Minutes of The Norman Mailer Society Conference Business Meeting

9–10:30 a.m., 1 November 2003, Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

  1. Interim President J. Michael Lennon (JML) called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.
  2. Interim Treasurer David Light presented the Treasurer’s Report.
    a. DL announced the society had, as of November 1, 2003, just over 200 members.
    b. To date the society has taken in $13,535, less $2,376.63, leaving $11,158.37.
  3. JML described the formation of the Norman Mailer Society (NMS).
    a. The Norton Anthology of American Literature dropped Mailer from 5th edition.
    b. Mailerians protested in 2002; no satisfactory response from Norton.
    c. May 2002: John Whalen-Bridge wrote to Mr. Mailer asking permission to form society.
    d. Two sessions on Mailer organized by JWB were held at the May 2002 ALA convention.
    e. At ALA business meeting, by-laws and dues structure considered and Interim officers elected.
  4. Approval of minutes of the 2002 NMS meeting at ALA
    a. J. Michael Lennon called for approval of minutes.
    b. Interim Vice President Barry Leeds (BHL) seconded.
    c. Minutes unanimously approved.
  5. Interim Secretary John Whalen-Bridge (JWB) moved adoption of by-laws as distributed.
    a. Sal Cetrano seconded.
    b. By-laws unanimously approved.
  6. Interim Vice-President Barry Leeds moved adoption of slate of officers.
    a. No other candidates offered.
    b. Barbara Lounsberry seconded the slate.
    c. Slate unanimously approved.
  7. JML discussed non-profit status for the Norman Mailer Society.
    a. Attorney Ivan Fisher, Mailer’s executor & friend, has offered to help.
    b. Fisher would incorporate NMS in State of New York, then begin non-profit application.
    c. Chris Busa, John Crockett, and Barbara Wasserman asked about the five-year waiting period.
    d. JML thanked Larry Schiller for generous $2,000 donation.
  8. BHL and JWB opened floor for discussion of NMS mission.
    a. Chris Busa asked about the “presenting problem” and BHL reviewed the Norton situation.
    b. Philip Bufithis, Robbin Martinelli and Alex Hicks offered ideas about the Norton situation.
    c. Carol Polsgrove pointed out that there is no Library of America volume on Norman Mailer.
    d. Deborah Martinson compared NM and Lillian Hellman with an aesthetic emphasis.
    e. Philip Sipiora: travel scholarships and special awards for younger scholars to develop NMS.
    f. Bonnie Bedford: the NMS should offer panels at the MLA as well.
    g. JWB announced special issue of Journal of Modern Literature on Norman Mailer.
    h. for more info, please write to elljwb [at] nus.edu.sg.
  9. Robert F. Lucid moved members of Mailer family be awarded Honorary Life Charter Memberships.
    a. They are: Norris Church, Danielle, John Buffalo, Kate, Maggie Alexandra, Michael Burks, Stephen Mcleod, Matthew, Elizabeth Anne Mailer Nastasi and Susan Mailer Colodro.
    b. Seconded by David Light.
    c. Motion unanimously approved.
  10. JWB opens discussion on the NMS web page.
    a. JWB presented overview of web page purposes and design.
    b. David Franks, manager of Wilkes site, announced adding a forum and links page.
    c. Robbyn Martinelli and Philip Morais recommended emphasis on Beat Generation.
    d. Barbara Probst Solomon recommended not seeing feminism as fixed entity.
    e. BHL concurred and suggested that web page discuss evolving gender relations.
    f. JWB announced web page will feature bibliography of Mailer studies.
  11. JML opened floor for discussion of future meetings.
    a. There will be an NMS panel at the American Literature Association ’04 in San Francisco.
    b. JML’s moved that the next full NMS meeting be in Provincetown in fall ’04.
    c. Chris Busa seconded this motion.
    d. Motion unanimously approved.
    e. Barbara Lounsberry suggested Paris as a future site.
  12. New Business: Barbara Wasserman moved adoption of an annual “Robert F. Lucid Award For Mailer Studies,” which would recognize the best scholarship on Mailer.
    a. Selection committee to be appointed by Society president (text of motion follows minutes).
    b. Motion seconded by Laura Adams Dunham.
    c. Motion unanimously approved.
  13. Adjournment
    a. Sal Cetrano moved adjournment at 10:30.
    b. Barry Leeds seconded the motion.
    c.Motion unanimously approved.

Respectfully submitted,
John Whalen-Bridge, Secretary

Robert F. Lucid Award For Mailer Studies

MOTION: by Barbara Wasserman: That The Norman Mailer Society establish an annual award for the best work of criticism or scholarship on the life or work of Norman Mailer. It is further moved that this award be called the Robert F. Lucid Award for Mailer Studies. The winner will be chosen by a committee appointed by the Society President and will receive a plaque and a cash honorarium $250.

Dr. Lucid has been a key figure in the study of Mailer’s life and works for over forty years. He edited the first collection of essays on Mailer’s work, edited the first collection of selections from Mailer’s work, and has written scores of important essay and reviews. Along with my mother, Fan Mailer, Lucid assembled in the early 1970s the Mailer Archive containing all of Mailer’s papers, and served as chief archivist for over twenty years. Currently, he is at work on the authorized biography. Dr. Lucid has helped and inspired two generations of students of Mailer’s work and is justly known as the Dean of Mailer studies.

Seconded by Laura Adams Dunham; unanimously approved.