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CFP: Edith Wharton’s Summer (MLA 2017; Deadline 3.15.16)

The Edith Wharton Society

CFP: Edith Wharton’s Summer (MLA 2017; Deadline 3.15.16)

When, towards the end of her life, Edith Wharton named her five favorite works among her fiction, one short novel featured on the list: Summer (1917). To mark the centenary of its publication, we invite papers reconsidering Summer and its place in Wharton’s oeuvre. Themes and approaches might include: a re-evaluation of its critical reception, with Wharton claiming in A Backward Glance that Summer had “shocked” its readers, while T. S. Eliot suggested it would be considered “disgusting” in America; its position in Wharton’s canon, perhaps reconsidering the novel’s links to Ethan Frome and its label as “the hot Ethan.” Also welcome are re-considerations of Summer in the context of the discourses of race and eugenics in the early twentieth-century United States, disability studies, sexual politics, and the motif of incest. Topics might include Summer in the classroom, Wharton’s treatment of unprivileged…

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