Call for papers – SHARP/ Edith Wharton Society
Session type: Joint Session / Affiliate Organizations
Organizations: Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing; Edith Wharton Society
Title of the session: Edith Wharton, Book History and Digital Humanities
Submission requirements: Abstract, 300 words
Deadline for submissions: 10 March 2017
Book historians have long been interested in Edith Wharton’s transition from “lady to author.” In the late 1950s, Millicent Bell examined the archive of the publisher Charles Scribner to understand Wharton’s growing professionalism and awareness of the market value of her work. With the transatlantic, and transnational turn in book history, scholars have paid attention to the way Wharton managed her career on both sides of the Atlantic, skillfully negotiating rights from book, film and drama sources. “Like other canny literary operators sensitive to the potential of new media outlets for their literary material,” wrote David Finkelstein, “Wharton extracted maximum exposure and financial benefit from appearances in multiple media forms.” This remediation from print to new media is of course of interest to digital humanists, who have brought innovative perspectives to Wharton studies. Another avenue of inquiry has been opened with the digitalization of early-twentieth-century periodicals and the study of the various forms in which Wharton’s texts appeared.
This session will showcase new approaches in book history and digital humanities to shed light on Edith Wharton’s work and relationship with her publishers and readers. It will bring together “traditional” and digital humanists to illuminate Wharton’s global career and reception of her work across borders. It will also identify future lines of inquiries and innovative methodologies that will help us better understand one of the most important writers of the early twentieth century.
Paul Ohler Ph.D.
Department of English
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Surrey, British Columbia
President, Edith Wharton Society
Associate Editor, Edith Wharton Review