Picturing Emerson: Video of the Concord Free Public Library Celebration of Emerson Iconography

The above youtube video includes brief remarks by Bay Bancroft and lengthier comments by Leslie Perrin Wilson and Joel Myerson at the exhibition opening on March 24, 2017 for Picturing Emerson: A Selection of Lifetime Portraits of Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Emerson Panels at the Poe and Hawthorne Societies’ Conference – Kyoto, Japan, June 21-24, 2018

Call for Papers

Emerson Panels at the Poe and Hawthorne Societies’ Conference

Kyoto Garden Palace Hotel—Kyoto, Japan, June 21-24, 2018

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society invites proposals for the above conference. Depending on the number and quality of proposals, the Hawthorne and Poe societies will host up to 2 panels on Emerson.

We would encourage proposals on the theme of ‘Transpacific Emerson.’

Other areas, e.g., connections between Emerson and Hawthorne and/or Poe, will also be considered. Any requests for A/V equipment must accompany the proposal.

Please send 250-word paper proposals to Dr David Greenham, Emerson Society Program Chair, at david.greenham@uwe.ac.uk, by July 18th, 2017.

The banquet speaker will be Michael J. Colacurcio, and the plenary speaker will be Takayuki Tatsumi.

All those whose proposals are accepted for the conference must be members of one of the author associations (Emerson, Poe or Hawthorne Societies) to present papers or to chair sessions.


The Poe Studies Association and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society will host a joint international conference with the Japanese Poe Society and the Japanese Hawthorne Society in Kyoto, Japan from June 21-24, 2018. Our plenary speaker will be Takayuki Tatsumi and our keynote speaker will be Michael J. Colacurcio. I have attached the formal CFP to this message, and I would like to share some information about flight costs, the conference hotel, and contact information for the conference organizers.

For those interested in the cost of flights, I’d recommend going to studentuniverse.com, which has a “flexible” search option that will display fares for a few days before and after the dates for which you are searching. Sometimes flights can be up to $700 higher or lower in cost based on a difference of a couple of days, so if you can be a bit flexible in your flight dates, you can potentially save a lot of money. I will be reserving a limited number of hotel rooms at the conference rate for two days before and two days after the conference. Also, you may be surprised at how low the fares can be if you are willing to shop around at different sites based on the optimal dates from Student Universe. You may search using airport code OSA (Osaka-All Airports) or KIX (Osaka, Kansai International Airport). Kyoto is one hour away from KIX by train.

The conference venue will be the Kyoto Garden Palace Hotel. All sessions will be held in this hotel, and a block of rooms will be held at a conference rate of US $100/night (at current exchange rates), including Japanese or Western breakfast. The hotel is in a quiet area of Kyoto across the street from the Imperial Palace Garden. The hotel itself contains a traditional Japanese restaurant and one that serves more Western cuisine, but public transportation (metro/subway) and other restaurants are a 10-15 minute walk away. There is one triple-occupancy room built to accommodate people with disabilities. Please see below for hotel website and conference organizer information:
Hotel Website: http://www.hotelgp-kyoto.com/english/

Questions regarding proposals or the academic program: Philip.Phillips@mtsu.edu (Philip Phillips)

Questions regarding other aspects of the conference: hawthornepoekyoto@gmail.com (Sandra Hughes)

Questions in Japanese: narimeg@ybb.ne.jp (Masahiko Narita)

Picturing Emerson Exhibition, Concord Free Public Library, 24 March 2017

The Trustees of the Concord Free Public Library cordially invite you to the formal opening of the exhibition Picturing Emerson: A Selection of Lifetime Portraits of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friday, March 24, 2017, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the Concord Free Public Library rotunda, 129 Main Street, Concord, MA.  The exhibition is offered in anticipation of the forthcoming publication by Harvard of Picturing Emerson: An Iconography, by Joel Myerson and Leslie Perrin Wilson.  The evening’s program will include a reception, the opportunity to view the exhibition, remarks by Margaret Emerson Bancroft, Leslie Perrin Wilson, and Joel Myerson, and the performance of pieces from the music collection of Emerson’s daughter Ellen.  Please R.S.V.P. to (978) 318-3355 or meckel@minlib.net if you plan to attend.

