History

History of the Don DeLillo Society

At the 1999 ALA Conference in Baltimore, MD, John Duvall gathered together the participants in and attendees at two DeLillo panels which, as it happened, were held at consecutive sessions on May 30, 1999, the last day of the conference. The panels were organized by Duvall and Michael Theune. In addition to the two organizers, present at the initial meeting were Glen Scott Allen, Theron Britt, Lou Caton, Joseph Conte, Tim Engles, and Phil Nel.

That June, the group of Allen, Caton, Conte, Duvall, Nel, and Mark Osteen set about drafting the Don DeLillo Society’s By-Laws, establishing interim Officers (President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Editor), and constructing the website. In early July, they sought like-minded people by sending out an email announcement to participants in “Don DeLillo: ‘At the Edges of Perception’” (1998), an international conference organized by Jacqueline Zubeck O’Donoghue, Jeoff Bull, Phil Nel, and Mark Osteen; contributors to Modern Fiction Studies‘ special issue on DeLillo (Fall 1999), edited by John Duvall; contributors to Critical Essays on Don DeLillo (G.K. Hall, 2000), edited by Hugh Ruppersburg and Tim Engles; and by posting an announcement on Curt Gardner’s Don DeLillo’s America page.

At the Modern Language Association Conference in December, members Britt, Conte, Catherine Cucinella, Duvall, Engles, Marni Gauthier, Nicole Merola, Nel, Osteen, Chris Ruis-Velasco, Art Saltzman, and Skip Willman met and made future plans, including a few changes to this page (primarily, that memberships and terms of officers will run on a May-to-May academic schedule, and that elections would be held in March of 2000). Recently, the Don DeLillo Society has sponsored panels at the Twentieth-Century Literature Conference (February 2000), at the ALA conference (May 2000, May 2001, May 2002, May 2003), at the MMLA conference (November 2000) at the SAMLA conference (November 2002); and meetings at the MLA (December 2000, December 2001, December 2002).