Category Archives: EWS Business

Welcome Message from EWS President Myrto Drizou

Dear Members of the Edith Wharton Society,

I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and rewarding new year. For all the challenges that the last two years have brought, we have sustained our community and have continued our support to Wharton scholarship. We owe this primarily to you but also to the EWS Board and the skillful leadership of Jennifer Haytock, whose Presidency navigated an ongoing pandemic and global shifts with capacity, generosity, and unfailing grace. I am deeply grateful to Jennifer and, as the incoming President of the Society, I hope to continue her wonderful work.

What keeps our community strong is first and foremost our membership; it’s you. Please take a moment to renew your membership, which also includes a yearly subscription to the Society’s journal, the Edith Wharton Review:

I would like to extend warm thanks to current Editor, Rita Bode, as well as former Editor Paul Ohler, for their commitment to keep the journal at the forefront of Wharton scholarship. Please consider submitting your work, as the Edith Wharton Review remains a great forum not only for established but also new voices in Wharton Studies.

Wharton Studies is, indeed, your work and your scholarship. On the part of the EWS Board, we will continue to facilitate and support scholarly exchange. Please keep an eye out for the EWS awards (the call will be out soon); send a proposal to our regular MLA, ALA, and other conference panels; and come to our online and (hopefully more in-person) events. We are currently exploring options for a future symposium and a larger conference; so please stay tuned and join us when the time comes!

Finally, let us celebrate Edith’s birthday together. Do join us on Monday (January 23rd) for an online event jointly organized by the Transatlantic Literary Women (led by the indefatigable Laura Rattray) and the EWS. Donna Campbell—whose work on Wharton hardly needs introduction—will kick off the new year with excellent scholarship and an exciting talk on The House of Mirth:

Thank you all so much for your support to the Edith Wharton Society, and see you on Monday!

Warm wishes,


EWS Welcomes New Officers

The EWS welcomes its new slate of officers for 2023-2025:


Thanks to the officers and board members from 2021-2023:

Officers 2021-23

At-Large Executive Board Members

Queries: Membership Page

I just paid for membership with Pay Pay. It then said to return to page, but the page was gone. I don’t believe the Edith Wharton Society has my information.

Name: Kathy Geren Christy

Dear Ms. Christy,

This should have gone through all right, but if you’d like to check, please contact The Membership Committee Chair, Sheila Liming, Champlain College, She has access to the membership records.


Donna Campbell

 Vote for EWS positions and changes to Constitution and By-laws (vote closes 9/26/22)

Dear EWS members,

Voting is now open for the positions of Secretary and Members-at-Large for the 2023-25 term and for approving or disapproving of two constitutional amendments, which were discussed at the MLA and ALA meetings. The first establishes how Edith Wharton Review editors will be chosen. The second establishes how Treasurers will be chosen and removes the position of co-Treasurer.

Society members, please use the link sent to your email to affirm or not affirm the nominated candidates for each position and to approve or disapprove the amendments. Voting closes 9/26/22. 

The voting link is here:

You can see the wording of the ballot questions below.


Survey questions:

  1. Should Arielle Zibrak be elected Secretary of the EWS? (Y/N)

    Arielle Zibrak is Associate Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wyoming, where she also directs the English Honors Program. She is the editor of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence: New Centenary Essays (Bloomsbury, 2019) and the author of Avidly Reads: Guilty Pleasures (New York University Press, 2021). 

    Her writing on literature, gender, sexuality, and popular culture has been published in American Literature, American Literary History, Arizona Quarterly, The Baffler, Criticism, The Edith Wharton Review, ESQ, The Los Angeles Review of Books, LitHub, McSweeney’s, The Toast, and Women’s Studies. She has given numerous conference presentations on Wharton’s work and has been invited to speak on Wharton at The Mount and by the good folks at SUNY Brockport. She previously served as an Executive Board Member At-Large of the EWS.
  1. Should Anna Girling and Stacy Holden be elected to the two open positions of EWS Board Members-at-Large? (Y/N)

