Author Archives: Donna Campbell

About Donna Campbell

Professor of English, Washington State University. Late nineteenth- and early 20th-century Americanist and digital humanities. https://hub.wsu.edu/campbell and http://donnamcampbell.net

Edith Wharton in the News

OK, we’ve now moved to 79th Street, between Fifth and Madison

In “House of Mirth,” Edith Wharton’s heroine turns a corner and sees grand new houses, “fantastically varied, in obedience to the American craving for novelty.” Americans at the turn of the century felt they had inherited the whole of Western civilization, that it was theirs to do with as they wished.

I asked Mr. David, a social critic of Hollywood mores who has been called “a savage Edith Wharton” by his friend Larry Charles, why all these celebrities seemed so devoid of self-awareness.

“I don’t know, that’s the $64,000 question,” he said. “I guess their instinct is to help, their motives are good, and they don’t consider how it might come off.” But, he added, “I think it’s a complete lack of judgment to talk about your lifestyle at this time, it’s crazy. Of course other people are going to react like that.”

 

Eaton: We are beginning to generate ideas here — ideas that would work for Masterpiece. And then we talk to some of these independent companies and PBS Distribution about their interest in initiating our projects.

“The Buccaneers,” a 1995 miniseries adapted from Edith Wharton’s unfinished novel, followed the adventures of wealthy young Americans who marry into the British aristocracy. (Photo: Joss Barrett/Mobil)

This is the absolute reverse of how things used to work, though it did happen occasionally. We initiated Middlemarch, for instance, years ago. We had the idea, found a writer — Andrew Davies — and brought it to the BBC. And we did this with Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, which is one of my favorite pieces of literature. But we weren’t the primary funder of those co-productions.

https://current.org/2020/04/how-rebecca-eatons-tailor-made-role-at-masterpiece-fits-with-a-new-strategy-for-original-dramas/

 

2020 EWS Prizes (Deadline: June 30, 2020)

The Edith Wharton Society is delighted to announce three prizes for 2020.  Below please find all calls for submissions.  All submission materials should be sent via email by June 30, 2020 to current EWS President, Melanie Dawson, College of William and Mary, at mvdaws@wm.edu.

The Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar

This award, formerly known as the “Edith Wharton Society Prize for a Beginning Scholar,” established in 2005, recognizes the best unpublished essay on Edith Wharton’s work by a beginning scholar, advanced graduate student, independent scholar, or faculty member who has held a full-time appointment for four or fewer years.  All entries will be considered for publication in The Edition Wharton Review, published by Penn State University Press.  The author of the prize-winning essay will receive an award of $250.

How to apply:

  • Submissions should be 20-30 double-spaced pages long and follow the 8th edition MLA style, using endnotes rather than footnotes.
  • Submissions should include two attached files: an anonymized MS Word version of your paper and a separate cover letter containing the applicant’s name, essay title, academic status, e-mail address, postal address, and the award name.
  • Please use the subject line: “EWS Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar.”
  • Submissions are due to mvdaws@wm.edu by June 30, 2020.

The Edith Wharton Society Award for Archival Research 

The archival award, in the amount of $500, enables a scholar to conduct research at one of the Edith Wharton archives at Wharton’s library at The Mount in Lenox, MA, the Wharton Collection at Yale University’s Beinecke Library, or the Wharton papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

Funds must be used for transportation, lodging, and other expenses related to archival research.  Notification of the award will take place by July 30, 2020.  The award can be used between August 1, 2020 and July 30, 2021.  A brief report detailing some aspect(s) of the research (not intended to preempt publication in other scholarly venues) will be due to the EWS president by September 1, 2021 and will be published in the Edith Wharton Review.

How to apply:

  • Submissions should include a proposal (of no more than two single-spaced pages) that describes the applicant’s overarching research project, its contribution to Wharton scholarship, the applicant’s scholarly preparation, and the relevance of the archive to the project’s completion.
  • Also include two additional attachments: a CV and a separate cover letter containing your current affiliation, rank, and mailing address.
  • Please use the subject line: “EWS Award for Archival Research.”
  • Submissions are due to mvdaws@wm.edu by June 30, 2020.

The Edith Wharton Society Undergraduate Research Prize

First offered in 2014, the undergraduate research prize is open to students at all undergraduate levels.  Papers should be no more than fifteen pages long and can address Wharton’s works in any genre.  The winning essay will be published on the EWS website, and the author will receive an award of $100.

