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Proceedings of the Milton Society of America.

Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell Street, San Francisco

Secretary: A. C. Labriola, Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (E mail:

December 28, 2008

The officers and Executive Committee met in a preliminary session at 4:00 PM at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Present were Kristin A. Pruitt (President), Tom Luxon (Vice President), Labriola (Secretary), Jameela Lares (Treasurer) and the following member of the Executive Committee: Ken Hiltner.

This dinner and meeting celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Milton Society of America and the 400th anniversary of Milton's birth.

1. OFFICERS AND EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. The following members of the society were nominated for offices: Tom Luxon for President; Mary (Mimi) Fenton for Vice President, and, for three-year membership (2009-2011) on the Executive Committee, David Ainsworth and Rachel Trubowitz, succeeding Mary Fenton and Gregory Machacek.

2. TREASURER'S REPORT. Lares indicated that the assets and net worth of the society as of July 1, 2008, were $14,133.75. Labriola stressed the importance of donations and space advertisements as sources of revenue in order to stabilize the cost of the annual dinner at $55.00. This year, there were eleven full-page advertisements. Lares called attention to the tradition of complimentary membership for Miltonists outside North America. The cost of mailings and of the annual booklet is a factor to be considered if this tradition is to be continued or modified in some way, perhaps by charging regular or discounted dues. This discussion was tabled for further consideration.

3. COMMITTEE ON SCHOLARLY AWARDS. The chair of the Committee on Scholarly Awards is David Loewenstein, and other members are Barbara K. Lewalski and John Rogers.

4. SECRETARY'S REPORT. Labriola indicated that his announcements are printed on pages 5-8 of the annual booklet. He announced the names of recently deceased members of the society: Albert Fields and Hugh MacCallum.

5. OPEN MEETINGS AT MLA 2009 in Philadelphia. The following open meetings, each 75 minutes long, were approved:

A. "John Milton: A General Session" with Tom Luxon presiding;

B. "Reading Milton" with Ken Hiltner presiding.


The chairs should receive papers, not longer than 8 double-spaced pages, by e-mail not later than 15 March. Usually three papers are chosen, and the chair may appoint a respondent; or two longer papers may be selected, with or without a respondent; or a panel discussion might be organized. It is essential, however, to provide time for questions and comments by attendees.

The chairs must submit the names of participants, academic affiliations, and titles of presentations (electronically) to Labriola not later than April 1st (

Labriola will place an announcement concerning the open meetings in the upcoming MLA Newsletter; Jameela Lares, treasurer, will also include notice in her upcoming letter to all members; and the chairs of the open meetings are urged to publicize in other ways.

All presenters must be members of MLA. If not, they must join by April 1st unless their specialty is something other than language and literature, in which case they must seek, through Labriola, special permission from the MLA Executive Director for their participation.

Chairs are encouraged to be in contact with each other in order to coordinate the makeup of their programs.

Approximately 70 members and guests attended the dinner and meeting at which Pruitt presided.

1. The nominees for office (see item 1 above) were elected by acclamation.

2. Labriola announced the two open meetings at MLA 2009 (see item 5 above).

3. The James Holly Hanford Award for a distinguished book recognized the excellence of Gordon Campbell, Thomas N. Corns, John K. Hale, and Fiona J. Tweedie, Milton and the Manuscript of De Doctrina Christiana (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007; and Diane Kelsey McColley, Poetry and Ecology in the Age of Milton and Marvell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

4. The Irene Samuel Memorial Award for a distinguished multiauthor collection recognized the excellence of Milton and Toleration, ed. Sharon Achinstein and Elizabeth Sauer Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

5. The James Holly Hanford Essay Awards recognize the excellence of John Creaser, "'Service is Perfect Freedom': Paradox and Prosodic Style in Paradise Lost" Review of English Studies, vol. 58, no. 235 (2007), 268-315; and Victoria Kahn, "Aesthetics as critique: Tragedy and Trauerspiel in Samson Agonistes," in Reading Renaissance Ethics, ed. Marshall Grossman (New York and London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 104-27.

6. The John T. Shawcross Award recognized the excellence of the following edition, 'Paradise Lost: A Poem Written in Ten Books": An Authoritative Text of the 1667 First Edition, transcribed and edited with commentary by John T. Shawcross and Michael Lieb (Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 2007).

7. Instead of a featured speaker and newly inducted honored scholar, the members heard reminiscences from five previous honored scholars concerning activities of the society: Stella Revard, Diane K. McColley, Barbara K. Lewalski, Albert C. Labriola, and John T. Shaw-cross (absent), whose comments were read by Charles W Durham.

At the executive session after the general business meeting, the following were present: Tom Luxon (President), Labriola (Secretary), Lares (Treasurer), and the following members of the Executive Committee: Ken Hiltner, Rachel Trubowitz, Nigel Smith, David Ainsworth.

1. Labriola was reappointed Secretary for 2008, which will be his last year.

2. Lares was empowered to select a site for the 2009 meeting in Philadelphia.

3. The nominee for Honored Scholar 2009 is David Norbrook, who will also give the featured presentation at the next dinner and meeting in Philadelphia.
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Publication:Seventeenth-Century News
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Mar 22, 2009
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