of Meetings compiled by Joan K. Stemmler
by Joan K. Stemmler
In June of 1997, Ted Braun sent to the EC/ASECS Executive Committee's discussion list a call for a historian "to record, however briefly, the early history of EC/ASECS, [at least] from the origins to December 1977, when the Newsletter was founded." The idea for a history of the EC/ASECS came up again over lunch in the Maryland Crab House after the 1998 meeting at Salisbury State University. Ted and Anne Braun, Bonnie Robb, and Phil Hines reminisced, and I took notes on a napkin. This beginning history is the result of trying to fulfil Ted's call.
I sent an e-mail to EC/ASECS member Leland Peterson, recommended to me as the man to contact. Leland had a complete archive of the early years of the Society, which he loaned to me in April of 1999. Based on Leland's archives, I made an initial table of data and sent that to Ted Braun, Beth Lambert, Jim May, Linda Merians, and Mary Margaret Stewart. They made corrections and additions and shared their own stores of programs, notes, and remembrances. This table was scrutinized and expanded at the October 1999 meeting at Washington & Jefferson College, where new names were suggested as sources for unclear points. I subsequently contacted at the end of December 1999 Van Baker, Kevin Berland, Sophia Blaydes, Kevin Cope, Beatrice Fink, Dick Hansen, Albert M. Lyles, Bob Maccubbin, Geoffrey Sill, and Calhoun Winton, who generously replied with more information. The table lay fallow all summer until immediately before the October 2000 meeting when I finally contacted W. Reynolds McLeod, our founder, whose telephone number Sophia Blaydes had given me. I spoke to Renny (as everyone seems to call him) in West Virginia where he and his wife Vicki live. The material from all these sources is here gathered, with some last-minute additions by Jim May. A table of data accompanies this narrative drawn from the memories of generous members, excerpts from programs, and the newsletters edited over the years. Especially important as a source is the history written by Elizabeth Lambert after our 20th meeting in Bethany. The personal notes sent to and taken by me along with original material will be placed in an archive at a site yet to be determined. I hope that after this exposure in the Intelligencer oversights may be remedied and corrections made so that a more perfect version shall emerge.
Beth Lambert, as our delegate to the ASECS at the Minneapolis meeting
in 1990, wrote a report on the EC/ASECS, its first history. In "What Makes
Us Unique?" Beth captured the essence of our society in a still largely
1. EC/ASECS is small--both in area . . . and in membership ([then] 160-200). Members get to know one another, welcome new members, and cherish friendships established through the years. We feel our meetings have a more personal, intimate atmosphere than other academic gatherings.
2. EC/ASECS almost always holds its meetings on college and university campuses rather than in hotels. We have thus gotten to know a number of campuses in our region.
3. In the past few years we have always had sessions on "current researcher," "sources for research," and "Teaching the eighteenth century."
4. Our region is rich in 18th-century sites where we have met: York PA; Williamsburg, VA; Old Salem, NC; Philadelphia, PA; Henry Francis DuPont Wintethur Museum, DE; Gettysburg, PA; Fredricksburg, VA. . . .
6. The East-Central Intelligencer.
The Origins of EC/ASECS
An almost complete file of programs has been saved by Leland Peterson, chronicling topics of interest, attendees, and events of the early meetings. I tried to pick some highlights of these earliest meetings, and to note in passing when some of the members who later served on the Executive Board or organized meetings first began coming to the conferences.