Call for Papers – ALA 2017, May 2017 & Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, July 2017

American Literature Association Call for Proposals

The Emerson Society will sponsor two panels at the annual meeting of the American Literature Association, to be held in Boston, MA, from May 25-28, 2017. For information about the conference, see http://americanliteratureassociation.org/calls/annual-conference/.

Emerson and Social Justice    

This panel examines Emerson’s influence on, discussion of, or participation in social justice movements. We welcome papers that consider the relationship between Emerson and social justice broadly considered, but we are especially interested in papers that highlight Emerson’s career and work as it relates to social justice movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries or that theorize Emerson as a proponent of social justice in his own time. We welcome new readings of Emerson in light of theories of human rights, as well as presentations that challenge Emerson’s role in human rights advocacy. Historical analyses, theoretical readings, comparative analyses, and influence studies are all welcome, as are discussions of Emerson’s relationship to Thoreau as it relates to the idea of civil resistance and human rights.

E-mail 300 word abstracts to Roger Thompson (roger.thompson@stonybrook.edu) or David Greenham (David.Greenham@uwe.ac.uk) by Dec. 20, 2016. Membership in the Emerson Society is required of presenters, but it is not required to submit proposals for consideration. The Emerson Society also provides grants that may be of interest to presenters, including a Research Grant and a Graduate Student Paper Award. More information on grants can be found at the Emerson Society webpage: https://emersonsociety.org/2016/09/17/awards-announcements-2017/


Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, July 2017

The Thoreauvian Emerson

The Emerson Society sponsors a panel at the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering each summer in Concord, MA. In order to celebrate the Thoreau Bicentennial, honoring Thoreau’s birth in 1817, we seek papers that examine Thoreau’s influence on Emerson. The story of Emerson’s influence on Thoreau is often told, but Thoreau significantly shaped Emerson’s career and thinking. He has also significantly shaped how we think about Emerson today. We seek papers that renew and revitalize our understanding of the relationship between the two transcendentalists by focusing on what is Thoreauvian in Emerson. For information on the conference theme, please visit www.thoreausociety.org. We will consider papers both on the topic above and the conference theme more generally.

E-mail 300 word abstracts to Roger Thompson (roger.thompson@stonybrook.edu) or David Greenham (David.Greenham@uwe.ac.uk) by Feb 5, 2015. Membership in the Emerson Society is required of presenters, but it is not required to submit proposals for consideration. The Emerson Society also provides grants that may be of interest to presenters, including a Research Grant and a Graduate Student Paper Award. The travel grant provides $750 of travel support to present a paper on an Emerson Society panel at the American Literature Association Annual Conference (May 2017) or the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering (July 2017). More information on grants can be found at the Emerson Society webpage: https://emersonsociety.org/2016/09/17/awards-announcements-2017/


Transcendentalist Intersections at the University of Heidelberg

“Transcendentalist Intersections: Literature, Philosophy, Religion”

University of Heidelberg, Germany, July 26 – 29, 2018

 Sponsored by the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, the Margaret Fuller Society, and the Anglistisches Seminar and Center for American Studies at the University of Heidelberg

At its first meeting in 1836, the Transcendental Club declared an “organ of spiritual philosophy” to be essential to the project, and, when The Dial came forth in 1840 under Margaret Fuller’s editorship, its subtitle—“Literature, Philosophy, and Religion”—was meant to convey both the breadth and depth of the movement’s aims.  As Emerson introduced it, the ambitious new journal would “share [in such] impulses of the time” as “special reforms to the state,” “modifications of the various callings of men,” “opening a new scope for literature and art,” “philosophical insight,” and “the vast solitudes of prayer.”

In the spirit of The Dial, and with its subtitle too, the organizers of “Transcendentalist Intersections” invite paper proposals seeking to do justice to that breadth and depth of the movement, generously construed. For this multi-disciplinary, international conference dedicated to new scholarship on American Transcendentalism, we are particularly interested in proposals engaging literature, philosophy, and religion, and especially encourage not only literary scholars but historians, philosophers, theologians, and others to share their ideas.

