Emerson Society

Emerson Society Panels ALA 2023

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society will sponsor two panels at the 34th Annual Conference of the American Literature Association, to be held May 25–28, 2023, at the Westin Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston. Both panels will honor the contributions of the late professor Joel Myerson.

“Editing Emerson”

The Society welcomes proposals concerning the theory and practice of editing Emerson. The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks, one of the first scholarly editions of a major American literary figure, remains to this daya remarkable achievement. The Belknap series of the Collected Works, fifty years in the making, provides the complete standard edition of Emerson’s writing. It therefore seems appropriate to ask if the study of Emerson has entered a new phase. Does the completion of the scholarly editions of public and private writing foreclose certain forms of scholarly attention? Or do they provide insights and opportunities for younger scholars interested in working on digital editions? How might digital editions reimagine or refigure the JMN or the Collected Works? Proposals might also explore current editorial efforts related to Emerson, such as The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition, or consider diverse archives still in need of scholarly editions. 

“Emerson in Conversation” 

The Society seeks papers that place Emerson in conversation with new and unexpected interlocutors. “In excited conversation we have glimpses of the universe,” Emerson notes; elsewhere, in “Circles,” he observes the tendency of conversationalists to outgrow one another. We welcome papers that imagine Emerson in “excited conversation” across diverse time periods, geographies, media, and cultures. We also welcome papers in which conversationalists probe the limitations of Emersonian thought on their way to other discussions. 

More details about the ALA may be found here: https://americanliteratureassociation.org.

Send 300-word abstracts by 15 January 2023 to Randall Fuller ([email protected]). 

Membership in the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society is required of presenters.

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