Emily Dickinson: In the Company of Others (Otherness as Company)
Annual Meeting of the Emily Dickinson International Society, 3–4 August 2018
Friday, 3 August
"The Day that a Companion came" (Fr1169)
9:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.: Participant Registration
Check in & Sign up for Reading Seminars, Poetry Reading Groups & Special Events Amherst College Alumni House
1:30–2:00 p.m.: Opening Remarks
Welcome to Meeting Participants& Preview of Panels & Events Amherst College Alumni House
2:15–5:00 p.m. Reading Seminars, Critical Institutes & Poetry Reading Groups
Reading Seminars (2 sessions, meeting concurrently)
Reading SeminarsA & B will meet between 2:15 and 4:00 p.m.; at 4:00 p.m.; both Reading Seminars will converge in Converse Hall 207 to review their individual lines of inquiry, to map out points of intersection and to plot future directions for research and study. Reading Seminars are open to all meeting participants.
• Reading Seminar A, Reading Dickinson and Race in the 21st Century
Converse Hall Room 207
Leader: Stephanie Farrar (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire) [End Page 100]
In 2002, Paula Bernat Bennett daringly wrote, "Dickinson's racial slurs are not the measure of her greatness, but they do point to its limits" (Legacy, 19:1. 2002). As scholars that affirm the relevance of academic insight to the social, political, and cultural realms—to the world itself—the rise in vocal white supremacy following the 2016 Presidential election in the United States urges us to enter a new conversation triangulating Emily Dickinson, scholarship and race. This reading group will begin by offering a brief chronology of scholarly approaches to issues of race in Dickinson's poems and material context, including work by Paula Bernat Bennett, Vivian Pollack, Li-Hsin Hsu, Wesley King, and others. In light of this scholarship, we will consider a range of Dickinson poems that appear to engage a variety of racial "others" alongside those that consider the concept of "whiteness." Finally, we will discuss how Critical Race Theory and its subfield of Whiteness Studies may be combined with methodologies like cultural studies and formal aesthetics to enrich explorations of Dickinson's conceptions of race. A list of primary and secondary readings will be made available on the EDIS website by 15 May.
• Reading Seminar B, " Vesuvius@Home: Adrienne Rich's Emily Dickinson in our Erupting World"
Converse Hall Room 209
Leader: Renée Bergland (Simmons College)
In her 1976 essay "Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson," Adrienne Rich remarked, "To recognize and acknowledge our own interior power has always been a patch mined with risks for women; to acknowledge that power and commit oneself to it as Emily Dickinson did was an immense decision." More than forty years later, we sometimes overlook the immense riskiness—and the feminist power—of Dickinson's work. In this reading group, we will discuss Adrienne Rich's landmark essay on Dickinson in light of subsequent feminist scholarship, pedagogy and social change. A list of primary and secondary readings will be made available on the EDIS website by 15 May.
2:15–5:00 p.m.: Critical Institute (3 sessions, meeting concurrently)
The Critical Institute provides an opportunity for participants to workshop critical essays and conference papers with established Dickinson scholars in small seminars. The Critical Institute is open to meeting participants who submitted work-in-progress in advance of the conference. [End Page 101]
• Critical Institute A: Environment
Frost Library 2nd Floor, Open Access Conference Room
Seminar Leader: Eliza Richards (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
Participants: Ryan Heryford (Cal State University, East Bay); Maria Ishikawa
(University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Amy Nestor (Georgetown University, Qatar); Elizabeth Swails (University of Georgia, Athens)
• Critical Institute B: Science, Health and Medicine
Frost Library 2nd Floor, Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) Seminar Room
Leader: Faith Barrett (Duquesne University)
Participants: Carol DeGrasse (Texas A & M University, Commerce); Vivian
Delchamps (UCLA); Cate Mahoney (Princeton University); Jamie Utphall (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
• Critical Institute C: Genre, Mode, Form
Frost Library 2nd Floor, Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) Think Tank
Leader: Alexandra Socarides (University of Missouri)
Participants: Marva Duerksen (Willamette University); Efrosyni Manda (University of Athens, Greece); Josie O...