I have been inside American Literary Scholarship so long now—before editing a volume for the first time 30 years ago I had also contributed the review chapter on 19th-century literature—that I am inclined to forget that some readers may not be so familiar with its intentions and methods. James Woodress, who conceived the project, said it best in his foreword to the first volume, AmLS 1963: recognizing the need for guidance in negotiating the impressive quantity of published scholarship, he proposed "an annual review in which various scholars would survey the past year's work in American literature within their particular areas of competence." Over its more than half century of publication the series has kept to that purpose. Our contributors are selected for their expertise in the areas they address in their chapters and are charged to review those materials they identify as significant to scholarly work in the field. They have no obligation to comment on everything published; to do that would be to compound the problem of quantity we strive to address.
Hundreds of professional colleagues have participated in this enterprise over its history. New to the work this year are Paul Hurh, University of Arizona, who takes over for Peter Norberg in preparing the Melville chapter; Stephanie M. Blalock, University of Iowa, and Stephanie Farrar, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who replace Amanda Gailey and Michelle Kohler in "Whitman and Dickinson"; Mary Carney, University of North Georgia, who succeeds Carol Singley in the Wharton section of "Wharton and Cather"; and Taylor Hagood, Florida Atlantic University, who takes over "Faulkner" from Adam Long. In addition to [End Page vii] the standing list of author and period chapters, AmLS also features everexpanding coverage of international scholarship. The French, German, Italian, and Nordic sections appear annually. Also appearing this year, as they do every two years, are sections on Eastern European and Japanese scholarship; they alternate with a section on Spanish scholarship, which returns again next year. We are indebted to the many scholars, past, continuing, and arriving, who have committed their scholarly judgment, their time, and their effort to this important initiative.
Professor Scharnhorst and I are supported in our work by the specialist librarians and resources of the University of New Mexico and Indiana University. My special thanks to Amy Walter, Charles Brower, and their colleagues at Duke University Press for their painstaking supervision of the production of this volume. I have given up numbering the blunders from which they have saved me. Authors and publishers can assist us in assuring the thoroughness of AmLS coverage by directing offprints of articles, review copies of books, and publication notices to me at 495 Lake Dornoch Drive, Pinehurst, NC 28374. [End Page viii]