The First Decade: After the 1969 MLA meeting, MLA members, including James Clifford, Peter Stanlis, and Donald Greene, resolved to found the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, modeled on the Renaissance Society. This first meeting was held in Cleveland in the Spring of 1970, and the idea of an East-Central Regional (ECR) association was born there. Van Baker wrote to me that "some of us who had been Professor Clifford's students at Columbia were . . . talking after the banquet when we were joined by Jim himself. As one of the organizers of the new ASECS, he said he was interested in seeing some regional affiliates started, since in those days most colleges did not offer much money for faculty travel. I don't remember who all was at the table; Cynthia Sutherland Matlack [was] for sure. But it was Renny McLeod who picked up the ball and almost immediately invited us all to come to West Virginia in the fall [of 1970]." Beatrice Fink remembers that Lester Crocker was also important as an initial driving force. Cal Winton recalls the role of Clifford Johnson at Pittsburgh. Renny told me that in that period, when there was more interest in supporting the liberal arts and humanities than now, the University of West Virginia's Foundation Director, Mr. Bonds, "an eighteenth-century type," was willing to provide funding for the new undertaking. Renny recalled that there were fairly young people active in the local area (Micky Ginsburg and Russ MacDonald) who were adventurous, enthusiastic, and willing to try anything.
At the first meeting in 1970, an 18th-century play was produced and good weather contributed to the general feeling of well being. There were three panel discussions with contributors from WVA, VA, PA, MD, and DC. English, History and Philosophy were the represented disciplines. The tradition of banquets and entertainments was established. Mary Margaret Stewart told me she was there at that first meeting, as were Albert M. Lyles and Professor Allan Brown, who hosted the second meeting. Van Baker recalls staying in a dorm and drinking beer in a student sort of pub in the town.
From the programs of the following years, some idea of the meetings
can be gleaned. . . . The 1971 meeting at Lehigh University again had three
paper sessions with moderators. A scheduled business meeting was placed
on the program. . . . In 1972 at Virginia Commonwealth, a Thursday evening
gathering allowed for two full days of meeting. A panel of distinguished
speakers, Martin Battestin, Jim Clifford, and Paul Korshin, opened the
meeting. Section meetings and panels and open discussions on varied topics,
including "How to Teach the 18th Century," provided a structure for all
fields to meet together. This was the first meeting for Phil Hines and
Leland Peterson. Phil remembers that everyone went swimming. . . . In 1973
at Indiana U. of Pennsylvania, there were three panel discussions and a
break into 10 sections with concurrent meetings. Calhoun Winton came up
from the SESEACS that he had organized, and Sven Eric Molin presented his
first paper. . . . 1974 found Beatrice Fink, Leland Peterson, and Phil
Hines giving papers. Saturday afternoon was left free for activities in
the area, and for the first time the perennial cash bar was publicly mentioned.
. . . John Radner, Geoff Sill, Van Baker and Ted Braun gave papers in 1975.
The Business Meeting presided over by the President following the Banquet
was the order of the day that year. . . . In 1976, the program for the
joint meeting with ASECS in Philadelphia furnished little information about
East-Central Regional. At this large meeting there were six plenaries with
panels and overlapping sessions. Damie Stillman and Peter Briggs presented
papers, and Beatrice Fink chimed in with a session on food and cuisine.
. . . An intimate quality prevailed in 1977 as there were no concurrent
sessions. Part of the charm of York was the ability to tour 18th-century
buildings. Elizabeth Nelson gave her first paper as did Bill Horne. . .
. The tradition of moderators and commentators was well established by
1978 when there were 15 sessions with one panel discussion at our Pittsburgh
meeting, our fifth in Pennsylvania. Jean Hunter's program included an 18th-century
English buffet with Yorkshire pudding, roast mutton, capon sauce, and truffles,
before an evening of chamber music by the Bellagio Trio from California.
Jack Fruchtman Jr. showed up for the first time. . . . At Williamsburg
in 1979 Bob Maccubbin was in charge. The meeting incorporated the Williamsburg
Seminars taking advantage of local collections and other colonial resources.
Jim May gave his first EC/ASECS paper. Attendance rose from about 25 at
the first meeting to about 79 in 1978. In 1971 dues were $3, registration
was $6, and the banquet was $5, but by 1978 dues were $8.50 (which included
subscription to Eighteenth-Century Life), registration was $20,
and the hotel cost $38 for a double.
The Second Decade: The 1980 conference
in Winston-Salem featured an interpretation of Old Salem, a Moravian Congregation
Town, a choral concert, and a visit to the Museum of Early American Art.
