New Books: Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen

Author: Bethany Wood

Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen

University of Iowa Press, 2019

Women Adapting examines three well-known stories that debuted as women’s magazine serials: Anita Loos’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, and Edna Ferber’s Show Boat. Through meticulous archival research, this study traces how each of these beloved narratives traveled across publishing, theatre, and film through adaptation. Bethany Wood documents the formation of adaptation systems and how they involved women’s voices and labor in modern entertainment in ways that have been previously underappreciated. What emerges is a picture of a unique window in time in the early decades of the twentieth century, when women in entertainment held influential positions in production and management.

Available for purchase here:

New Books: American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824-62

Author: Brigitte Bailey

American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Italian Tour, 1824-62

Edinburgh University Press, 2018

American Travel Literature analyzes tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. The Italian tour and its textual and visual expressions were forms through which predominantly white, northeastern elites dreamed their way into national identity and cultural authority. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity. Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, it historicises aesthetic practices, illuminating the depth of Americans’ turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.

The book investigates tourists’ triangulations of the categories of ‘England’, ‘Italy’ and ‘America’, discusses authors understood as national representatives − Irving, Cooper, Sedgwick, Kirkland, Fuller, Hawthorne and Stowe − in the context of other US and European writers and artists and looks at transatlantic tourist writing as a significant genre of the period that shaped the nation.

Available in print and digital formats with paperback edition forthcoming September 1, 2019. Purchase here.

CFP: Antebellum City Texts NeMLA (Deadline: 9.30.2019)

Call for Papers, for a panel at the next NeMLA conference, in Boston, March 5-8, 2020.

NeMLA’s theme this year will be:”Shaping and Sharing Identities: Spaces, Places, Languages, and Cultures”

This is an accepted session. 

Antebellum City Texts: Print Culture and Emergent U.S. Metropolitan Spaces   

This panel will feature current research on pre-Civil War representations of U.S. cities and on publications in and about cities. Topics might include depictions of the city in fiction, poetry, religious tracts, newspapers, other periodical “texts”—including engravings–and sketches. But they may also focus on the urban location of publications; e.g., to what extent are abolitionist “appeals” by Lydia Maria Child or David Walker urban texts? Or, how do oral performances (lyceum speeches, sermons, etc.) printed in periodicals function as part of an urban print culture? Transatlantic topics and interdisciplinary perspectives welcome, from geography, history, literary history, visual studies, and environmental humanities.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief bio by September 30, 2019, through NeMLA’s website ( —  the session’s number is 18015. If you have questions, please contact the panel chair, Brigitte Bailey, at .

CFP: Consumption and the Literary Cookbook A Call for Papers for an Edited Collection (Deadline: 1.5.2020)

In the 1960s, long before there was Julie & Julia, an aspiring writer named Nora Ephron cooked her way through the holy trinity of cookbooks: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Michael Field’s Cooking School, and Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cook Book. In a New Yorker column from 2006, titled “Serial Monogamy: My Cookbook Crushes,” Ephron describes her relationship with the authors of these books: “as I cooked, I had imaginary conversation with them both [Claiborne fell out of favor early on]. Julia was nicer and more forgiving. … Field was sterner and more meticulous; he was almost fascistic. He was full of prejudice about things like the garlic press (he believed that using one made the garlic bitter), and I threw mine away for fear that he would suddenly materialize in my kitchen and disapprove” (73). Ephron later continued her serial cookbook monogamy with Martha Stewart, “whom I worshipped and had long, long imaginary talks with,” and more recently Nigella Lawson (75), with whom she also likely conversed, given her notice that they have similar styles in the kitchen and at table. Ephron responded to these cookbooks because they gave her narrative that evoked emotive and linguistic response, and these are cookbooks that draw attention to the genre of the literary cookbook.

Calling something literary, at its most basic, is to refer to writing of value, writing with emotive force. The literary cookbook genre includes cookbooks based on authors and/or their writing, such as The Bloomsbury Cookbook or Alice Eats: A Wonderland Cookbook. Widely configured, it can also include novels or memoirs laden with recipes, such as Like Water for Chocolate or Miriam’s Kitchen. And sometimes seemingly straightforward cookbooks turn out to be literary epics, like the work of Anthony Bourdain. Whatever its form, the literary cookbook centers on consumption, and the question of what (or sometimes who) is consumed makes these books as interesting (and delicious) as they are useful. It is, therefore, our aim with this edited collection to examine how consumption is represented, constructed, explained, or manipulated in the literary cookbook.

