President Richard Dietrich called the general meeting of the International Shaw Society (ISS) to order at  4:30 pm on August 19, 2006 at the Shaw Symposium at the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.  The meeting followed the agenda that was distributed at the meeting to members and non-members in attendance (see below).


Dick began by explaining that since an ISS business meeting was just held at the Shaw Conference at Brown University in June, that this meeting would be brief and restricted to announcements and items for discussion.




Tony Stafford announced that there would be a Shaw session at the Comparative Drama Conference, Marina Del Ray, California, March 29-31, 2007 and encouraged folks to submit papers and to attend if possible.  “All aspects of theatre are welcome,” he said, and asked that abstracts be emailed to tstaffor@uttp.edu by November 1.


Dick said that there would be a Shaw session at the MLA meeting in Philadelphia on December 30, 2006 and strongly encouraged everyone to attend if at all possible so that the ISS and Shaw studies would have a strong presence.  Charles Del Dotto of Duke University is arranging this session.


Dick announced that next year’s Symposium would probably be in late July.  He will notify everyone as soon as he is informed by the Shaw Festival of the dates, which are contingent on when the Shaw plays are scheduled as well as the Shaw Seminars. 


Rodelle Weintraub announced that Dorothy Hadfield wants to work on a follow-up study of “Shaw and Feminism” and a call for papers will be forthcoming.


Dick announced that the next Shaw Conference will most likely be in Washington  D.C. , in 2008 or 2009, and will be co-sponsored by Catholic University of America and the Washington Stage Guild.


Dick concluded announcements by informing everyone that the ISS was in talks designed to initiate grant application for the creation of an online concordance of as many of Shaw’s works as possible, and that the digitizing of works for that would also serve as the first step in the creation of a variorum edition.   




A discussion of having conferences every two years or three years and for how long ensued.  A conference every three years (supplemented by the ISS-Shaw Festival Symposium each summer and occasional Shaw sessions at the conferences of others) was clearly the choice.  Dick said that the Washington Conference will probably therefore be in 2009, but exactly when will be decided later.  Various meeting formats were discussed.  To the suggestion that conferences could be shortened and more efficiently scheduled if we were more discriminating when selecting papers, Dick replied that we may shorten the conference by that means but in so doing not accomplish the ISS’s primary mission of encouraging and enabling (by grants & scholarships) young people to attend and participate in these conferences.   Keeping the meetings to three hotel nights, arriving on Thursday and departing on Sunday afternoon, seemed to be the best option, but that may not be possible.   For example, Lori Dietrich mentioned that, because of logistics in Washington, that conference might require a longer stay (the conference hotel, Catholic University, and the Stage Guild are not near each other and using the Metro subway to get around would take additional time.) 


The Symposium format was also discussed.  Suggestions were made to begin the paper reading later, i.e., at 10 am; to have  a full two-day event with some of the papers on Monday; to break up the paper reading with a short tour of the Festival wardrobe area; to have a shorter panel of some kind, etc.  Vice President Leonard Conolly said that the number of papers submitted would decide much of this and spoke in favor of  maintaining a combination of young scholars and more established scholars.


Several members complained about the hard seats and on that note President Dick concluded the meeting, keeping it as short as he had promised.


Minutes submitted by Lori Dietrich for Norma Jenckes.




At the Third Annual Shaw Symposium,

at the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


PREAMBLE:   As an ISS business meeting was just held at the Shaw Conference at Brown U. in June,  the Minutes of which have been distributed to ISS members by email, today’s meeting will be restricted to announcements and items for discussion.   See the other side of this page for a summary of the overall, long-range plan for the ISS.




          A.) Shaw session at the MLA meeting in Philadelphia on Dec. 30, 2006.   Charles Del Dotto.   See link from www.shawsociety.org for details.

          B.) Shaw session at the Comparative Drama Conference, Marina Del Rey, March 29-31, 2007.    Tony Stafford.  See link from www.shawsociety.org for details.

          C.) Next Shaw Symposium, presumably at the Shaw Festival, will be announced by December.   See link from www.shawsociety.org for details.  

          D.) Next Shaw conference may be in Washington, D. C. in 2008 or 2009 and co-sponsored by Catholic University of America and the Washington Stage Guild.   

          E.) Projects: Shaw Concordance & Shaw Variorum Edition (this item was moved from “Discussion” to “Announcements” in the actual meeting)




1.     Conferences every 2 years or every 3 years?    4 days or 5 days?

2.     Is the Symposium format okay?

3.     Other suggestions for Shaw sessions?

4.      Other ideas for making the ISS more useful and/or more successful?


The following appeared on the back of the agenda:


The Third Annual Shaw Symposium Was Partly Sponsored By



In its Articles of Incorporation, the stated purpose of the International Shaw Society, a non-profit organization, is as follows:  “The ISS shall exist to provide a means for those interested in the study of the life, times, and career of Irish writer George Bernard Shaw to coordinate their activities, exchange information and ideas, and promote an interest in Shaw worldwide.”   Following is a 10-point plan to realize ISS goals and which summarizes what the ISS is in fact doing:


Summary of the ISS Plan:

1.              Sponsor and arrange biennial or triennial conferences, annual symposia, and occasional special sessions and seminars around the world at which anyone interested in Shaw can find a gathering of kindred spirits and an occasion to speak on and discuss Shaw and to hear and see his works in performance. 

2.              Provide grants and scholarships and awards to young people (anyone under 40) interested in Shaw Studies to attend and participate in ISS-sponsored functions.  

3.              Encourage submission of papers to non-ISS conferences, periodicals, and the like to increase the visibility of Shaw and reinforce his canonical status. 

4.              Encourage the production of Shaw plays and arrange as often as possible for members to see productions and to visit with actors, directors, and other people active in the theater.   A strong theater component being vital to Shaw Studies, the ISS may eventually provide grants to theater artists to engage in the production of Shaw plays.   

5.              Keep the ISS open to the study of all aspects of Shaw's life and career, including his circle of friends and allies.  The ISS is to be Big Tent and Broad Church. 

6.              Provide opportunities for publishing for all Shaw scholars, partly through the sponsorship of SHAW: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, but also through support of the Shaw Series published by the University Press of Florida and the University of Toronto Press.  The ISS may involve the membership in large projects such as the creation of a complete Shaw concordance (online) and a variorum edition.

7.              Encourage and contribute to the publication of textbooks that are Shaw-centered or that include Shaw.

8.              Get Shaw Studies better organized and united through the use of email, websites, on-site visits, and cooperative arrangements with other Shaw Societies.

9.              Provide opportunities for participation in ISS activities via appointment and election to office or to committees.  Volunteerism encouraged.

10.         Provide business meetings and a listerv, de facto or actual, in which these and other matters can be discussed and voted on.


Anyone interested in Shaw is invited to join the ISS, and an application form is available as a link from the ISS website at: