Norman Mailer Society/Minutes of the 2019 Meeting of the Executive Board

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17th Annual Norman Mailer Society Conference
Wilkes University
Meeting of the Executive Board
October 11, 2019

Meeting called to order at 12:45pm.

The primary agenda item for this meeting was future conference locations.

  1. Bob Begiebing and Phil Sipiora began the discussion by following up on the proposal (sent out to all Board members). Proposal is appended to these minutes. The board discussed the proposal; in general, it was agreed that conference venues should be easily accessible, though ease of travel to various locations differs according to where attendees live. Rotating between two sites makes planning easier, but it is difficult to guarantee that people will be available to help “on the ground” at these locations every other year.
  2. Possible venues for future conferences were raised, with the proposal in mind. Phil Sipiora suggested the Don CeSar in Florida; Nicole DePolo suggested RISD; Larry Schiller suggested Pepperdine. It was suggested that individuals who would like to propose a specific conference location should conduct specific research into pricing, transportation, and availability, and these can be sent to the Board for consideration and a possible vote prior to the 2020 conference. Maggie McKinley will follow up with reminders early next year.
  3. Larry Schiller mentioned that he would like to see more students involved in the annual conference, and there was unanimous agreement on this. Discussion ensued about how to encourage more students to attend: holding conferences at/near universities, and subsidizing costs for students were proposed as top strategies. Mike Lennon suggested that we might encourage all Board and Society members who are professors to bring one student to the next conference, if possible.
  4. At the 2018 Executive Board Meeting, the Board voted to hold the 2020 conference at Monmouth in Long Branch again. This remains the plan. Susan Goulding will be on hand to help organize, and holding the conference at Monmouth is in line with our goals to encourage more undergraduate and graduate student involvement.
  5. Larry Schiller noted that Mailer’s 100th birthday would be 2023, and suggested that a celebration/acknowledgement of this would be another way to draw in more members and help the society gain visibility.
  6. John Buffalo Mailer requested that future conferences start later, to make it easier for more people to attend the Business Meeting and early panels. This will be taken into consideration when scheduling in future.