Minutes of the First Meeting of the Norman Mailer Society

May 22, 2003

Hyatt Regency, Cambridge, MA

American Literature Association Conference

  1. The meeting was called to order at 8:05 a.m.
  2. Barry Leeds presented a slate of candidates for Interim Officers of the Norman Mailer Society: J. Michael Lennon, President; Barry Leeds, Vice President; John Whalen-Bridge, Secretary; Treasurer, David Light. Leeds then presented candidates, all of who have agreed to serve, for the interim Board of Directors: the above four plus Robert F. Lucid, John Buffalo Mailer and Christopher Busa.
  3. Lennon proposed that the interim Officers put together a slate of candidates for the regular Officer positions and for the Board, to be voted on by the membership once a membership his been established. All those who join the Society by the end of 2003 will be considered charter members.
  4. Leeds moved and Lucid seconded Lennon’s proposal as well as the slate of seven. The motion was unanimously approved by the twelve individuals present.
  5. Leeds provided background on how the Society came into being as explained in the attachment to these minutes: “To: Prospective Founding Members of the Norman Mailer Society.”
  6. A draft of bylaws of the Society (attached) was distributed and those present were asked to send comments and amendments to the interim Officers and Board members.
  7. Lennon asked for suggestions on activities that the Society undertake. Philip Morais suggested that the Society undertake to get Norman Mailer’s work back into the Norton Anthology of American Literature (it was dropped from the 5th edition and not reinstated in the recently published 6th edition). It was agreed by all that this effort should be undertaken. Leeds and Lennon then provided some background on the editorial process that eliminated Mailer from the anthology.
  8. A suggestion was made that a future meeting be held at an upcoming MLA conference. Discussion followed with Prof. Lucid providing background on how ALA split off from MLA. It was agreed that the Society should explore the possibility of a meeting coincident with an MLA conference. Leeds was deputized to undertake this task.
  9. Lennon suggested that the first formal meeting of the Society be held in Brooklyn or New York City in the fall of 2003 and that Mr. Mailer be invited to attend. He was empowered to explore such a meeting and to invite Mr. Mailer.
  10. The value of a Mailer bibliography was discussed; there was general approval of the idea. The idea of establishing an award for important Mailer scholarship was also briefly discussed.
  11. Adjournment: Lucid moved and Philip Bufithis seconded a motion for adjournment at 8:42, which was unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,

J. Michael Lennon, Interim President