There were enough papers given so that concurrent sessions with two and
three choices were run. Ann Cline Kelly came for the first time. . . .
Concurrent sessions were the order of the day at Bryn Mawr in 1981, when
Garden History, History of Science, Political Philosophy and Women Novelists
were hot new themes. For the first time, Linda Troost, Irma Lustig, and
Beth Lambert spoke. The program included a visit to the Buten Museum of
Wedgewood and, as many others have, a reception in the Rare Books Room.
At the end of 1981, Leland Peterson stepped down from his long tenure as
Executive Secretary. . . In 1982, Renny and Vicki McLeod and Helen Louise
McGuffie organized the first conference at Bethany College. Bob Maccubbin
arrived several hours early and had lunch in the conference dining room--the
only diner there, but cheerfully served by the staff. As he was eating,
a chandelier came loose and crashed down about two feet from his table,
embedding shards of glass in his trouser leg. Bob doesn't recall the food
well. The staff offered to fix him a second lunch after he changed. (This
may have happened in 1989--he can't recall which Bethany meeting almost
put his lights out.) Peter Briggs and Jim May gave papers in competition
with a harpsichord concert (Jim says he only remembers being in competition
with Peter's carefully written paper.) . . . At Delaware in 1983 there
was a large conference with almost as many attendees (about 95-100) as
members (about 125-130). Special events took us to the Winterthur and New
Castle. Peter Briggs' Presidential Address, wherein he consulted the Muse
of Marketing, was a howler. For the first time, Henry Fulton, Peter Perreten,
Bonnie Robb and Kevin Berland presented papers. . . . We lack a program
for the 1984 conference at Annapolis, but Chairman Philip Jason's invitation
to members in the Summer 1984 newsletter and a review in the July 1985
newsletter suggest it was "ship shape" in every respect. The meeting began
Friday afternoon with a tour of the exhibition "Two Architects: The Influence
of Palladio on Buckland" at the St. John's College gallery, followed by
dinner and cash bar at the Officers' and Faculty Club, and then a round
of papers. After double morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday, we
attended performances at St. John's of Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona
(performed by a group from St. Mary's College) and Fielding's English ballad
opera An Old Man Taught Wisdom (performed by students at St. John's
and the Naval Academy). Two sets of concurrent sessions took the meeting
to 1 p.m. Sunday. Annapolis left us with distinct memories, as of the walled
campus's park-like grounds, the cadets' hats left respectfully on window
sills in the foyers of classroom buildings, and laughter flowing out of
open tavern doors toward the sailboats rocking close by in the harbor.
. . . In 1985, Mary Margaret Stewart at Gettysburg began a tradition of
producing superb conference programs. Included for the first time were
a statement of the mission of EC/ASECS and a description of the host institution.
