Minutes for the Doris Lessing Society Annual Business Meeting, 2004

MLA: Philadelphia, Dec.28, 2004


  • Debrah Raschke (President);
  • Sharon Wilson (Vice President);
  • Robin Visel (Treasurer and Acting Secretary);
  • Sally Jacobs;
  • Paul Schlueter;
  • Anne Serafin;
  • Virginia Tiger;
  • Terry Reilly;
  • Nancy T. Bazin;
  • Claire Sprague;
  • Josna Rege;
  • Tonya Krouse;
  • Ruth Saxton;
  • Carla Mettling.

Debrah Raschke called the meeting to order at 5:45 pm.

Sally Jacobson read the minutes from the 2003 meeting, and was added to the list of those present at that meeting. The minutes were approved.

Debrah made the following reports:

The First Doris Lessing International Conference: Report on the First Doris Lessing International Conference in New Orleans

The conference was co-directed by Phyllis Perrakis, Brenda Bryant, Robin Visel, and Debrah Raschke.

This conference brought together scholars from thirteen different countries.

Roberta Rubenstein was the keynote speaker.

There were 16 sessions all concurring sessions, except three.

42 attended


An e-mail list was created so announcements can be made electronically.

The conference increased our membership by 30 members.

Web Site Update

URL moved, information updated; re-link


Agreement with EBSCO Host was reached.

DLS will be electronically printed through EBSCO Host. We need also to notify contributors to cite any original artwork, or anything of the kind that they may not wish to be reprinted. This does not affect back issues.

This will give added exposure, and an added income of $50.00 a year, which will increase the longer we stay with EBSCO HOST.

It will take 3-6 months to go into effect.

EBSCO HOST: Schedule 3: There is an added part to the EBSCO HOST agreement. We can decline this with no detrimental effects to the other agreement. This Schedule 3 would allow EBSCO HOST to sell an article to a third party, such as World Book, Britannica, Grolier Encyclopedias, Pearson Higher Education. Downside: not notified; benefits: more exposure, more money


The President’s Account that Sandra was holding in Canadian Trust was sent to me, held now a Doris Lessing Account through Bank of America. A credit/debit card, was created for miscellaneous purposes: mailing and the MLA refreshments. When Sharon Wilson takes over, the fund will be transferred to her.

Robin Visel made the following Treasurer’s Report:

Doris Lessing Studies

Approximately $,1000 an issue/ $2,000 a year:

$977 for 250 issues: $1.58-US

$1.85 to Canada;$2.45-Mexico

$4.55 Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Middle East

$4.80 to Western Europe, $5.30 to Australia, Japan, and NZ

$213 US /Canada two thirds (minus 1/6)

$377 Africa, Asia 1/3

$340 Western Europe 1/6

$930 for mailing alone

$677 for $2.71 per issue

$1,609 per issue

Dues: $888 per year for individuals

per year for libraries


Doris Lessing Studies

We discussed the cost of producing Doris Lessing Studies, which is about $1,000 per issue. Tonya suggested that all members recommend that their libraries subscribe. Paul suggested that we could pay for our libraries to subscribe. Anne asked if we should charge more for DLS membership. Ruth suggested that we get sponsorship from our institutions. We also discussed the possibility of separating membership and subscriptions, but this was seen as problematic. Sharon suggested producing an on-line journal through EBSCO Host. Sally noted that library budgets restrict subscriptions to single-author journals. Members spoke in favor of on-line access.

Josna reported that South Asian literary organization has a conference which helps pay for the journal. Special editions of the journal are sponsored by the editor’s institution

Phyllis said that she could keep the Doris Lessing Studies at her institution for a little while longer, with Jeanie Warnock as a co-editor, but then it would need to find another home.

Robin said that her institution could help with some of the mailing costs.

MLA Sessions

We then discussed next year’s sessions. Some of the topics proposed were first encounters with Lessing (perhaps as a roundtable), teaching Lessing to undergraduates, the relationship between her autobiography and fiction, Lessing and the real/realism, the nonfiction, essays, reviews, etc., Lessing and the environment, Lessing and trauma, Lessing’s readings and influences (these last three were suggestions from 2003), and her most recent writing. It was suggested that we balance a pedagogical and a scholarly session, and that some of these proposed topics could be saved for subsequent conventions. The members voted on the following two topics for MLA 2005: “Lessing and the Real” and “Teaching Lessing.” Robin Visel and Tonya Krause were nominated to chair these sessions. Sally made the motion to approve the sessions, Debrah seconded it, and the motion carried.


The members voted to publish Doris Lessing Studies with EBSCO host, which sells the articles to encyclopedias for additional money (the copyright belongs to the authors). The benefits would include added exposure and funds for the journal.

Editorial Addition

The members voted to add Jeanie Warnock as a co-editor of the journal.

Second Doris Lessing International Conference

The members discussed whether to hold the next conference in Leeds or Beijing. We voted to hold the second international conference in Leeds in 2007.

Debrah reiterated the need to increase library holdings of Doris Lessing Studies and to find a new home for the journal.

Robin reported that we have $6,000, plus the president’s fund ($1949.07 before MLA expenses)

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Robin Visel (acting secretary) and Debrah Raschke (President)