Contributors might focus on:

  • cookbooks based on authors and/or their writing, such as the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook or The Game of Thrones Cookbook
  • novels or memoirs laden with recipes, such as Like Water for Chocolate or Miriam’s Kitchen or Heartburn
  • cookbooks that weave travel or historical or biographical narrative with the recipes, such as Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen
  • cookbooks that follow Child and Fields in prefacing each recipe with a narrative, such as those by Anthony Bourdain or Yotam Ottolenghi

Deadline for Proposals (500 words) and Biography (250 words): 5 September 2019

Deadline for Chapters (6000 words): 5 January 2020

Please send proposals to Roxanne Harde and Janet Wesselius

Roxanne Harde is Professor of English at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Faculty, where she also serves as Associate Dean, Research. A Fulbright Scholar, Roxanne researches and teaches American literature and culture, focusing on children’s literature, popular culture, women’s writing, and Indigenous literature. Her most recent book is The Embodied Child, coedited with Lydia Kokkola (Routledge, 2017). She has published articles in The Lion and the Unicorn, Mosaic, Critique, Jeunesse, and IRCL, and chapters in more than twenty collections of essays.

Janet Wesselius is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Faculty, where she specializes in epistemology and the philosophy of science. She has previously published on Pollyanna and pragmatism and Anne of Green Gables and the embodied reader. In addition to philosophy, she also teaches feminist theory.

CFP: Walls as Tropes of Separation and Contact in American Literature at the 25th AISNA Biennial Conference (Deadline: 6.15.2019)

The 25th AISNA Biennial Conference: ‘Gate(d) Ways. Enclosures, Breaches and Mobilities Across U.S. Boundaries and Beyond’

The conference takes place in Ragusa, Sicily with the Università degli Studi di Catania from September 26th to the 28th.  All the information can be found in the link below:

Panel: Walls as Tropes of Separation and Contact in American Literature

Strictly speaking, the definition of the word “wall” suggests a separation as well as an enclosure. But what if the wall is represented not as a permanent division, but rather a permeable membrane between the inside and outside? What kind of contact takes place through the wall and despite it? What is the epistemological relevance of the wall in literature? “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall” is the opening line of Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” The scrivener Bartleby, in Melville’s most memorable tale, chooses to spend most of his time staring out of his office’s window at a brick wall. How has the wall been portrayed in American literature? How does this fit in and compare to the wider context of World Literature? The wall can function as spatial and generic demarcation and at the same time it can represent a desire for transgression and hybridity. The US myth of the frontier is in itself a metaphorical wall of separation that has been negotiated and renegotiated, written and rewritten – and thus reappropriated – over time. Moreover, notions of “walls” are in constant evolution, and can be considered as being the product of historical, social and political relations, weaving a network of representations and mental images.

This panel will specifically focus on critical relations between interior and exterior, the known and the unknown, form and formlessness, flux and fixity, absence and presence, real and imaginary geographies, forms or acts of “translation” in the etymological sense of “carrying across.” In the absence of a physical wall, what are the metaphorical representations of borders, margins, thresholds and gate(way)s? How might these be read as a creative re-use of walls? The coordinators invite proposals for papers on fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry, translation, ecocriticism, geocriticism and spatial literary studies in American literature.

Panel Coordinators:
Paola Loreto, University of Milan,
Margarida Cadima, University of Glasgow,

Paper proposals (max. 300 words) should be submitted, together with a brief biographical note, to the Panel Coordinator(s), to the Conference Organizer Gigliola Nocera ( and to the Aisna Secretary Simone Francescato ( by June 15, 2019. Successful proponents will be notified by June 30, 2019.

CFP: Emily Dickinson Society at SAMLA (Deadline: 6.15.2019)

CFP: Emily Dickinson Society at SAMLA

November 15-17, 2019, in Atlanta, Georgia

The Emily Dickinson International Society invites proposals that explore any aspect of Emily Dickinson’s language. We welcome creative works as well as projects by graduate students. We believe Dickinson’s work aligns especially well with the theme of this year’s SAMLA, which celebrates “languages, the ways we use them, the ways they use us, the ways they shape our realities.”

By June 15, please send a 250-word abstract, a CV, and AV requests to Dr. Trisha Kannan at

If you’re interested but unable to submit an abstract by June 15, then feel free to contact me directly at Also, I’m looking for someone to take over as chair for the EDIS panel at these annual SAMLA conferences, so please reach out if you’re interested!

CFP: Modernist Short Stories Writers Sponsored by the Kay Boyle Society, (Deadline: 6.13.2019)

Modernist Short Stories Writers

Sponsored by the Kay Boyle Society

The American Short Story: New Considerations

New Orleans, Sep. 5-7, 2019

Many modernist writers experimented with the short story genre early in their careers, while reading, publishing and critiquing each other’s work in small magazines.

The objective of this panel is to engage in comparative, reflective conversation, bringing out as yet unnoticed similarities and convergence in themes, writing practices, and subjectivities among these writers.

This panel invites papers on the work of one writer or in the context of other writers, on one or more of the following themes:

  • Representations of trauma
  • Explorations of justice, war, and morality
  • Explorations of racial and national formation
  • Critical reception
  • Teaching

Please send a 1-paragraph abstract and short bio to Anne Boyd Rioux at by June 13, 2019. For more information on the conference, sponsored by the Society for the Study of the American Short Story, see: