New Articles

Drizou, Myrto. Citizenship in the ‘Land of Letters’: Edith Wharton’s Literary Home in Exile.” Critical Insights: American Writers in Exile. Eds. Jeff Birkenstein and Robert Hauhart. Amenia, NY: Salem Press, 2015. 73-87. Print.

 

New Books: Bitter Tastes: Literary Naturalism and Early Cinema in American Women’s Writing by Donna M. Campbell

bittertastesBitter Tastes: Literary Naturalism and Early Cinema in American Women’s Writing
Donna M. Campbell

University of Georgia Press, September 2016.
http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/index/bitter_tastes

A fresh look at naturalism and the women who helped to define it

Reviews

No work that I know of explores in such detail and within the context of a shared literary/aesthetic tradition the incredible number of women writers Campbell’s study covers and, at times, uncovers, resurrecting writers once considered important but then shunted aside by ideologically prescribed recanonizations. The book is important, then, not only for uncovering an extended line of women writers who constitute a tradition but for modeling the type of cultural study, grounded in an appreciation of all forms of American artistic expression, that is inclusive and therefore representative of American literary production.”
—Mary E. Papke, editor of Twisted from the Ordinary: Essays on American Literary Naturalism

Description

Challenging the conventional understandings of literary naturalism defined primarily through its male writers, Donna M. Campbell examines the ways in which American women writers wrote naturalistic fiction and redefined its principles for their own purposes. Bitter Tastes looks at examples from Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Ellen Glasgow, and others and positions their work within the naturalistic canon that arose near the turn of the twentieth century.

Campbell further places these women writers in a broader context by tracing their relationship to early film, which, like naturalism, claimed the ability to represent elemental social truths through a documentary method. Women had a significant presence in early film and constituted 40 percent of scenario writers—in many cases they also served as directors and producers. Campbell explores the features of naturalism that assumed special prominence in women’s writing and early film and how the work of these early naturalists diverged from that of their male counterparts in important ways.

New Books: Emotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy by Melanie Dawson

emotionalEmotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy.
Dawson, Melanie.  University of Michigan Press, June 2015.

http://www.press.umich.edu/7807503/emotional_reinventions

Focusing on representational approaches to emotion during the years of American literary realism’s dominance and in the works of such authors as Edith Wharton, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, W. D. Howells, Charles Chesnutt, and others, Emotional Reinventions: Realist-Era Representations Beyond Sympathy contends that emotional representations were central to the self-conscious construction of high realism (in the mid-1880s) and to the interrogation of its boundaries. Based on realist-era authors’ rejection of “sentimentalism” and its reduction of emotional diversity (a tendency to stress what Karen Sanchez-Eppler has described as sentimental fiction’s investment in “overcoming difference”), Melanie Dawson argues that realist-era investments in emotional detail were designed to confront differences of class, gender, race, and circumstance directly. She explores the ways in which representational practices that approximate scientific methods often led away from scientific theories and rejected rigid attempts at creating emotional taxonomies. She argues that ultimately realist-era authors demonstrated a new investment in individuated emotional histories and experiences that sought to honor all affective experiences on their own terms.

 

“This is a nuanced and elegant analysis of how affect is portrayed in what Dawson refers to as ‘realist-era’ fiction. Against a critical tradition that downplays emotion’s centrality to this era, Dawson maintains that writers from this period reappropriated emotions crucial to the antebellum era but did so primarily to interrogate conventional expressions and established meanings.”
—Cynthia Davis, University of South Carolina

 

EWS Prizes Awarded

EWS Prizes Awarded

Dear Edith Wharton Society Members and Friends,

Our judges have now had a chance to assess a record number of submissions and I am pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Edith Wharton Society Awards:

The Edith Wharton Prize for a Beginning Scholar is awarded to Dr. Lina Geriguis of Chapman University for her essay “‘Rich in Pathological Instances:’ Disability in the Early Reception Theory of Ethan Frome.”  Second place goes to University of Cincinnati PhD candidate Lindsey Kurz for “The Heroine of a ‘Queer Episode’: Gerty Farish’s Martyrdom in The House of Mirth.”  Both essays are under consideration at the Edith Wharton Review  for possible publication.  Thank you to Drs. Melanie Dawson and Myrto Drizou for serving as judges and Dr. Meredith Goldsmith, EWR editor, for overseeing publication.

Three (3) essays were singled out for the EWS Undergraduate Research Prize.  First place is awarded to Angela Sammarone of Fairfield University for “‘On the threshold she paused’: Doors in Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses and The Mother’s Recompense.”  Angela wrote her essay under the direction of Dr. Emily Orlando.  A revised version will appear on the Edith Wharton Society website.  Honorable mention goes to Lauren E. Hayes  of Framingham State University for her essay “‘More Real to Me Here Than if I Went Up’: Fantasy Visions and Fear of the Unknown in Wharton’s Summer and The Age of Innocence.”   Lauren produced her essay under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Maibor.  Honorable mention also is awarded to Jacqueline Bradley of the University of Wyoming for “False Freedom: The Constraints of Divorce in Edith Wharton’s ‘The Other Two'”.  Jacqueline wrote her essay under the direction of Dr. Arielle Zibrak.  Thank you to Drs. Sharon Kim and Shannon Brennan for serving as judges.

The EWS Award for Archival Research is awarded to Dr. Bethany Wood of Southwest Baptist University for her project Adaptations Preferred: Gender Across 1920s Fiction, Theatre, and Film.  Thank you to Drs. Meredith Goldsmith and Gary Totten for serving as judges.

Please join me in congratulating our winners and a tip of the hat to the mentors who advised them as they produced their prize-winning work.  Thank you also to our distinguished Wharton scholar judges for their important work assessing the entries which, by all accounts, were quite impressive this year.

All best wishes,

Emily Orlando

Emily J. Orlando, Ph.D.

President, The Edith Wharton Society

New Dramatic Adaptations of Wharton’s Plays

Greetings from playwright Germaine Shames, a fellow admirer of the works of Edith Wharton.

I’ve been meaning to get in touch. As part of a larger mission to adapt and re-imagine classic 19th and early 20th century novels either by women or with strong women’s roles and relationships, I have completed stage plays of three works by Edith Wharton: The Touchstone, The Muse’s Tragedy and Glimpses of the Moon.

There are tentative plans to present readings of the first two at Wharton’s beloved Mount sometime this Fall. If the Edith Wharton Society ever has a use for the plays, I’ll be very happy to share them. As of this writing, they are still unpublished.

On a related note, the ghost of Edith Wharton makes a cameo appearance in an original short play of mine, “Mirth.” As you may have guessed, the play references The House of Mirth.

Thanks for all you do to keep Wharton’s legacy alive.

Continued success!

Germaine Shames

Website<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__germainewrites.wix.com_buzz&d=CwIGaQ&c=C3yme8gMkxg_ihJNXS06ZyWk4EJm8LdrrvxQb-Je7sw&r=n8KnPhTmisUpXoY4NGXbeKtx27cxjpM5Q14A7aFFZc8&m=JbhgQlmnGbizklIJD31tq-uJUmkUr4x-1Us3TaDLJPc&s=kBf3DS5CqeHJQGc3tWDPR_0BH6XluYPEqmRWou9mKBw&e= >

New Play Exchange<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__newplayexchange.org_users_2551_germaine-2Dshames&d=CwIGaQ&c=C3yme8gMkxg_ihJNXS06ZyWk4EJm8LdrrvxQb-Je7sw&r=n8KnPhTmisUpXoY4NGXbeKtx27cxjpM5Q14A7aFFZc8&m=JbhgQlmnGbizklIJD31tq-uJUmkUr4x-1Us3TaDLJPc&s=xyooeG0o2Og1-YB5uXZ7BXMEXN_BBvO64gUTQhUMCy8&e= >

YOU, FASCINATING YOU, the Musical<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.facebook.com_YFYMusical&d=CwIGaQ&c=C3yme8gMkxg_ihJNXS06ZyWk4EJm8LdrrvxQb-Je7sw&r=n8KnPhTmisUpXoY4NGXbeKtx27cxjpM5Q14A7aFFZc8&m=JbhgQlmnGbizklIJD31tq-uJUmkUr4x-1Us3TaDLJPc&s=NZgXzQFiIQwxDubXlS-F5qLPKGw00G-bqvltjV2tqwk&e= >

YouTube Channel<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_user_germainewrites&d=CwIGaQ&c=C3yme8gMkxg_ihJNXS06ZyWk4EJm8LdrrvxQb-Je7sw&r=n8KnPhTmisUpXoY4NGXbeKtx27cxjpM5Q14A7aFFZc8&m=JbhgQlmnGbizklIJD31tq-uJUmkUr4x-1Us3TaDLJPc&s=m2E1h3KhxI6FjhauehxqpMVCE0gyyWWRFUTeK50laRo&e= >

You, Fascinating You

Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Society: “Faultless.”

