This 43rd annual edition of American Literary Scholarship, like each of its earlier iterations, is a selective review of the voluminous research in the field, this year totaling some 7,000 items. I am occasionally asked why AmLS is always two years behind schedule. AmLS 2005, for example, will appear in the summer of 2007. In fact, few academic volumes are published as expeditiously as the annual, with a production schedule that takes each essay from manuscript to indexed publication within a few months. Contributors research and write their chapters during the summer following the year under review, and the bound books are issued less than a year later—a tribute to the herculean labors of both the essayists and the production staff.
I am reminded when writing this foreword every two years of my own introduction to AmLS while in graduate school at Purdue over 30 years ago. As an editorial assistant for Modern Fiction Studies, I watched William T. Stafford one summer as he wrote his "Henry James" chapter for the annual, a task he performed faithfully for a decade. I learned from his example that summer something about commitment and service to the profession. Among the chapter authors in those years were such eminent figures as Louis J. Budd, Nina Baym, Linda Wagner Martin, Lawrence Buell, J. A. Leo Lemay, William J. Scheick, and Jerome Klinkowitz, all of whom remain active scholars and teachers to this day and, in the cases of Professors Scheick and Klinkowitz, contributors to AmLS. I am honored to work on behalf of the annual they collectively nurtured into an indispensable reference tool in the field of American literary studies.
Only a few changes are forthcoming in the roster of contributors to AmLS 2006. James Egan of Brown University will join Professor Scheick in writing "Literature to 1900." Hilary K. Justice of Illinois [End Page vii] State University and Robert W. Trogdon of Kent State University will retire from "Fitzgerald and Hemingway" with the heartfelt gratitude of the editors.
I am also grateful to David Bagnall and the staff of the MLA Bibliographic Information Services for supplying a typesim of the 2005 MLA Bibliography for distribution to contributors, and to Nancy Grandjean, Allison Belan, and the other folks behind the scenes at Duke University Press for helping to maintain the integrity of the annual and managing the electronic equivalent of a prolific paper flow.
Authors and publishers can assist us in ensuring that AmLS continues to cover all relevant materials by forwarding offprints and review copies to Professor David J. Nordloh, Department of English, Indiana University, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47505.
Professor Nordloh and I are grateful for both the moral and the financial support we receive from colleagues and administrators at Indiana University and the University of New Mexico toward the preparation of these volumes and the continuing administration of the series. [End Page viii]