By Michael Downing
The August Wilson Society has been very busy since gaining new life at last October’s Wilson Conference at Howard University.
Since then, the Society has elected new officers, developed strategies for membership/ fundraising, established an ongoing plan for creating educational materials (most recently a study guide for Fences), has established social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook, has added an AWS page to the August Wilson Blog, is in the process of creating a new website, and is currently focused on bringing the August Wilson Journal to life (in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh).
The mission of the Society is, in part, to serve as an “interdisciplinary learning community dedicated to commemorating Mr. Wilson by promoting the studying, the teaching, the researching, and the ultimate safeguarding of the rich legacy bequeathed to us in the form of 10 plays that chronicle the stories of African Americans from 1904 to 1997.”
The Society has been conducting monthly conference calls with all members, as well as supplementary calls with individual members who are responsible for the various projects listed above.
From my perspective, the most pressing issue is funding for the journal. As mentioned in a previous post, the annual cost of the journal is $1,000. At this point, my home institution, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, is funding half of that amount. Therefore, we need an additional $500 to meet our goal. I am confident that there is enough support out there for this project, which will open the door of opportunity to dozens and possibly hundreds of scholars over the next decade or two.
If you would like to contribute—and every bit helps—please visit this link.
The timeline is for all of the money to be in place by April 30, 2017. At that time, I will complete the paperwork and schedule time to meet with Pitt in May to create the site. It should be a very exciting couple of days.
I will pass along more information on the evolution of the August Wilson Society as it becomes official. In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to read this and thanks for supporting the August Wilson Blog.