Voting open for EWS positions (please check your email for the link)

Voting is now open for the positions of Secretary and Members-at-Large for the 2021-23 term. Voting will be open until Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Society members, please use the link sent to your email to affirm or not affirm the nominated candidate for the position of Secretary and to vote for three out of five nominated candidates for Members-at-Large:

Here are the bios of each candidate:


Margaret Jay Jessee (Jay):

I am Associate Professor of English at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I also direct the English Honors Program. I had the honor of co-directing the Edith Wharton’s New York Conference, sponsored by the Edith Wharton Society, and scheduled for June 2020. We were so disappointed to have to cancel the conference due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but I take away from the experience a far greater understanding of the key role officers play in the Edith Wharton Society. Working closely with all of the current society officers, I came to appreciate the significance of our society’s role in promoting and encouraging continued excellence in scholarship on Edith Wharton and continued growth of interest in Wharton among junior scholars and current students. I would enjoy nothing more than to continue my service to the society in the role of secretary. The challenge, as I see it, for the new secretary of the society will be to maintain our connections to each other and to continue to grow the society in the face of cancelled conferences and events. Remote gatherings, digital presentations of scholarship, and virtual events to reach up-and-coming Wharton scholars is vital to the health of our society, and I would be delighted to help facilitate these activities in order to navigate this current “new normal.” In these truly bizarre times, maintaining connections with each other as a society is all the more important, and I see the role of Secretary of the society as integral to communication among our current members and to potential new members. I would be honored to serve, and I appreciate your consideration of my nomination.


Nir Evron: 

Nir Evron is a senior lecturer (assistant professor) and chair of the Department of English and American Studies at Tel Aviv University. He specializes in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century contexts, and has published articles on a host of themes, including American realism and regionalism, American pragmatism, liberalism, the crisis of the humanities, literature and philosophy and more. His forthcoming book, The Blossom Which We Are: The Novel and the Transience of Cultural Worlds (State University of New York Press, 2020) is a comparative, historicist project that examines the trope of cultural extinction from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth centuries. Its test cases include Maria Edgeworth, Walter Scott, Edith Wharton, Joseph Roth, Yaakov Shabtai and others.

 Alice Kelly:

Alice Kelly is a literary and cultural critic based at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford. Her research focuses on early twentieth-century literary and cultural history in Britain and America. She is the author of Commemorative Modernisms: Women Writers, Death and the First World War (2020), which includes a chapter on Edith Wharton. She has previously published a critical edition of Edith Wharton’s First World War reportage, Fighting France: From Dunkerque to Belfort (2015), and various essays on modernist and First World War literature, including a previously unknown First World War story by Edith Wharton in the Times Literary Supplement. She has held Fellowships at Yale University, New York University, and the Huntington Library, Pasadena. In 2017-18 she was the recipient of a British Academy Rising Stars Award for her interdisciplinary series Cultures and Commemorations of War.

Laura Rattray:

Laura Rattray is Reader in American Literature at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Her work on Wharton includes, as editor, Edith Wharton in Context (2012), The Unpublished Writings of Edith Wharton (2009), Summer (2015) and, with Jennifer Haytock, The New Edith Wharton Studies (2019). Laura’s new book, Edith Wharton and Genre: Beyond Fiction is out this summer She is on the editorial board of the Edith Wharton Review and is currently working with Susan Barile on an edition of letters from Wharton to the Berensons.

Virginia Ricard:

Virginia Ricard is Assistant Professor of English at Bordeaux Montaigne University. Her recent work on Wharton includes “Edith Wharton’s French Engagement” in The New Edith Wharton Studies (2019), “The Uses of Boundaries: Edith Wharton and Place” in E-rea (16.2 | 2019), “‘Isn’t That French?’’” in Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence (2020), “Edith Wharton au tournant” in L’Amérique au tournant – La place des États-Unis dans la littérature française
(forthcoming Classiques Garnier September 2020) and “Edith Wharton, Translator” forthcoming in Transatlantica (2021). She is on the editorial board of the Edith Wharton Review and is currently working on an edition of Wharton’s correspondence with Charles Du Bos. She is co-editor of volume 29 of the Complete Works (OUP).

Meg Toth:

Meg Toth is Professor of English and the director of the film studies minor at Manhattan College. Her research interests include late nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. literature, film, and adaptation studies. Her scholarship on Edith Wharton has been published in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies and the Journal of Narrative Theory and in the collections Edith Wharton in Context (ed. Laura Rattray) and Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (ed. Meredith Goldsmith and Emily Orlando). Her current book project, After Innocence: Edith Wharton and Post-War Writings on Art and Faith, is an intertextual study that focuses on the figure of the artist and forms of spirituality in Wharton’s late works. She recently co-directed, with Margaret (Jay) Jessee, the conference Edith Wharton’s New York (2020).

With many thanks to all the candidates for running and to the society members for voting,


Myrto Drizou

Assistant Professor of English

Department of Western Languages and Literatures

Boğaziçi University