Historians guided participants during a bus- and foot-tour of the battlefield,
and we enjoyed a performance of Robert Tyler's The Contrast, "which
in 1787 was the first American comedy acted by professionals." As has often
been our good fortune when meeting at colleges, the President of the College
hosted a reception for us at his home. Bob Ness, Doreen Alvarez Saar, Linda
Merians and Catherine LaFarge were there. . . . The program for the Mary
Washington College meeting in 1986 noted that all participants must be
members of the organization. We enjoyed a beautiful campus and toured 18th-century
Fredericksburg under sunny skies, and in the evening attended Goldsmith's
Stoops to Conquer. Sayre Greenfield and Betty Rizzo gave papers. Mary
Margaret Stewart succeeded Van Baker as Executive Secretary. . . . In 1987,
at Ursinus College, Brijrah Singh, Joan Stemmler and Bill Everdell met
on the sunny campus. Eager to encourage participation by graduate students,
the Society paid the dues and a $100 honorarium to four graduate students
selected to participate. Peter Perreten's program, besides a book and MS
exhibition, included Susannah Centlivre's The Busie Body and Hadyn's
Creation sung by an 80-voice choir. . . . A sad note was struck at
the 1988 College Park conference's memorial ceremony for Sven Eric Molin,
who had passed away in November 1987. His name is honored in the Molin
Prize for the best graduate paper given at EC/ASECS, proposed with by-laws
in 1989 and the focus of donations (including a substantial anonymous donation
[by Helen Louise McGuffie] in 1990). Linda Payne for a second year was
one of the "EC/ASECS Graduate Scholars" receiving honoraria. Beverly Schneller
came for the first time and the meeting ended on Saturday with a collation
arranged by Beatrice Fink. . . . At Bethany in 1989, the warmth of the
cozy Millsop Conference Center promoted close fellowship. Bill Yarrow gave
the first of his many fine papers on Boswell. Five graduate students reading
papers at the conference received funding awards and a year's free membership
(Nadine Bhattacharya, Kathleen Kemmerer, Kathleen Leicht, Jon Rowland,
and Cheryl Wanko). Christopher Smart's popular songs were superbly sung
by Carolyn Black in a program with three accompanists and commentary by
Phyllis Black MacDonald and Betty Rizzo, and David Judy directed a performance
of Fielding's Historical Register for the Year 1736. Newcomers Marie
McAllister, Christine Clark-Evans, Dick Frautschi were there. After rising
from $10 to $12 in 1982, dues fell when a subscription to Eighteenth-Century
Life was removed from membership benefits, and dues were $8 in 1987,
when conference registration was $40. The number of papers presented over
the decade ranged from 26 to 56.
The Third Decade: At Dickinson College
in 1990. Bob Ness chaired a diverse meeting, with a plenary lecture, music,
art and theatre enriching a 15-session conference. Erlis Glass attended
for the first time. A committee chaired by Peter Perreten awarded the first
Molin Prize to Amy Fulton-Stout for "The Search for Character in the Journals
of James Boswell." A committee with Ted Braun, Linda Merians, Leland Peterson,
and Mary Margaret Stewart undertook the revision of our Constitution. The
Society hosted a jam-packed and lively Friday night reception at the 1991
ASECS in Pittsburgh. . . In 1991 at Millersville, dinner was accompanied
by chamber music both nights! The caterers succeeded with several 18th-century
meals. Our chair, the young Beverly Schneller, arranged for a play, a recital
(Carolyn Black singing Mozart), and a plenary as well as a booksellers'
exhibition (possibly the first at our meetings). Programs ceased to include
a statement of purposes, last seen in 1990. Molin Prize judges Richard
Hansen, Bonnie Robb, and Peter Petschauer selected Jennifer Georgia of
Harvard ("French Sources of English Women's Conduct Books"). . . . A joint
meeting with the Scottish Studies Society in Philadelphia was a first in
1992. Co-chairs Peter Briggs and Steve Smith and their committee (Irma
Lustig, Linda Merians, Mary Margaret Stewart, et al.) avoided a number
of financial and logistical nightmares. The Center City site attracted
large numbers to the meeting, including new members Kathryn Temple and
Lisa Rosner. Irma Lustig hosted a wine-and-cheese reception in the "Rooftop
Lounge" of Hopkinson House. . . . The EC/ASECS was the first group to stay
at The Burkshire, Towson's beautiful conference facility in 1993. Most
of the thirty-plus sessions were at the Burkshire, but others took us to
the Fine Arts Building and the old Alumni House, whose Rathskeller provided
one of our best cash bars. Peter Staffel, Deborah Leslie, and Nancy Mace
came for the first time; Beatrice Fink provided yet another culinary coup
with her after-dinner account of Jefferson's investigations into foods
and pleasures at the table; and autobiography was the theme for four sessions.
. . . . The virtual world of electronics was featured at Penn State in
1994, where Kevin Berland presented a Practicum in Electronic Data Base
Access. Dick Frautschi and Christine Clark-Evans hosted one of our largest
meetings, with 12 sessions offering 4 concurrent sections. Multipartite
thematic sessions On the History of Women, Real and Fictional Travel Literature,
Appropriations and Transvaluation of Classical Authority, Approved and
Disapproved Speech Acts, Representations of Africa and others were featured.
