necessarily correspond to the address listed.

Our thanks to Elspeth Whitney for all her work as Chair of the
Nominating Committee this past year, and to Patricia Phillippi, our new
Chair for 2004, for producing a stellar slate of candidates for
election that reflects EMW’s aim of attaining a balance of discipline,
geographical distribution, and rank, among its officers and committee
members each year. A ballot for 2004 EMW committee members is included
with this letter, and should be returned to EMW Treasurer/Membership
Secretary Nancy Gutierrez by 29 February 2004. We ask you to vote for
two new members of the Executive Committee, three new members of the
Awards Committee, and two new members of the Nominating Committee. For
ease of response, the ballot and dues/membership renewal form can be
returned to Nancy in a single mailing.

Patricia Phillippi, Chair of the 2004 Nominating Committee, has called
for nominations for next year’s EMW committee members to be sent to
her [p-phillippi@tamu.edu] no later than 15 April 2004, 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 toward the end of 2004, 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 2003 and will be based on nominations from authors, publishers,
and others working in the field. The deadline for nominations is 15
March 2004. 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 category of awards and consider nominating conference
papers by graduate students. Our Awards committee would also be very
grateful for nominations for the essay/article award. 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 2003. Please send copies of nominated works to our
new chair of the Awards committee: Professor Hilda Smith, Chair. SSEMW
Awards Committee, History Department, University of Cincinnati,
Cinncinnati, OH 45220, USA. You may also contact Hilda at

For updates on EMW business, calls for papers, and other announcements,
please do use the listserv and website. To subscribe to the listserv,
send an email message to listserv@listserv.umd.edu that includes only the
following: Subscribe EMW-L 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 mendelso@mcmaster.ca. I look forward to seeing
many of you in Toronto this coming October.

With all best wishes,

Sara H. Mendelson EMW President, 2004

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