    Anna Girling

    I recently completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in the UK; my thesis was (broadly!) on Edith Wharton and European literary decadence. I have been a member of the Edith Wharton Society since the early days of my PhD, and the society has shaped my research, and intellectual life, in numerous ways. I was fortunate to win the Prize for a Beginning Scholar for an essay on alchemy in The Touchstone, and this went on to be published in the Edith Wharton Review – and I have also published in the EWR and the Times Literary Supplement about Wharton’s correspondence with her early British publisher, John Murray (which I found at the National Library of Scotland). I have been part of society panels at the ALA and the MLA, and attended the Wharton in Washington conference in 2016, and the online keynotes and discussions as part of the pandemic version of the Edith Wharton’s New York conference in 2020. My future research plans involve a project looking at Wharton’s Cold War publication history – which I have funding (including from the Edith Wharton Society) to travel to the US for later this year, and which I will be working on while an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of English Studies in London. I am aware that none of this research would be possible – let alone enjoyable – without the work, both academic and collegial, of present and past members of the Edith Wharton Society, and I am very keen to play my part in the life of the society.

Stacy Holden

My name is Stacy E. Holden, and I am self-nominating for Member-at-Large position.  I joined the Edith Wharton Society about five years ago.  I am an Associate Professor of History at Purdue University.  My research and teaching focus on the Middle East and North Africa as well as US engagement with the Arab world.  Studying Wharton’s literary work and life experiences have opened a window onto US policymaking in the early twentieth century.  I am currently completing research on a book project, “Edith Wharton’s Morocco: The Origins of American Intervention in the Arab World.” My work examines how Wharton used her influence as an author and an elite American to normalize the idea of Western imperialism in the Arab world.  A synopsis of my research was published in History Today, and I am now organizing a tour of “Edith Wharton’s Morocco.”  As Member-at-Large, I hope to continue to foster connections with historians interested in topics that can be illuminated in her archival papers (medical knowledge, preservation practices, book marketing are examples of such topics).  I hope to assist in organizing the next biennial meeting, and I would also like to organize a future meeting at the Tangier American Legation Museum, the former US consulate of Morocco.

  1. Should the following amendment to the EWS By-laws be approved? (New amendment language is in bold.) (Y/N)

    Revisions to EWS Bylaws (EWR):

    5.6. The Editor of the Edith Wharton Review shall prepare the Review. The Editor may appoint an Associate Editor to assist with these functions and to sit in on Executive Board meetings when the Editor is not available. The editorial team consists of an editor and up to three associate editors.

     The editors shall be chosen as follows:

    1.     To select Associate Editors, the journal puts out an open call for an Associate Editor who will join the editors’ team. The new Associate Editor is selected by the current Editor and Associate Editors in consultation with the EWS Board.

    2.     A new Editor is selected from among all the Associate Editors in consultation with the EWS Board and the outgoing Editor. 

    3.     Should this fail in any way, the journal puts out an open call for an Editor and follows the selection and consultation criteria specified above.
  1. Should the following revisions be adopted to the EWS Constitution and By-laws? (Y/N)

    1.     Remove all references to “Co-Treasurers” from the Constitution, replacing it with “The Treasurer” (3.1, 3.5, 5.1).

    2.     Add an explanation of the appointment processes for the Treasurer and Treasurer-Elect:

    5.5 The Treasurer is appointed by the President, in consultation with the Executive Board, for a two-year term. When possible, an incoming Treasurer will be appointed a year in advance and serve as Treasurer-Elect while learning the position from the Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep financial records and maintain stewardship of the finances of the Society, including a tally of all accounts and expenditures, annual tax filings and incorporation paperwork, when appropriate. The Treasurer will present a report, in writing, at least once annually to the Executive Board on the financial status of the Society, including a written report on all income to and disbursements of the Society.  The Treasurer shall have signing privileges and access to the EWS financial accounts to enable the officers and conference directors to carry out the necessary business of the Society.

    5.7.  Each officer and member at large shall serve for a term of two years.

    7.1.  Officers and members of the Executive Board shall be elected by online or e-mail ballot, except for officers who are designated by another process outlined in the Constitution.  Paper ballots will be provided upon request for those with no Internet access.