How to apply:

  • Please send an anonymized electronic submission as an email attachment in Microsoft word, along with a separate attached cover letter containing your name, essay title, undergraduate institution, the name of your faculty mentor, e-mail address (and perhaps an alternate email, if your email address is about to change), postal address, and the name of the award.
  • Please use the subject line: “EWS Undergraduate Research Prize.”
  • Submissions are due to mvdaws@wm.edu by June 30, 2020.

The Edith Wharton Society sees its commitment to Wharton’s writing as including  financial support for Wharton scholarship, with two awards specifically for beginning scholars.  We thank all in the Wharton society who have donated to these prizes over the years, many of whom have been award recipients; your support of this endeavor enables our generosity.  If you are inclined to donate to support this year’s awards, a donation portal is linked here.

https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/donate/

 

 

New Books: Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age (Discount until 2.28.20)

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Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age

Melanie V. Dawson

Original Price: $90.00
Discount Price: $45.00
Use Code AU220

http://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813066301

Providing a counterpoint to readings of modern American culture that focus on the cult of youth, Edith Wharton and the Modern Privileges of Age interrogates early twentieth-century literature’s obsessions with aging past early youth. Exploring the ways in which the aging process was understood as generating unequal privileges and as inciting intergenerational contests, this study situates constructions of age at the center of modern narrative conflicts.

Dawson examines how representations of aging connect the work of Edith Wharton to writings by a number of modern authors, including Willa Cather, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Zora Neale Hurston, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Floyd Dell, Eugene O’Neill, and Gertrude Atherton. For these writers, age-based ideologies filter through narratives of mourning for youth lost in the Great War, the trauma connected to personal change, the contested self-determination of the aged, the perceived problem of middle-aged sexuality, fantasies of rejuvenation, and persistent patterns of patriarchal authority. The work of these writers shows that as the generational ascendancy of some groups was imagined to operate in tandem with disempowerment of others, the charged dynamics of age gave rise to contests about property and authority. Constructions of age-based values also reinforced gender norms, producing questions about personal value that were directed toward women of all ages.

By interpreting Edith Wharton’s and her contemporaries’ works in relation to age-based anxieties, Dawson sets Wharton’s work at the center of a vital debate about the contested privileges associated with age in contemporary culture.

“A comprehensive and sophisticated study that draws attention to the various manifestations and implications of age and aging in modern literature. This volume goes well beyond Wharton’s body of work to offer important analyses of her contemporaries on their own terms, as well as thought-provoking comparisons of Wharton and her fellow writers.”—Gary Totten, editor of Memorial Boxes and Guarded Interiors: Edith Wharton and Material Culture  

In Memoriam: Barbara Comins

From Carole Shaffer-Koros:

Our colleague Barbara Comins has passed away. Here is a brief obit.
Best,
Carole

Barbara Comins, as a professional cellist, performed in various orchestras, playing with such luminaries as Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra. Earning a doctorate in English, she taught college composition and literature and also co-designed and taught the Creativity Cluster at City University of New York’s LaGuardia campus, co-publishing an article about it titled “Artful Reading: Spontaneous Design.” She’s published poems in ​Visible Ink a​nd essays in ​Poetry Calendar,Medical Problems of Performing Artists, ​the travel section of ​The New York Times, Wallace Stevens Journal, Edith Wharton Review,​ and in the books ​Essays on Transgressive Readings, Divisions of the Heart: Elizabeth Bishop on the Art of Memory and Place, and ​“In Worcester, Massachusetts”: Essays on Elizabeth Bishop​. Recently, twenty of her paintings appeared in the solo exhibition Encounters​.

Whisper Gallery

CFP: The Age of Innocence at 100

The Age of Innocence at 100

The Edith Wharton Review invites submissions for a Special Issue celebrating the centenary of The Age of Innocence.

We welcome essays on any aspect of Wharton’s acclaimed novel, from the historical to the queer, from the architectural to the gastronomic. We are especially interested in essays that interpret The Age of Innocence in relation to our contemporary historical moment from the perspective of current critical theories, new reading practices, political climates, and global contexts. One hundred years since its publication, the novel remains relevant, and we seek comparative and cross-disciplinary efforts including engagements with age, temporalities, embodiment and dis/ability.

Deadline: August 31, 2020

http://www.psupress.org/journals/jnls_EWR.html

EWS Archives: New Feature at the Site

There’s a new page at the site dedicated to the history of the Edith Wharton Society:  https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/membership/about/ews-archives/

Carole Shaffer-Koros is the Edith Wharton Society Archivist. Materials such as conference programs, etc., will be added.

This will supplement the basic history of the EWS here:

https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/membership/about/