Minutes of the 2016 Meeting of the Executive Board of the Norman Mailer Society

The Executive Board of The Norman Mailer Society (“NMS”) met in Long Branch, New Jersey, on September 30, 2016, with President J. Michael Lennon presiding. Also in attendance were Board members Maggie McKinley, Vice President, David Light, Treasurer, Marc Triplett, Secretary, Phillip Sipiora, Editor of The Mailer Review, Barbara Wasserman, John Buffalo Mailer, Mark Olshaker, Bonnie Culver, John Buffalo Mailer, Robert Begiebing, Nicole DePolo, Carol Holmes, Christopher Busa, Jason Mosser, Gerald Lucas, and Neil Abercrombie. Agenda items included The Mailer Review, future conference sites, transition of leadership of NMS, and Digital Mailer activities.

Phil Sipiora reviewed briefly the success and progress of The Mailer Review, noting particularly that in its 10 years, the Review has produced 4826 pages. Its new edition will be released soon.

The meeting was consumed primarily by a discussion of future venues of the NMS conferences. Mark Olshaker made a motion to hold the 2017 conference in Sarasota, Florida. Discussion that followed explored other options for 2017 and beyond. Sites in the State of Georgia were considered, including Atlanta, Athens and Macon. Jason Mosser discussed the advantages of Atlanta, but also noted that accommodations would be expensive. Jerry Lucas raised the possibility of Macon for a future conference site, perhaps in 2018. Macon is 75 miles from the Atlanta airport; it has adequate facilities for conference and hotel stays for the members, as well as attractions such as the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Tubman Museum, and the Allman Brothers Band Museum. Athens, Georgia, was also discussed as a potential venue in Georgia.

Other cities, including Washington, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Boston were considered—all were found to pose difficulties at this time.

A consensus formed that for the third time the NMS conference in 2017 should be held in Sarasota, Florida. Jerry Lucas will look into the possibility of holding the conference in Macon in 2018. Chicago and other locations will be considered for the future. Also discussed was the possibility of an NMS gathering within a future conference of the American Literature Association.

Mike Lennon has announced that this will be his last year as President of the Norman Mailer Society. Mark Olshaker moved that the Board act now to nominate Maggie McKinley as the next President in order to assure that the business of the NMS moves forward smoothly. That motion was seconded, and the Board passed the resolution that Maggie McKinley be nominated for election as President of the NMS by the membership at the next conference in 2017.

A brief discussion of Digital Mailer progress concluded the meeting. There is a ten-minute limit in effect on papers being presented at conferences, and Jerry Lucas reminded members that papers that would otherwise be greater in length can be published online.

There being no other business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Marc S. Triplett, Secretery

Minutes of the 2016 Business Meeting of the Norman Mailer Society

The annual business meeting of the membership of The Norman Mailer Society (“NMS”) was convened at the beginning of the Society’s fourteenth annual conference at Monmouth University, Long Branch, New Jersey, on Thursday, September 29, 2016, with President J. Michael Lennon presiding. The meeting began with a discussion of the logistics and locations of events at the conference, presented by Mike Lennon and Treasurer David Light. Mike acknowledged the photographs on the front and back covers of the program. The front cover is a photo of Norman Mailer and his sister Barbara Wasserman as young children, and the back cover photo is of the children with their father Barney, whose appearance Norman had likened to Donald Rumsfeld. Highlights noted for the conference ahead included the luncheon on Saturday with an expected attendance of 100 and keynote speaker Barbara Wasserman. Other program highlights include a presentation, hosted by Susan Goulding, on the history of Long Branch, a reading by Alex Gilvarry from his forthcoming novel Eastman Was Here, and a presentation of the one-woman play A Ticket To The Circus, written by Bonnie Culver and performed by actress K.C. Leiber. President Mike Lennon thanked the staff of Monmouth University, including particularly Susan Goulding, for their help and support in the organization and planning of the conference.

John Buffalo Mailer moved for approval of the minutes of the 2015 business meeting that had been provided to attendees, and Donna Lennon seconded the motion, which was then approved.

Maggie McKinley presented her nominations for Executive Board positions. She nominated Jason Mosser to fill the Board position previously held by Barbara Lounsberry, who has resigned. Maggie expressed thanks for Barbara’s years of service on the Board. The nomination was seconded by Susan Mailer, and the membership elected Jason Mosser to the Board. Mike Lennon thanked Jason for accepting the position and noted that Jason, a faculty member at Georgia Gwinnett College, has been active in the Norman Mailer Society for several years. Jason has published a book on Mailer’s non-fiction work.

Maggie McKinley nominated Michael Lennon to serve as President of the Board for another year. The nomination was seconded by Neil Abercrombie, who thanked President Lennon for his service, particularly his regular contact with the membership. Mike thanked the membership and recognized those members who traveled the longest distance to this conference, including Neil Abercrombie from Hawaii and Susan Mailer from Peru. Michael Lennon was then election President for a term to expire at the next conference in 2017.

Maggie McKinley was nominated to serve as Vice President, filling the vacancy created by the passing of Barry Leeds. Barbara Wasserman seconded the nomination and the membership elected Maggie McKinley as Vice President. Maggie nominated Marc Triplett to continue to serve as Secretary. Barbara Wasserman seconded the nomination and the membership approved. David Light was nominated to continue as Treasurer, and this nomination was seconded by John Buffalo Mailer and approved by the membership. Also reelected to the Board were Justin Bozung, Mark Olshaker and Lawrence Schiller.

Mike Lennon acknowledged that long-standing member Alan Ahearn was in attendance and welcomed Alan.

David Light presented the Treasurer’s report. For the period September 1, 2015, to August 31, 2017, receipts were $37,560.81 and disbursements were $21,936.84. The fund-raising appeal resulted in receipt of $10,500.00. The total worth of the Society is now $81,603.87. Mike Lennon thanked David for his outstanding service to the Society in his capacity as Treasurer and organizer of conferences.

Phil Sipiora updated the members on The Mailer Review, whose current edition is now in the proofing stages. This volume is expected to be approximately the same size as last year’s edition. The Review has three dimensions, namely, the academic, biographical and cultural. The new edition will include a story written by Mailer when he was 10 years old. This will be the 10th anniversary issue.

Mike Lennon acknowledged two forthcoming books by Society members. Jerome Loving’s book on Norman Mailer and Jack Abbott will be published soon. Maggie McKinley’s book will be published in the fall of 2017.

Jerry Lucas updated members on Digital Mailer projects. The compilation Works and Days is now digitized. Jerry is working on getting all issues of The Mailer Review posted online. Justin Bozung’s podcast, which now consists of 40 episodes, is highly recommended and includes numerous interviews with Norman Mailer over the years.

Nicole DePolo presented two Robert F. Lucid awards. The award for 2015 goes to Kevin Shultz for his book Buckley and Mailer. The 2014 award, presented belatedly, goes to J. Michael Lennon for The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer, and the Lucid Award plaque was presented to him.

There followed a discussion of potential sites for the Society’s conference for 2017 and future years. Locations discussed included Sarasota, Macon, Atlanta, Athens, Georgia, Provincetown, Chicago, and Wilkes. The Board will consider these and other possibilities before making its decision about the 2017 conference at the Board meeting.

There being no other business to be brought before the membership of The Norman Mailer Society, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Marc S. Triplett, Secretary

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