EWS Award Recipients Announced

Dear Edith Wharton Society members, 

Here are the results of this year’s committee deliberations for the Edith Wharton Society’s awards: 

The Award for Archival Research  

Anna Girling, University of Edinburgh   

“Edith Wharton and the Cold War” 

The Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar 

No award given. 

The Undergraduate Research Prize 

No award given. 

I wish to extend many thanks to the Award committees for their careful and thoughtful work: for the Elsa Nettels Prize for a Beginning Scholar: Myrto Drizou, Melanie Dawson, and Laura Rattray; for the Award for Archival Research: Jay Jessee, Virginia Ricard, and Meg Toth; and for the Undergraduate Research Prize: Rita Bode and Donna Campbell. 

Although no award was given in two categories, I’m pleased that we saw such interest in Wharton studies, and the burgeoning work offers much promise.  

Many congratulations to Anna Girling on her award! 

All best, 


EWS Elections: Nominations Sought

Dear Edith Wharton Society members,

The Edith Wharton Society is now accepting nominations for the position of Secretary and two Members-at-Large, for the 2023-2025 term.


From 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 EW 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 Jennifer Haytock (, Vice President Myrto Drizou (, or Secretary Margaret Jay Jessee ( for further information.

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

Please email Jay Jessee with nominations by Thursday, September 1st 2022. 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.



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

From EWS President Melanie Dawson: Looking Toward 2021

Looking Toward 2021 

As we prepare to say a hearty goodbye to 2020 and greet a new year, the Edith Wharton Society will welcome a new set of officers and take a moment to recognize those who have served through the end of the current year. As many of you know, our officers serve for two-year periods, during which they maintain the scholarly presence of the Edith Wharton’s work, oversee the Society’s finances and membership, and support conference planning, including plans for the 2020 conference and 2020 EWS awards. This year we are particularly grateful for our outgoing Members at Large, Rita Bode and Katie Ahern; we thank both for their service across the past two years.  We also wish to recognize the Herculean labors of Margaret J. Jessee and Meg Toth, known affectionately to many as “the Margarets,” the directors of our in-person conference originally slated for June of this past year in New York City.  Conference planning is not for the faint of heart even in ordinary times, but as our lives were rearranged in response to our ongoing public health crisis, Jay and Meg closed out all site-specific conference planning and transitioned to our first online Edith Wharton Society conference events. We owe them huge thanks for their resilient energies as they enabled our virtual conversations about Wharton’s work; our summer online events were without precedent and their success was most welcome. 

As we turn to 2021, Sheila Liming continues to helm our membership coordination, and Carole Shaffer Koros the Society’s archives; Donna Campbell remains Webmaster and Sharon Kim Treasurer; we are grateful to these members their vital work on behalf of the Society. At The Edith Wharton Review, Paul Ohler continues as Editor and Myrto Drizou and Sharon Kim as Associate Editors, with Shannon Brennan as Book Review Editor. All are deserving of our ongoing appreciation for the journal’s splendid presence. Those who step into new EWS positions at the beginning of 2021 include Meg Toth, Laura Rattray, and Virginia Ricard, who join the Executive Board as Members At Large.  Thanks to all three for enabling the society’s work.  Jay Jessee steps in as Secretary, Myrto Drizou as Vice President, and Jennifer Haytock as President.  I know that the Society will be in excellent hands with these talented stewards. Many of you will remember Jennifer as co-director of the 2016 conference in Washington, D. C. and as an active Vice-President these past two years.  Indeed, I have relied upon a close collaboration with Jennifer throughout my time in the Presidency, just as I have benefitted from the wisdom of Paul Ohler, who steps out of the role of Immediate Past President, and who deserves many thanks for his years as Secretary, Vice-President, and President. I should also note the dedication of a host of officers past and present (especially Emily Orlando, Meredith Goldsmith, and Gary Totten, additional presidents with whom I have worked across my time with the society) and to a society culture that fosters such collaborative goodwill among its members.  We hope you will continue to contribute to the Society’s ongoing discussions of Edith Wharton, her works, and her milieu.   


Melanie Dawson    

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