The annual business meeting of the Andrew Marvell Society was called to order at 08:30am by President Martin Dzelzainis.
Present were President Martin Dzelzainis, Vice President Alex Garganigo, Publications Officer and Webmaster Matthew Augustine, Nigel Smith, Nicholas von Maltzahn, Joan Faust, Greg Miller, Sean H. McDowell, Brett Hudson, Brendan Prawdzik, Amy Sattler, Russell McConnell, Bradford Boyd, Stephanie Coster, and Executive Secretary Emma Annette Wilson.
I. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of our last meeting in Tucson, AZ, in 2014 were approved..
- The SCRC 2016 was discussed briefly, outlining the date and location in St. Louis.
- The RSA 2016 panels were mentioned, with suggestions arising that the Marvell Society should aim to maintain and hopefully expand its presence there as well as at the SCRC.
- The Marvell and Europe conference being organized by Laurent Curelly in France will be held in late June 2016, which Nigel Smith pointed out is potentially constructively proximate to the timing of the Bunyan conference, Voicing Dissent: the Long Reformation which will take place in Aix-en-Provence from 6-9 July 2016, making it possible for American scholars to attend both. The Marvell and Europe conference will take place from Thursday to Saturday, totalling approximately two full days of proceedings. Martin has conveyed to Laurent Curelly that members of the Society would be happy to offer help with reading proposals, and this was affirmed.
III. Newsletter Update (from the subcommittee working on this question)
- Alex Garganigo moved to ratify the changing of the name of the Society journal to Marvell Studies in accordance with the results of the Marvell Society’s electronic poll on this subject taken last summer; Greg Miller seconded this motion, and it was unanimously passed. The name of the journal as of the next issue will be Marvell Studies.
- Approval was sought for plans to explore open source journal platforms and, if possible, to use these for the next issue. Emma Annette Wilson outlined the limitations of the current WordPress platform in terms of growing the journal. She proposed to test a new platform, the Open Journal System, at the University of Alabama, producing a private test version for the Executive Committee to experiment with, and if this software seems usable and satisfactory, it will be adopted. If not, alternative systems will be tested until a solution is found so that the Marvell Society can aim to have a new platform in place for 2016. Martin Dzelzainis emphasized the importance of doing so to enable the continued expansion and professionalization of the journal. He proposed the creation of an advisory board comprised of masthead figures, in addition to the current editorial board, to add to this effect. The immediate motion proposed was to test a new software platform, which Nicholas Von Maltzahn moved to approve, and Greg Miller seconded. The motion was carried unanimously, and tests will begin at the end of March 2015.
- The following changes to the Marvell Society’s bylaws were proposed by Martin Dzelzainis:
- Propose to clarify the clause regarding consulting with the SCRC so that we are consulting with the SCRC President on matters pertaining to the relationship with the SCRC, not internal Marvell Society matters.
- Propose that the Executive Committee to be permitted to reach decisions on issues provisionally at times outside the AGM. These decisions would always be reported on, and would be ratified at the next AGM, being revisited if deemed necessary.
- Propose that the Executive Committee be able to take action by either physical or electronic presence to achieve quorum for the AGM.
- Joan Faust moved to pass these changes, and was seconded by Nicholas von Maltzahn; the motion was carried unanimously.
V. Special Poem for SCRC 2016
- A variety of suggestions were made, including ‘Young Love’ suggested by Brendan Prawdzik; ‘The Unfortunate Lover’, though this was turned down swiftly at Nicholas von Maltzahn’s observation that there had been quite a lot of scholarship on it to date; the Villiers, Hasting, Lovelace trio was suggested by Martin Dzelzainis, with Nicholas von Maltzahn asking if it were possible to take on three poems rather than one; and Nigel Smith proposed ‘Tom May’s Death’.
- ‘Tom May’s Death’ was decided upon on the basis that it opened a lot of possible avenues of inquiry, from issues of attribution and interpretation to influence and onward literary exchanges.
