Minutes of the Doris Lessing Society Annual Business Meeting, 2006

Philadelphia, December 2006


  • Sharon Wilson (President);
  • Tonya Krouse (Vice President);
  • Paul Schlueter;
  • Anne Serafin;
  • Suzette Henke and husband;
  • Marilyn Dallman Seymour;
  • Emily Morgan;
  • Linda Seidel.

Sharon Wilson called the meeting to order at 9:15 pm.

Sharon Wilson read sections of the minutes of the last business meeting concerning payment for the Second International Conference. Because we had so much business, she asked whether members were interested in bypassing the rest of the minutes, which had been sent to members previously. Tonya Krouse so moved and the motion was seconded.

Sharon made the following reports:

The Second Doris Lessing International Conference

Sharon explained that there had been some confusion about what the Doris Lessing Society would contribute to the conference, but informed those present that the Society contributed $900.

Treasurer’s Report

The Society’s account has a balance of $5,092.42.

The last issue of Doris Lessing Studies cost $885.

Doris Lessing Studies has 80 institutional subscribers, and it is also available through Ebsco-host.

The President’s account has a balance of $1806.00

Because of the increasing publication costs of Doris Lessing Studies, it was suggested that members consider whether we should increase the dues for membership in the Doris Lessing Society from the current cost of $16. Because everyone presenting at the Leeds conference will have to become a member, those present decided to postpone the discussion about raising the dues so that we can see where we stand after the conference.

Election of New Treasurer/Managing Editor of Doris Lessing Studies

Members applauded Robin Visel’s work as the outgoing treasurer.

Sharon outlined the treasurer’s duties: Open a checking account for the society’s funds; keep an updated list of members and institutional subscribers; handle mail related to Doris Lessing Studies. Members present elected Marilyn Dallman Seymour to serve as treasurer of the society.

Update on the Second International Doris Lessing Conference in Leeds

Sharon reported that conference planning is going well according to the organizers. Sixty papers have been accepted and attendees can begin registering on the Leeds Metropolitan School of Cultural Studies website from January 9, 2007.

On the conference program, Lessing is scheduled to speak on the evening of Friday July 6, 2007, and there will be a reception with the mayor following Lessing’s talk. Saturday, July 7, 2007 attendees can attend a conference dinner and a canal boat cruise.

Doris Lessing Studies

Sharon reported that Jeannie Warnock had sent in a proposal that she edit the next issue of DLS, a special issue on Lessing and Trauma, and those present agreed that this was acceptable.

Conference organizers from the Leeds conference have proposed two special issues of DLS to come out of the conference. Those present agreed to the proposal, with the stipulation, per Phyllis Perakis’s suggestion, that a regular issue should appear between the two special issues from the conference. The first special issue from the conference will appear in Fall 2007, a regular issue will appear in Spring 2008, and a special issue from the conference will appear in Fall 2008. Phyllis also suggested that strong papers in Leeds can be considered by the regular editors of DLS for regular issues.

Sharon conveyed Phyllis’s concerns about the duties of special editors of DLS. Phyllis outlined her thoughts on the duties in an email, which Sharon read to members, as follows: to seek out additional papers for the issue by circulating a call for papers; to proofread the individual submissions; to ensure that individual essays conform to DLS house style; to be responsible for the layout of the issue; to look over proofs and to take on some of the responsibility for sending out the issue; to seek possible funding from one’s home institution. Those present expressed some concern about contradictions between these proposed guidelines and the norms for what kinds of essays appear in conference issues, which it was agreed officers could resolve with the regular editors of DLS.

Panel Topics for MLA 2007

Members discussed the following potential topics for the Society’s 2007 MLA panels: Lessing and Modernism; Lessing and Scholarship in the 21st Century; Recent Lessing; Anthropological or Environmental Lessing; Doris Lessing and the End of Politics; Lessing Pot Pourri. After discussion, members voted that the 2007 MLA topics will be Lessing and Modernism and Recent Lessing.

Announcement of Allied Societies meeting Dec. 30 and Change in MLA Dates

Tonya will represent the Society at the meeting.

Society members discussed the proposed change and the prevailing sentiment is that the date change to the first week in January would not be positive.

Review of By-Laws for the Doris Lessing Society

In accordance with the MLA requirements for renewal, Sharon and Tonya will review the by-laws.

Doris Lessing Society Awards

Members voted unanimously to begin presenting annual awards to undergraduates and graduate students for the best essays on Doris Lessing. Emily Morgan and Paul Schlueter volunteered to serve as judges for these awards.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Tonya Krouse (Vice President)