Author Archives: Donna Campbell

About Donna Campbell

Professor of English, Washington State University. Late nineteenth- and early 20th-century Americanist and digital humanities. and

CFP Updated and Deadline Extended: The Nonhuman in American Literary Naturalism (Deadline February 17, 2021)


Call for proposals  

The Nonhuman in American Literary Naturalism 

Editors: Kenneth K Brandt and Karin M Danielsson 

At the end of the 19th century, American authors such as Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and Jack London were influenced by new advances in science—notably the idea of evolution. Nature and the nonhuman were crucial for these writers, whom scholars   most often group under the rubric of American literary naturalists. Traditional scholarship on American literary naturalism has closely attended to various environmental pressures in urban and wilderness settings, but scholars have paid much less attention to the naturalists’ investigations into the nonhuman, such as animals, plants, landscapes, houses, or weather. To extend and deepen our understanding of this under-researched field, we propose a volume of essays that offers a wide variety of innovative critical approaches to the nonhuman in American naturalist literature. We welcome studies based in ecocriticism, animal studies, new materialism, narrative theory, or ethics. We are receptive to essay proposals focused on the core naturalists from around 1900 as well as more contemporary writers in the naturalist tradition. Proposals may focus on authors including Crane, Norris, London, Wharton, Garland, Dreiser, Chopin, Dunbar, Sinclair, Twain, Glasgow, Frederic, Cather, O’Neill, Steinbeck, Wright, Hemingway, Petry, Dos Passos, Larsen, Farrell, Hammett, Cain and others. More recent writers may include Oates, Vonnegut, DeLillo, Morrison, McCarthy, Wilson, Pynchon, and others. The editors are particularly interested in proposals on Larsen, Dreiser, Wright, Twain, Petry, and authors in the SF, cyberpunk, and biopunk traditions.  

Possible topic areas might include but are not limited to: 

  • Animal agency    
  • Anthropomorphism 
  • Nonhuman sentience 
  • Ecology 
  • Ethology 
  • Evolution 
  • Farming 
  • Forests, trees, plants 
  • Houses and other structures 
  • Human–nonhuman intersubjectivity 
  • Landscape and place 
  • Physical or environmental transformations   
  • Posthumanism 
  • Speciesism 
  • Technology’s intersections with the nonhuman 
  • Weather and climate 
  • Wild, feral, and domestic nonhumans 

The Lexington Books Ecocritical Theory and Practice series editor has expressed a strong interest in the project and has requested a full proposal. It is the publisher’s wish that authors or at least one co-author holds a PhD. 

We invite essay proposals of a maximum of 500 words on any topic relating to the nonhuman in American literary naturalism by the deadline of 17 February, 2021. Please include a title, a maximum of five key words, and a brief biography. We aim to reply to respondents by 25 February 2021, and full drafts of essays (5000–8000 words) will be due 1 September 2021. Please send a 500-word maximum proposal and a brief biography to and by 17 February, 2021. 

EWS Awards (Deadline: June 30, 2021)

The Edith Wharton Society is delighted to announce three prizes for 2021: the Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar, the Edith Wharton Society Award for Archival Research, and the Edith Wharton Society Undergraduate Research Prize.  Below please find all calls for submissions.  All submission materials should be sent via email by June 30, 2021 to current EWS President, Jennifer Haytock, SUNY Brockport,

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 Edith 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 by June 30, 2021

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, 2021.  The award can be used between August 1, 2021 and July 30, 2022.  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, 2022 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 by June 30, 2021. 

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, email 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 by June 30, 2021


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.

Update: Mock Trial of Ethan Frome (4 PM EST)

The Zoom info and documents for tomorrow’s mock trial of Ethan Frome have gone out on wharton-l

Please find attached each side’s legal brief for tomorrow’s Zoom mock trial, which will start at 4:00 EST.  Pretrial hearings will start at 3:00, so please do not be surprised if there is ongoing activity when you enter Zoom.  The class is both excited and a little intimidated that members of EWS will be in attendance.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Online Events: Mock Trial of Ethan Frome (2/12/21)

By way of introduction, I am an attorney who practices in Gainesville, Florida, who also teaches prelaw courses at University of Florida, including a course that I designed called Law and Literature.  In this course, the class studies literary texts which contain legal issues that are never addressed by the respective author.  The students analyze these legal issues, research the apposite law, and draft legal briefs in support of their position.  A mock trial is then conducted at the end of each unit.

On Friday (2/12/21), one of my classes will conduct the mock trial of Ethan Frome.  Wharton’s eponymous protagonist has been criminally charged with attempted first and second degree murder.  In addition, Mattie Silver has filed two civil claims against Mr. Frome, alleging that his gross negligence caused the paralysis that she suffered as a result of that fateful toboggan ride.  The class has already deposed a tobogganing manufacturer as an expert witness.

I am wondering if you and anyone else affiliated with the Wharton Society would  be interested in either serving as a juror for Mr. Frome’s mock trial or simply watching it on Zoom.  If so, please contact me at your convenience and I will be happy to elaborate.  I apologize for the late notice.  Please find below links to some media coverage that the Law and Literature class has received.  I hope to hear from you soon.

–Bernie O’Donnell

Wharton Queries: Information on In Morocco

My name is Diane, i am journalist from french television station called Arte, a french and german channel :

We produce a daily cultural show : Invitation au Voyage, broadcasted every day at 4.30 pm. It deals with travel, culture, history and discovery

I am contacting you because i am preparing a report about Edith Wharton in Morroco. I am currently based in Rabat and i am looking for some documentation, analysis, thesis, any supports, about her trip and i thought that may be you could help me ? 


Results of Changes to EWS Constitution

Dear EWS members,
Many thanks for voting on the recent proposed changes to the Constitution! I’m pleased to report that both amendments–to hold the Board meeting virtually and to create the position of Archivist–passed unanimously.
Many thanks to Donna Campbell for running our online election and making the changes to our Constitution.
Please look for a call for submissions for EWS awards this week or next.
All best,Jennifer

Edith Wharton Online Event: At Edith’s Table (February 11, 2021)

This online program will be streamed live via Zoom. Registration closes one hour prior to the event start time.

In this illustrated online talk, writer and food historian, Carl Raymond will present an overview of how food and dining are represented in Wharton’s major fiction and memoir.

Attendees will get a sense of how Wharton used food and dining to convey character and background in passages from some of her most memorable work.  Raymond will also present examples from Wharton’s own life including food memories from her childhood as well as insight into how she designed her own dining rooms and her thoughts on entertaining. In addition, attendees will come away with a glimpse of how dining functioned in the overall Gilded Age society and how it defined social class.

Edith Wharton Online Event: Virtual Book Talk with Julie Olin-Ammentorp (February 18, 2021)

Virtual Book Talk with Julie Olin-Ammentorp

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2021 – 7:00PM


Join us for an enlightening book talk with Julie Olin-Ammentorp, who will discuss her book Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture. Olin-Ammentorp will be joined by National Willa Cather Center archivist Tracy Tucker, as she discusses the at once parallel and distinct lives of two of America’s greatest writers. Ticket holders will receive a Zoom link to this event before the event’s start time. All virtual events are scheduled for central standard time. 

More information at