  • With regard to literature, we welcome papers examining texts and authors traditionally ignored or cast as “minor”; such forms as journalism, literature of reform or revolt, correspondence, travel writing, history, philosophy as literature; relations between literature and visual or musical arts; biographical approaches; transnational dialogues; reception history, the history of the book and the relevance of literary institutions; and revisionist approaches to or paradigms of Transcendentalism. We encourage papers that address the convergences and tensions between literature and philosophical issues on the one hand and/or issues of religion, spirituality, or the sacred on the other.
  • With regard to religion, we especially invite papers discussing the entanglements of Transcendentalists (major or minor) with other 19th-century American religious movements such as the Second Great Awakening, the Holiness and Spiritualist revivals, Catholic immigration, and the emergence of groups centered around new “American Scriptures” such as Mormonism. We are interested in the engagement of Transcendentalists with various Christian theological debates and scholarly discourses of the time, such as the higher criticism, the “New Christianity” of the Saint-Simonians, the Christian socialism of the Abbé Lammenais, the pantheism of Pierre Leroux, and the comparative study of religion. We also encourage papers investigating the contribution of Transcendentalists to the construction of religion as a category or of particular religious traditions (e.g. “Hinduism” or “Buddhism”); as well as Transcendentalism’s role in the coming of the modern paradigm of “seeker spirituality.”
  • With regard to philosophy, we encourage proposals in all of the subfields that have been so vigorously engaged by Transcendentalist scholars in recent years. This would especially include work on the Transcendentalists in relation to social and political philosophy (e.g., feminism, antislavery, liberalism, democracy, socialism, environmentalism, human rights); religious philosophy (e.g., secularism and post-secularism); ethics (e.g., Kantian and post-Kantian, pragmatist ethics, virtue ethics); metaphysics (e.g., “neo-Platonism, Romantic theories of being and selfhood, Nietzcheanism, post-metaphysics”); epistemology (e.g., agnosticism, fallibilism, anti-foundationalism, skepticism); and aesthetics (symbolism, theories of metaphor and poetic expression, art and social reform, translation, and (again) music and the visual arts).

Please direct abstracts (300-500 words) and two-page CVs by August 1, 2017 to any of the members of the conference planning subcommittee: Charlene Avallone avallone000@gmail.com, Dan Malachuk ds-malachuk@wiu.edu, or Jan Stievermann jstievermann@hca.uni-heidelberg.de.

The conference webpage is at https://transcendentalistintersections.wordpress.com/

For more information about our hosts, see http://www.hca.uni-heidelberg.de/index_en.html and http://www.as.uni-heidelberg.de/

Barbara L. Packer Fellowship

Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is named for Barbara Lee Packer (1947-2010), who taught with great distinction for thirty years in the UCLA English department. Her publications, most notably Emerson’s Fall (1982) and her lengthy essay on the Transcendentalist movement in the Cambridge History of American Literature (1995), reprinted as The Transcendentalists by the University of Georgia Press (2007), continue to be esteemed by students of Emerson and of the American Renaissance generally. She is remembered as an inspiring teacher, a lively and learned writer, and a helpful friend to all scholars in her field-in short, as a consummate professional whose undisguised delight in literature was the secret of a long-sustained success. In naming the Fellowship for her, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society offers her as a model worthy of the attention and emulation of scholars newly entering the field. The Barbara L. Packer Fellowship is awarded to individuals engaged in scholarly research and writing related to the Transcendentalists in general, and most especially to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Henry David Thoreau. Ph.D. candidates, pre-tenure faculty, and independent scholars are eligible to apply.

For more information on how to apply, see http://www.americanantiquarian.org/acafellowship.htm

Application Deadline: January 15, 2017.

Awards Announcements, 2017

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society announces four awards
for projects that foster appreciation for Emerson.

*Graduate Student Paper Award*
Provides up to $750 of travel support to present a paper on an Emerson Society panel at the American Literature Association Annual Conference (May 2017) or the Thoreau Society Annual Gathering (July 2017). Please see the relevant CFPs and submit a 300-word abstract to Roger Thompson (roger.thompson@stonybrook.edu) by December 20, 2016.

*Research Grant*
Provides up to $500 to support scholarly work on Emerson. Preference given to junior scholars and graduate students. Submit a confidential letter of recommendation, and a 1-2-page project proposal, including a description of expenses, by April 1, 2017.

