Category Archives: Announcements

Call for Nominations: EWS Officers (deadline July 31, 2020)

Dear Edith Wharton Society members,

As we look forward to 2021, the leadership of the Society will transition to a group of incoming officers. At this time, we are accepting nominations for the position of Secretary and two Members-at-Large, for the 2021-23 term. Please see below descriptions of these positions according to our Constitution:


“5.4.  The Secretary shall take and distribute minutes of all meetings of the Society and of the Executive Board and shall forward minutes to the Web Master for posting on the society’s web page. The Secretary shall coordinate the nominations of new members of the board.”

5.7 “To achieve continuity, officers shall ordinarily succeed one another in this order: the Vice-President shall become President, and the Secretary become Vice-President, and the President become the Immediate Past President.”


Members-at-Large may be asked to adjudicate the EWS prizes, and they have the option of organizing, or deputizing someone to organize, the guaranteed EWS panel at NEMLA, SAMLA, and other regional MLA conferences (5.9).

For further information about these positions, please review our Constitution at

If you have any questions about either position, please feel free to contact any current Society officer, including President Melanie Dawson (, Vice President Jennifer Haytock (, or Secretary Myrto Drizou ( for further information.

Candidates must be members in good standing of the Edith Wharton Society. Membership dues can be paid here:

Please email Myrto Drizou with nominations by Friday, July 31, 2020. Please include which position you are nominating yourself for and a one-paragraph biography. A voting period will follow the close of the nomination period.

To vote, you must be a member in good standing. I encourage you to check on your membership status ( and update it if necessary. Please don’t hesitate to contact our membership coordinator Sheila Liming ( with questions about your membership.



Myrto Drizou

Assistant Professor of English

Department of Western Languages and Literatures

Bogaziçi University

34342, Bebek

Istanbul, Turkey


Secretary, Edith Wharton Society

Associate Editor, Edith Wharton Review


Edith Wharton’s New York Virtual Tour on July 17

You can now register for the Bowery Boys Virtual Walking Tour! They have created a special event and private link for us, so that everyone who attends the virtual tour will be part of the conference. To register, follow this link:
The event costs $20 and will take place at 1:00 EDT on Friday, July 17th. More details about the tour can be found on the Bowery Boys website:
Those who sign up will receive a Zoom link for the event the day before (July 16th) from the organizers of the tour.
In related news, we will be sending Zoom links for the keynote talk and roundtable panel toward the beginning of July.
If you have any questions, please let us know.

Margaret Toth (Meg) and Margaret Jay Jessee (Jay), Edith Wharton’s New York Conference Co-Directors

UPDATE on the 2020 Edith Wharton Society Awards

Because of our current pandemic’s effect on travel, we have decided to suspend the Edith Wharton Society Archival Research Award for the present time.  If you are interested in applying for this award, please hold your application materials until next summer.  The Elsa Nettels Award for a Beginning Scholar and Undergraduate Research Prize will be open, however, and the new deadline will be July 15.  We hope you will consider applying or that you will encourage your students and colleagues to do so.

Announcements: Edith Wharton’s (Virtual) New York for Conference Participants

Dear Conference Participants,

We are pleased to invite you to participate in Edith Wharton’s (Virtual) New York, a slate of events we are creating to recognize the canceled 2020 NYC conference and to commemorate the centennial of the publication of The Age of Innocence. These events are designed to honor not only Wharton’s relationship to the city but also the past, present, and future of Wharton scholarship.

We are still working out some details, but Edith Wharton’s (Virtual) New York will include two live sessions, and we ask that you please save the dates for those:

July 15, 2020 1:00 EDT: Keynote Lecture by Francis Morrone (Architecture Historian, NYU), “Newland Archer’s New York,” with an introduction by Meg Toth

July 16, 2020 1:00 EDT: Discussion with Wharton Scholarship Roundtable panelists on the past, present, and future of Wharton scholarship, hosted by Paul Ohler and Jay Jessee

We hope you will be able to join!

Thank you,
Margaret Toth (Meg) and Margaret Jay Jessee (Jay), Edith Wharton’s New York Conference Co-Directors


The original schedule for the in-person Edith Wharton’s New York 2020 is available under Conferences – Edith Wharton’s New York 2020 – Edith Wharton’s New York 2020 Conference Schedule in the menu bar and also here:

New Books Week at the EWS site

cropped-whartoncomputer.jpgA new book on Edith Wharton will be featured each day for the next week at the Edith Wharton Society site:

If you’d like to see your book at the site, email me the information and link at

The New Articles page has recently been updated, too:

Edith Wharton as Playwright May 28, 2020

Edith Wharton as Playwright
at the American Literature Research Seminar
hosted by Rothermere American Institute, Oxford
A panel with Laura Rattray (Glasgow), Mary Chinery (Georgian Court), and Daniel Abdalla (PhD candidate, Oxford).
Thursday, 28 May 1600-17:30
Online via zoom. Please contact and for details of how to join.

Dear Wharton Society,

I hope you are well. My colleague, Alice Kelly, suggested that I forward you this poster for our seminar on the subject of Edith Wharton as playwright. It features the scholars Laura Rattray and Mary Chinery who recently found the long-lost Wharton play, The Shadow of a DoubtShould your members be interested, they are welcome to contact me (as listed on the poster) to join.

2020.05.28 ALRS Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton Poems at The Mount

From our friends at The Mount:

Dear Edith Wharton Society,

Yesterday we at the Mount put online readings by Irene Goldman-Price of 6 of Wharton’s poems. We thought perhaps you would like to link to it. The link is below.

Like many places, there’s a lot of uncertainty about when we will open. Our original plan was May 9th. That now seems unlikely but we will take our cues from our state and local officials. In the meantime, we’re busy working on online projects like this.

Thank you very much and hope you’re staying healthy and well.


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.


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

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 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 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 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.