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.

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