*Pedagogy or Community Project Award*
Provides up to $500 to support projects designed to bring Emerson to a non-academic audience. Submit a confidential letter of recommendation, and a 1-2-page project proposal, including a description of expenses, by April 1, 2017.

*Subvention Award*
Provides up to $500 to support costs attending the publication of a scholarly book or article on Emerson and his circle. Submit a confidential letter of recommendation, and a 1-2-page proposal, including an abstract of the forthcoming work and a description of publication expenses, by April 1, 2017.

Send Research, Pedagogy/Community, and Subvention proposals to:
Susan Dunston (sdunston@nmt.edu) and Prentiss Clark (Prentiss.Clark@usd.edu)

Award recipients must become members of the Society; membership applications are available at http://www.emersonsociety.org/membership/

Announcing “An Emerson Chronology,” 2nd edition, revised and enlarged, by Albert J. von Frank.

The long-awaited, much-expanded edition of this essential reference work is now available on Amazon in two volumes. For more info, visit www.studionontroppo.com/chronology

The long-awaited, thoroughly revised, much-expanded second edition of this indispensable reference work will be available in late May. The new edition of the chronology runs to more than 1100 pages and is being published as two reasonably-priced softcover volumes.

Call for Papers: The Oak and The Acorns: Recovering the Hidden Carlyle

Call for PapersThe Oak and The Acorns:
Recovering the Hidden CarlyleJuly 6-8, 2016
To be held at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), Oxford University“It is an idle question to ask whether his books will be read a century hence: if they were all burnt as the grandest of Suttees on his funeral-pile, it would only be like cutting down an oak after its acorns have sown a forest. For there is hardly a superior or active mind of this generation that has not been modified by Carlyle’s writings; there has hardly been an English book written for the last ten or twelve years that would not have been different if Carlyle had not lived.”

George Eliot, “Thomas Carlyle” (1855)

Several generations read the works of Thomas Carlyle with surprise, awe, inspiration, fervor, excitement, and occasionally anger—and they went on to shape the rest of the 19th century and much of the 20th century with the words and prophecies of Carlyle embedded in their politics, philosophy, art, literature, history, and ideals for a better world.

Some of these impacts would have pleased Carlyle; others would have greatly surprised him, and a few, perhaps, would have dismayed him. But for good and ill, Carlyle left an impact that in some ways is hard to see because it is so deeply pervasive.

This conference aims to retrieve that hidden Carlyle, and to recognize how he served, and continues to serve, as a bedrock of far-ranging ideals for several generations of readers and admirers.

For this conference, we invite proposals that explore the rich diversity of where Carlyle lies hidden in the vision and hopes of eminent Victorians, Edwardians, and Modernists throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, and across the ocean in America and beyond. Because Jane Welsh Carlyle had a similar effect on the readers of her letters, both in her lifetime and afterwards, we also invite proposals that address her continuing influence as well.

We especially welcome papers that delineate how the reception of Carlyle’s works shaped critical movements in politics, art, historiography, literature, including (among many):

Muscular Christianity
The Gospel of Work
Pre-Raphaelite Art
The New Biography
Young Ireland/Irish Nationalism

We also welcome papers that explore individual figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and their relation to the writings of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. A short list of significant figures influenced by the Carlyles includes:

Charles Dickens
John Stuart Mill
Karl Marx and Frederic Engels
Benjamin Disraeli
George Eliot
Erasmus and Charles Darwin
James Anthony Froude
Leslie Stephen
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Robert Browning
Elizabeth Barrett-Browning
William Morris
John Ruskin
Lady Jane “Speranza” Wilde
Oscar Wilde
W.E.B. DuBois
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Margaret Fuller
Henry David Thoreau
Friedrich Nietzsche
Virginia Woolf
James Joyce

Conference website: http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/cfp-recovering-hidden-carlyle

Proposals of no more than 500 words, along with short CV, should be sent by February 15, 2016 to:
Marylu Hill (Villanova University): marylu.hill@villanova.edu
Paul E. Kerry (Oxford/BYU): paul.kerry@ccc.ox.ac.uk