Volume 1, Number 2 (January, 1997)
Of seventeen votes cast to determine a name for our august organization, 11 voted for the William Dean Howells Society, three for the W. D. Howells Society, 2 for Howells and his Circle, and one for the Howells Society; while these votes by no means represent all of us, they apparently represent all members who are going to vote, meaning that we have now officially become the William Dean Howells Society.
At this point forty-three have joined the Society, of whom thirty-six have paid their annual dues of $10.00. Among the latter is Professor W. W. Howells, grandson of WDH, who upon learning that he had been invited to become an honorary lifetime as well as charter member of the Society, graciously remarked: "In my view, Honorary Members of the Howells Society should be assessed double, if their names happen to be Howells. Accordingly please accept a check for this assessment." We are pleased that Professor Howells accepted the invitation to join this Society as a chartered lifetime member.
The Society will sponsor only one session at the annual American Literature Association conference in Baltimore, May 22-25, 1997. Entitled "Howells and Literary Morality," the session will feature three panelists: Patrick Dooley, a visiting professor at the US Air Force Academy this academic year will present "Ethical Exegesis in William Dean Howells's The Rise of Silas Lapham"; Sarah B. Daugherty from Wichita State University will give a paper entitled "An Imperative Duty: Howells and White Male Anxiety"; and Paul Sorrentino from Virginia Tech will read, not surprisingly, "A Re-Examination of the Crane-Howells Relationship." Other Society members will participate in sessions on Norris, Crane, London, and others. The Society could sponsor more than one session at future ALA conferences, as was the case last year in San Diego, depending on interest and paper submissions. Please send abstracts or paper of no more than ten double-spaced pages to Jesse S. Crisler (3127 JKGB, English Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602) by October 1, 1997, for consideration for such sessions at the 1998 ALA conference.
In October, Gregory Mark McElrath, elder son of Joe and Sharon McElrath, died in a freak accident in Tallahassee, Florida, where he had been visiting for a week-end with his parents and friends. The Society made a modest contribution in Greg's name to a memorial fund which has been established as St. John's Episcopal Church in Tallahassee, which Greg had attended until moving to Atlanta. We extend our sympathy to Joe and Sharon at this difficult time.
Plan to attend an annual business meeting of the William Dean Howells Society during the ALA conference in Baltimore. At that time we will hear a report from the By-Laws Committee, composed of Don Cook, John Clendenning, and David Nordloh, elect officers for the next year, and take up any other necessary matters.