Monday, October 15, 2007

Edie Thornton

We at the Edith Wharton Society are saddened by the recent death of Edie Thornton, our vice president, on October 2, 2007. A wonderful colleague, scholar, mentor, and friend, Edie was associated with the Wharton Society for many years, and she will be sorely missed. A memorial page is available on the site of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for those who wish to leave a remembrance (, and the Wharton Society will also pay tribute to her at the Wharton conference this June.

--Donna Campbell, Webmaster

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Digital Americanists

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce the formation of a new professional organization designed to support the scholarship and teaching of American literature and culture using digital media. The Digital Americanists was formally brought to life at this year's American Literature Association in Boston, and in the past couple of months we have established the necessary frameworks to begin officially filling our membership rolls.

At our new wiki-based website,, you will find the constitution, an initial list of members, an initial list of associated digital projects, a bibliography of resources, some sample classroom syllabi and activities, and information on how to become a member along with a description of the privileges of membership.

After you've become a member and paid the modest $10 annual fee (which can be done conveniently online), we invite you to help build the wiki by adding information about yourself, your digital projects, your teaching, and whatever else you feel would be of interest to this community.

Please join us in our efforts to create a vibrant organization that can support this growing field of American literature scholarship.

Andrew Jewell, President
Edward Whitley, Vice-President
Amanda Gailey, Secretary/Treasurer

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

CFP: Wharton sessions at ALA 2008

CFP, American Literature Association, May 2008

1. Edith Wharton and the Culture of Celebrity.

Wharton’s treatment of literary, musical, and theatrical celebrity; fans, obsessive and otherwise; the meanings of stardom and fame in Wharton’s fiction; being in and out of the spotlight. All approaches welcome; papers on Wharton’s lesser-known works would be especially appreciated. Please send 1-page abstracts and brief c.v.’s to Meredith Goldsmith ( by January 15, 2008.

2. Representations of Wharton in the Mass Media

How has Wharton been represented, both during and after her lifetime, in the mass media (including, but not limited to, reviews, visual images, advertisements, obituaries, fictional texts, architectural and design texts, newspapers, magazines, film, radio, television, tourist and historical site brochures, internet sites, and so forth). What aspects of Wharton’s life, identity, or career are privileged or omitted in these texts and for what purpose? What is the relationship between the persona constructed in these texts and the private and public persona that Wharton herself constructed? What is the relationship between Wharton’s mass media representation and her fiction? All approaches are welcome. Please send a 1-page abstract and brief c.v. to Gary Totten ( by January 15, 2008.