Between Two Deserts

“Creates the intense atmosphere of an unstable world with grace and a sort of lyric power.”  NPR

Edith Wharton Society (EWS) Awards for 2016-2017 (Due 6.30.16)

Edith Wharton Society (EWS) Awards for 2016-2017
1. Edith Wharton Society Prize for a Beginning Scholar
This award, formerly known as the “Edith Wharton Essay Prize” and established in the fall of 2005, recognizes the best unpublished essay on Edith Wharton by a beginning scholar: advanced graduate students, independent scholars, and faculty members who have not held a tenure-track or full-time appointment for more than four years.  The winning and second-place essays will be submitted for review and possible publication to the Editorial Board of the Edith Wharton Review, a peer-reviewed journal indexed in the MLA Bibliography and now published by Penn State University Press. The author of the prize-winning essay will receive an award of $250.  All entries will be considered for publication in the Edith Wharton Review as well as for the Prize for a Beginning Scholar. Submissions should be 20-30 pages and should follow the 7th edition MLA style, using endnotes, not footnotes.  To submit an essay for the prize, e-mail it as an anonymized MS Word attachment, plus, as a separate attachment, a cover letter with your name, essay title, academic status, e-mail address, postal address, and the notation “Edith Wharton Prize for Beginning Scholar.”  Please be sure that the e-mail subject line clearly indicates “EWS Prize for Beginning Scholar” and send both attachments to the following address by June 30, 2016:

Dr. Emily Orlando
President, Edith Wharton Society
Department of English
Fairfield University
eorlando@fairfield.edu<mailto:eorlando@fairfield.edu>

2. Edith Wharton Society Undergraduate Research Prize
In 2014, the Edith Wharton Society launched a prize for undergraduate research on Edith Wharton. We seek critical essays by undergraduates focusing on works by Wharton in all genres. Students at all undergraduate levels are eligible to submit. Papers should be 15 pages maximum.  The winning essay will be published on the Edith Wharton Society website and the author will receive an award of $100.  Electronic submissions are requested.  To submit an essay for the prize, e-mail it as an anonymized MS Word attachment, plus, as a separate attachment, a cover letter with your name, essay title, undergraduate institution, the name of your faculty mentor, e-mail address, postal address, and the notation “Edith Wharton Undergraduate Research Prize.”  Please be sure that the e-mail subject line clearly indicates “EWS Undergraduate Research Prize” and send both attachments to the following address by June 30, 2016:
Dr. Emily Orlando
President, Edith Wharton Society
Department of English
Fairfield University
eorlando@fairfield.edu<mailto:eorlando@fairfield.edu>

3.  Edith Wharton Society Award for Archival Research
The Edith Wharton Society welcomes applications for an award for archival research on Edith Wharton.  This award, in the amount of $500, is intended to enable a scholar to conduct research on Edith Wharton’s work at the various archives available (e.g., Wharton’s library at The Mount in Lenox, MA; the Wharton Collection at Yale University’s Beinecke Library; the Wharton papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, etc).  Prospective fellows for the 2016-2017 award are asked to e-mail a research proposal (maximum length 5 single-spaced pages) and a CV by June 30, 2016, with the subject line “EWS Award for Archival Research” to:
Dr. Emily Orlando
President, Edith Wharton Society
Department of English
Fairfield University
eorlando@fairfield.edu<mailto:eorlando@fairfield.edu>

The research proposal should detail the overall research project, its particular contribution to Wharton scholarship, the preparation the candidate brings to the project, and the specific relevance that the selected archive has for its completion. The funds must be used for transportation, lodging, and other expenses related to archival research.  Notification of the award will take place by July 30, 2016 and the award can be used from August 1, 2016 until July 30, 2017. A final report will be due September 1, 2017.  The winner will be asked at that point to submit a short report essay to the Edith Wharton Review, which will briefly inform the readers of the EWR of the research done but will not be in the way of the winner publishing a scholarly article elsewhere as well.
Emily J. Orlando, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, English

President, The Edith Wharton Society

Book Review Editor, The Edith Wharton Review