Legacy Plenary Session at American Women Writers of Color Conference

LegacyCoverSmall75ShadowCross-posted from Legacy’s site at http://legacywomenwriters.org:

Legacy is honored to sponsor a special plenary session at the American Women Writers of Color Conference

Hosted by Salisbury University
November 1-3, 2013
Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, Ocean City, MD

The “Racialized Private Text” and African American Women’s Archives
Saturday, Nov. 2, 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Chair: Jennifer S. Tuttle, Legacy Editor

“’And Other Ornaments’: Black Atlantic Seamstresses and the Practice of Letters in the Early Caribbean”
Danielle Skeehan, Sam Houston State University

“Entrancing Issues: Harriet Wilson, the Colored Medium, and the Problem of the Spiritualist Archive”
Katie Simon, Georgia College

“Hidden in Plain Sight: Translating the French Language Diaries of Mary Church Terrell”
Jennifer M. Wilks, University of Texas – Austin

“Public and Private Selves in Two Domestic(ated) Spiritual Autobiographies by Black Women”
Martha Pitts, Louisiana State University


Emily Dickinson archive news from around the web

An interview with Marta Werner, co-editor of The Gorgeous Nothings,  at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/article/246768

I do not see how she arranges and stab-binds the gatherings of poems we call fascicles, or how she archives them, whether with other bound gatherings only, or intermixed with loose sheets and fragments. I do not see how, or even if, she distinguishes among poems, prose, and passages of indeterminate genre. I do not see her search for a poem written years earlier to revise or only to reread it. As she herself wrote, there is so much more I “cannot see to see -”

From “Enigmatic Dickinson Revealed Online” (nytimes.com):

The online Emily Dickinson Archive, to be inaugurated on Wednesday, promises to change all that by bringing together on a single open-access Web site thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, the Boston Public Library and five other institutions. Now, scholars and lay readers alike will be able to browse easily through handwritten versions of favorite poems, puzzle over lines that snake along the edges of used envelopes and other scraps of paper, or zoom in on one of Dickinson’s famous dashes until it almost fills the screen.

“To have all these manuscripts together on one site and to have it so thoroughly searchable is extraordinary,” said Cristanne Miller, a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a member of the project’s advisory board.

 From “Trove of Emily Dickinson Manuscripts to Appear Online” (bostonglobe.com): 

Todd said Emily Dickinson’s brother had promised her a piece of land and failed to deliver, according to Martha Nell Smith, a professor of English at the University of Maryland and executive director and coordinator of the Dickinson Electronic Archives.

When the Dickinsons asked Todd to return her trove of Dickinson material, she refused, Smith said. In 1956, Todd’s daughter gave the collection — some 850 poems and fragments and 350 letters — to Amherst College, where Dickinson’s grandfather had been a founder and her father and brother served as treasurers.

Meanwhile, the manuscripts that remained in the Dickinson family — some 700 poems and 300 letters — ended up being sold to Gilbert Montague, a distant cousin of Dickinson, who gave the trove in 1950 to Harvard, his alma mater.

Ever since, the two institutions have jockeyed for the mantle of most complete Emily Dickinson collection. Up until a few decades ago, Harvard suggested that Amherst did not have rightful ownership of the collection because “Mabel never gave it back to the Dickinsons,” said Smith, who is a consultant to Harvard on the digital collection. As recently as the 1950s, there was talk of a lawsuit over publishing rights, Kelly said. “There’s always been a hint of animosity over these manuscripts.”

Book News from npr.org

The Emily Dickinson Archive, launched Wednesday, gives free access to high-resolution photos of thousands of the poet’s manuscripts, including envelopes or bits of paper with poems jotted on them, letters, doodles and many, many exuberant em-dashes. Only 10 of Dickinson’s poems were published in her lifetime, and they were published anonymously and heavily edited. The launch of the site was colored by a dispute between Harvard and Amherst College, which hold two of the largest collections of Dickinson’s papers. Mike Kelly, head of archives and special collections at Amherst College, toldThe Boston Globe that Harvard was unfairly dominating the project, saying, “It should say a joint project.” Harvard declined to comment.

“The Manuscripts of Emily Dickinson” by Mike Kelly at The Public Domain Review

Another notable example of Dickinson’s varied manuscript practise is this torn piece of a chocolate wrapper. The lines written on the back don’t form a complete poem: “necessitates celerity/were better/nay were immemorial/may/to duller/ by duller/things” Of course, we don’t have any evidence of exactly when and where she made these pencil marks, but I like to imagine her in the middle of baking something, or possibly taking a rest while waiting for something to bake in the oven. Was she struck with those lines and urgently grabbed the first piece of paper at hand to capture them before they fled? Was she idly tearing up the chocolate wrapper then jotted down the words it sparked in her brain? The joy of such a collection as this is that we will never really know, but this object can inspire a universe of speculation in a way that the lines on their own, transcribed into print and packaged as a scholarly text never could. Also: chocolate from Paris was somehow available in Amherst, MA in the mid-nineteenth century. Good to know. – See more at: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/11/05/the-manuscripts-of-emily-dickinson/#sthash.pEw7vAPw.dpuf

Book Prize: Susan Koppelman Award/ Feminist Studies in Popular Culture (Deadline: 12.16.2013)

2013 Susan Koppelman Award for Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited  Book in Feminist Studies in Popular Culture

The 2013 Susan Koppelman Award is sponsored by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

The Award Winner will be announced at the 2014 PCA/ACA annual convention at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, April 16-19, and posted on the PCA/ACA website at http://www.h-net.org/~pcaaca/, and on/in other appropriate websites, social media, newsletters, and publications.