Susan Goulding and Evelyn Shevlin came for the first time--as may have
Kevin Cope. A. C. Elias, Jr., chaired a research-in-progress colloquium.
Charles Mann and Sandy Stelts hosted an exhibition in Rare Books with refreshments
provided by James West's Center for the History of Book. Nathaniel Paradise
won the Molin Prize. And, in the words of Beatrice Fink, the Scanticon
banquet was a scholarly banquet like none other. . . . At Newark in 1995,
another wonderful and populous meeting was topped off by dancing to the
music of Jerry Elderly and the Juveniles, with Jerry Beasley at the helm,
singing delightful burlesque lyrics on Clarissa, Ted Braun, and Boswell's
first take on Johnson (to "Do Wah Diddy"). Leland and Betty Peterson shared
the dance floor with Kevin Berland, Laura Kennelly, Deborah Leslie, Sarah
Marino, Linda Merians, Sayre Greenfield & Linda Troost, et al. Thursday
night was a poetry reading organized by Peter Staffel, with guitar-accompanied
renditions of Burns by Luis Gamez and a scene from Dryden's
performed by Linda Troost and friends. Friday we returned to the Winterthur,
for papers, a tour, and dinner. Cal Winton gave a lunch-time plenary on
almanacs in the colonial Chesapeake. A new feature was added, the Sunday
Morning Synthesis, led by John Radner. Gregory Brown of Columbia and Julie
Rak of McMaster won the Molin Prize. Leland Peterson was honored with our
first career-service award, named in his honor. And Mary Margaret Stewart,
long the Executive Secretary, turned over the books and file cards to Linda
Merians. . . . In 1996 at Georgetown, the Leland Peterson Award was received
by Helen Louise McGuffie and Mary Margaret Stewart. The conference featured
one of our best parties (in the old library), a tour of Mt. Vernon and
a plenary by Patricia Meyer Spacks. . . . Ursinus generously hosted us
again in 1997, with Peter Perreten repeating as conference chair. Ted Braun
received the Leland Peterson Award for his services to EC/ASECS as well
as to ASECS, and David Liss won the Molin Prize for "Liberty, Property,
and Love: Imagining the English Nation through the 1753 Marriage Act,"
research for which perhaps went into his award-winning novel. . . . Salisbury
in 1998 provided the most modern of conference centers and most charming
of 18th-century gardens and buildings. Bill Horne's program included Thursday
night revels with a reading of Tom Thumb, a reception by the President
of SSU, piano duets, a performance of The Relapse, a plenary by
the delightful Christopher Ricks, a tour of Pemberton Hall, and an 8 a.m.
birdwatching hike led by Sayre Greenfield. Don Mell received the Peterson
Award, and Jenny Davidson of Yale won the Molin Prize for her paper on
Swift's Project for the Advancement of Religion. Ted Braun created
a website for the Society. . . . The presence of the first crematorium
in America in the charming town of Washington, gave rise to unusual session
topics and paper titles at the 1999 Washington & Lee conference. Featured
were scalping and torture, wretched deaths, and necrophilia in Clarissa.
Calhoun Winton received the Peterson Award; and John Gilbert McCurdy, the
Molin Prize. . . . In 2000 at Norfolk, Leland himself presented the Peterson
Award to Jim May. Program Chair Marie McAllister, aided by Linda Merians,
organized a wonderful conference for us (See Ted Braun's "Notes from Newark"
below.) In Philadelphia we hosted a reception for ASECS featuring Jerry
Beasley's band. At the end of 2000, our membership was 425. During the
1990s, over 100 papers were presented at the several large meetings, with
Penn State drawing slightly under 200 participants. Dues remain a modest
$10 while registrations ranged from $110 to $65, depending on the location
and whether the banquet was included or not.