VI. Wallace Award Winner
- This year’s award was judged by President Martin Dzelzainis, who discussed each of the three entries in turn before announcing the winner:
- First he discussed Brendan Prawdzik’s ‘bravura performance’ in his paper conducting an investigation of the ‘Coy Mistress’ and eschatology, described as a tough act to follow.
- D. Geoffrey Emerson’s entry examining links between Marvell and science was commended for its copia of material, and Martin commented that he very much looked forward to the book-length version of the study as it has a lot of potential.
- Finally Martin turned to Russell Hugh McConnell’s paper on syntactical problems in ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ which was part of the Special Poem panel at this year’s conference. Martin pointed out a line of argument emerging between Jonathan Sawday’s plenary discussing the flexibility of Marvell’s lines in ‘Bermudas’, Matthew Augustine’s presentation of a modernist take on Andrew Marvell, and suggested that Russell’s work chimed with these in its ‘quality of Empsonian rigour’.
- As a result, Russell Hugh McConnell was declared the winner of the 2015 Wallace Award, which was presented to him by Martin Dzelzainis.
- The Marvell Society needed to elect a new rising Vice-President. Matthew Augustine was nominated by Martin Dzelzainis, and seconded by Nicholas von Maltzahn before being unanimously approved.
- The Marvell Society needed to elect 2 new Executive Committee members.
- Amy Sattler was proposed for this role by Emma Annette Wilson, and her nomination was seconded by Martin Dzelzainis before being unanimously approved.
- The second space on the committee will be filled in the interim between now and the next SCRC business meeting using the new capacity of remote decision-making enabled by the emendations to the bylaws.
Executive Committee: Ryan Netzley and Nicholas von Maltzahn were elected to serve terms on the Executive Committee, 2013-2016.
- Executive Secretary: following Joan Faust’s election as Secretary-Treasurer of SCRC, her replacement as Executive Secretary of Andrew Marvell Society is sought. Members were encouraged to submit suggestions or nominations to the Executive Committee for this appointed position.
VIII. Any Other Business
- Alex Garganigo asked if the Marvell Society wanted to expand its presence at the RSA; Martin Dzelzainis agreed that we could, and should play this by ear. Nigel Smith likewise concurred that it was important to keep going to the RSA, and emphasized the need to be organized in creating sessions given the long lead-in time for creating proposals. Nicholas von Maltzahn noted the utility of getting the word out in advance, and in response to a question from Sean H. McDowell, Martin Dzelzainis confirmed that he, as President, was the official liaison with the RSA for the Marvell Society.
- Matthew Augustine requested comments about the Newsletter, now Marvell Studies:
- Nicholas von Maltzahn began by expressing general gratitude, and a desire on the part of many to contribute further articles to the journal.
- Martin Dzelzainis suggested the benefits of including papers from the Special Poem panel, and Matthew Augustine agreed that the focus which these share would be compelling.
- Joan Faust asked if the new platform for the journal would have new requirements; Martin Dzelzainis cited the guidelines of the DOAJ, with which Matthew Augustine concurred and is currently working towards, but reassured that there should not be a particularly big change for authors in terms of formatting or other requirements.
- Matthew Augustine raised the question of formatting, making a case for the importance of standardization, and asking for opinions on this. The response was summarized by Nicholas von Maltzahn who remarked that ‘those calamities had not particularly struck’ him.
- Greg Miller asked if Matthew Augustine has editorial support, and Matthew replied that we will in due course need an editorial board.
- Martin Dzelzainis made the point that the Marvell Society needs to differentiate between an editorial board and an advisory board, both of which could be beneficial in different capacities.
- Matthew Augustine closed by thanking everyone for contributions, noting that A. D. Couzens has contributed work for three issues, and commenting on the outreach which the journal has enabled for the Society to Australia.
The meeting was adjourned at 09:05am.
Emma Annette Wilson