Books published in 2013 that fit the criteria of best anthology, multi-authored, or edited book in Feminist Studies in Popular Culture are eligible for consideration for this year’s awards.  Continue reading

CFP: Kate Chopin International Society at ALA (Deadline: 1.10.2014)

The Kate Chopin International Society is seeking individual proposals for two sponsored panels at the 2014 American Literature Association conference in Washington, D.C., May 22-25, 2014. 

    The first panel, a roundtable on “Teaching Kate Chopin in Different Contexts,” seeks short (seven-to eight-minute) papers/remarks that address either teaching Chopin juxtaposed with works/genres or in courses with which she is not always associated or in educational settings such as continuing education programs, prisons, women’s shelters, literacy programs, etc. Proposals should include a title, your name and affiliation, and a paragraph about your proposed remarks. 

    The second panel seeks proposals relating to any aspect of Chopin’s life or work. Proposals (for presentations no longer than twenty minutes) should include a title, your name and affiliation, and a 200-400-word abstract. 

    Send submissions for both the roundtable and the open session to Heather Ostman ( Heather.Ostman@sunywcc.edu ) and Kelli O’Brien ( kobrien1@memphis.edu ) by January 10, 2014. 

    For more information about the Kate Chopin International Society, visit  http://www.katechopin.org/ 

Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group Meeting (3.1.2014)

The Spring 2014 Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group meetings will be Saturday March 1, 2014 at University of Texas San Antonio, hosted by Joycelyn Moody. The common reading will be Jane Edna Hunter’s autobiography A Nickel and a Prayer (1940), edited by Rhondda Robinson Thomas, and recently reprinted as part of the West Virginia UP Regenerations Series (available here: http://wvupressonline.com/hunter_a_nickel_and_a_prayer_9781933202648). Andreá Williams will be a special guest participant in the discussion.

More information regarding location, schedule, travel and hotel will be available in early 2014 on our website: http://txssaww.wordpress.com/

We’re now on Facebook! Join our Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/610099049036426/ or search Facebook for “Texas Regional SSAWW Study Group.”

Dr. Desiree Henderson

University of Texas Arlington

Job Posting: Pre-1900 American Literature and African American/Minority Literature (Deadline: 11.1.13)

Assistant Professor of English

Illinois Wesleyan University


The English Department at Illinois Wesleyan University seeks applicants for an Assistant Professor position specializing in pre-1900 American literature and African-American or another minority literature. This tenure-track position, to begin 2014-15, entails teaching six courses annually in literature and general education, including first-year writing. Ph.D. required (completed by August 1, 2014).


Illinois Wesleyan University—a highly selective liberal arts institution that values excellence in both teaching and scholarship—is located in Bloomington, Illinois, approximately two hours southwest of Chicago. Applicants should submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and a statement of teaching philosophy via Interfolio at <http://apply.interfolio.com/22266> by November 1, 2013. Candidates selected for the next stage of the search will be asked to submit additional materials. Those unable to use the Interfolio system should send materials to Wes Chapman, Chair, Department of English, Illinois Wesleyan University, P.O. Box 2900, Bloomington IL 61702-2900. We will hold interviews at the MLA convention in January 2014. Illinois Wesleyan University is an Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to Inclusive Excellence.

Grants and Fellowships: Massachusetts Historical Society (Deadline: various)

The Massachusetts Historical Society will offer more than three dozen research fellowships for the academic year 2014-2015, including two MHS-NEH Long-term Fellowships made possible by an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Their stipend, governed by an NEH formula, will be $4,200 per month for a minimum of four months and a maximum of twelve months. MHS Short-term Fellowships carry a stipend of $1,500-$2,500 to support four weeks of research in the Society’s collections. The Boston Athenaeum and the MHS will offer one Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship on the Civil War, its Origins, and Consequences for at least four weeks at each institution. This fellowship carries a stipend of $4,000. The Society also participates in the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium of twenty-one organizations. These grants provide a stipend of $5,000 for eight or more weeks of research at participating institutions. For more information, please visit www.masshist.org/research/fellowships/, email fellowships@masshist.org or phone 617-646-0568.  MHS-NEH application deadline: January 15, 2014. New England Regional Fellowship Consortium deadline: February 1, 2014. Suzanne and Caleb Loring Fellowship deadline: February 15, 2014. MHS Short-term Fellowship deadline: March 1, 2014.