Eighteenth-Century Life, the first edition of which was published in September 1974, was self-described by the launchers of the project as foolhardy. Co-editors were Cynthia Matlack and Jean Hunter, and the Associate Editor was Renny McLeod. Originally, institutional support of various kinds in the form of technical advice, subsidy, and seed money was given by organizations within the U. of Pittsburgh, Duquesne U., and West Virginia U. The subscription rate was $3.50 for individuals. Bob Maccubbin sent me the front matter of Vol. 1, no. 1 containing this information. Vol. 1, no. 3, was the first issue to say that the journal is "sponsored by" ECR/ASECS. The March 1978 issue of our Newsletter confirms this status as Leland Peterson assured EC/ASECS members of an unbroken run of ECL with the payment of dues. Al Lyles recalls that ECR "worked out for a time an arrangement with Eighteenth-Century Life to provide subscriptions to our members and to provide information about EC/ASECS." Soon after the journal came to William and Mary College (c. 1980), under the editorship of Robert Maccubbin, the Society's sponsorship of ECL through subscriptions to all its members ceased. However, the tradition continued that EC/ASECS members received a discount (the Nov. 1981 East-Central Newsletter announced the increase in ECL "subscriptions for members of EC/ASECS from $6.00 to $7.50 per year ($10.00 for non members)." In February 1987, that policy was found to be insupportable and was discontinued. That year a contract with Johns Hopkins U. Press was signed to handle advertising, billing, subscription lists, and distribution. At that time (up through Vol. 11) EC/ASECS members could subscribe for $12 annually ($20% off), but, with ECL now to cost $17, EC/ASECS had to decline a universal subscription at the $13.70 per member JHUP requested to maintain the discount. Bob has continued as Editor of ECL up until now, publishing an excellent journal, famous for special issues focused on fields and topics, and serving until recently as a valued advisor on our Executive Board.
Beth Lambert also noted the two publications resulting from EC/ASECS annual meetings. "Teaching the Eighteenth Century" was a collection of papers from the 1977 meeting on that topic at York College of Pennsylvania, edited by Van Baker and T.E.D. Braun, and published as a volume of Eighteenth-Century Life in honor of Jim Clifford. Man, God, and Nature in the Enlightenment, a collection of papers from the 1983 meeting on that topic at the University of Delaware, edited by Donald C. Mell, Jr., Theodore E.D. Braun, and Lucia M. Palmer, was published by Colleagues Press of East Lansing, MI, 1987 .
Leland Peterson wrote and published single-handedly the first six-page East-Central Newsletter in January 1978, and continued in this happy task until 1980. Several bound copies of his volumes exist, and it has been my pleasure to read the early newsletters in their entirety, complete with Leland's pungent comments, controversial pieces, and outrageous puns, as he chronicled the early years of EC/ASECS history.
Acknowledging that the Society was already well served by Eighteenth-Century Studies (1967-) and Eighteenth-Century Life (1974-), the Editor nonetheless argued that a new venue would be useful. Further discussions of conference papers could take place, and new issues for future conferences and comments on recent articles and book reviews could be raised. In the first years his method for raising interest was to ask controversial questions such as "Is the interdisciplinary goal of the ASECS Eighteenth Century Annual Bibliography an impossible dream?" and "Are we merely perverse in concluding that 'interdisciplinarity' means anything and everything? and nothing?" The rising feminist movement attracted his commentary, as on the issue of using the term "Chairperson" and using the passage or non-passage of the ERA as a standard for whether to hold meetings in states that had not approved the amendment. Leland had to acknowledge that the Old Guard Chauvinists such as he were losing ground to calm, informed, Newtonian rationalists like "Margaret Jacob, who is such a smarty." He predicted that someday she might succeed to the mantle of Marjorie Hope Nicholson. He continually asked for "fodder" and accepted pseudonymous and anonymous letters, the first of which were published in the first issue. A tradition of reporting on 18th-century holdings was begun in the April 1978 issue by Ted Braun's contribution on the holdings in Eleutherian Mills Historical Library and Renny McLeod's on the Buten Museum. In July 1978, Jim Clifford's death at age 77 was mourned and plans were publicized throughout the next year leading to the establishment of the Clifford Prize.
New features were added. W.R. McLeod contributed "The Compleat Historian," a section Leland described as one which will "appeal to members from more than one discipline" and provide non-historians . . . "with perspectives on a subject other than our own." "The Female Tatler" was initiated and edited by Elizabeth Nelson. For French scholars, Charlotte Hogsett edited "Le Pour et Contré," a column later briefly resurrected by Lois Ann Russell.
Leland's reign continued until September 1980, when Renny McLeod took over as editor until February 1983 (Leland remained supportive, contributing "The Norfolk Intelligencer," as did Elizabeth Nelson). When Renny resigned to edit the Scottish Merchant, Kevin Berland produced five EC/ASECS Newsletter's between Spring 1984 and Fall 1985 - Winter 1996, distinguishing them with his own cover illustrations [one of which graces this issue]. Kevin greatly expanded the length of issues (to 24-30 pp.). To facilitate that, he dropped Leland's and Renny's 8 1/2-x-11-inch format for one 8 1/2 by 7 inches, allowing two pages to be photocopied at once on legal-sized sheets, and he produced most pages on his computer.
In fall 1986, Jim May began an editorial stint lasting until the present
day, issuing his n.s. 1, no. 1 in December. He borrowed the size and format
of the Johnsonian News Letter, producing the initial issues on an
Apple IIe. After asking Executive Board members to evaluate potential titles,
beginning with the April 1988 issue, Jim renamed the newsletter The
East-Central Intelligencer. As Beth Lambert put it in 1990, Jim "has
increased the size and scope of the newsletter . . . . The [Intelligencer]
has always been more than a vehicle for announcements. It has invited and
solicited contributions from members; reviewed scholarship; fostered debate
among its members; encouraged both research and teaching by focusing upon
sources for research, . . . and upon the teaching of the eighteenth century.
Under Jim May's leadership, the East-Central Intelligencer has received
steady funding from Penn State University and Penn State University, DuBois
Campus." Linda Merians signed on as a contributing editor back in December
1986, and quickly assumed her long faithful tenure as Associate Editor,
contributing the "Pedagogue's Post" and many pieces related to research
in England. May salutes other members too that have been regular contributors:
"Leland Peterson immediately began contributing 'Spectator' essays, usually
under the pseudonym 'Kikarow,' and in April 1987 Ted Braun soon began sharing
the 'Notes from Newark' growing out of his duties as ASECS Affiliate Societies
Coordinator. Important contributions adding substance to the early numbers
came from Luis Gamez, Beth Lambert, Liz Nelson, Mary Margaret Stewart,
Betty Rizzo, Linda Troost, and the Society's Presidents, whose Presidential
Addresses have nearly all appeared in the Intelligencer. With the
January 1991 issue, boasting Peter Briggs's 'Remembering William Diaper,'
the Intelligencer had a past and future allowing it to importune
librarians, editors, and scholars for articles and presses for review copies."
Mindful of how lonely are the efforts of most newsletter editors, Jim boasts
of having received articles, notes, or reviews "from over a hundred members
and news of projects and publications from three times that number." For
several years 500 or more copies have been distributed to members in the
Americas and Europe, other Societies' editors, and libraries (including
the Clark, the Ehrenpreis Center, the Folger, the Huntington, the Library
Company, Northern Illinois U., Penn State U., and the Williamsburg Colonial
Foundation). Around 1992, the MLA Bibliography began listing some
notes and articles printed in the
Intelligencer, and soon ECI
articles were noted in Restoration, The Scriblerian, [The
Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography, vols. for 1990-2000,] and
"Selected Readings," edited by Kevin Berland. Today, The East-Central
Intelligencer aims "to perform its duties as the EC/ASECS's newsletter
while doubling as an bulletin aiding scholars in diverse historical disciplines
studying the 18th century."