Two Margaret Fuller Society CFPs for ALA 2019 in Boston

American Literature Association
May 23-26, 2019
Boston, MA

Margaret Fuller’s Languages

In the “Preface by the Translator” that Margaret Fuller penned for her translation of Goethe’s Tasso, she states: “There are difficulties attending the translation of German works into English which might baffle one much more skillful in the use of the latter than myself. A great variety of compound words enable the German writer to give a degree of precision and delicacy of shading to his expressions nearly impracticable with the terse, the dignified, but by no means flexible English idiom” (Art, Literature and the Drama, p. 355). In her work as critic and translator, Fuller has always been attuned to style, register, nuances, wording, irony and all the richness and complexity of language, and to the particularities of different languages. As a result, readers have often been “baffled” by her  complexity.

For this panel, we seek presentations on all matters that have to do with Margaret Fuller’s languages, both in terms of her translation work, but also regarding her code-switching, generic mixes, neologisms, rhetorical force, word-play. How do Fuller’s theories about translation and her ideas about language/languages inform her writing? How have recent transnational perspectives on American Literature shed new light on Fuller’s rhetoric and language?

Winged Sphinxes: Margaret Fuller’s Poetry and Poetics

In his “Introduction” to a special forum on poetry in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (Spring 2013), Max Cavitch states “The study of nineteenth-century American poetry and poetics has been enjoying an efflorescence that shows no signs of contracting”, adding also that “among the most consequential developments has been the belated recognition of not simply the existence but also the centrality to North American literary and cultural history of poetry by women”. In keeping with this appraisal, the present panel invites examinations of Margaret Fuller’s poetry and poetics from a wide array of critical approaches, including, but not limited to, historical poetics, ecocriticism, new materialisms, as well as linguistic, historical, ethical, feminist, transatlantic, transnational perspectives. We invite contributions that will consider Fuller’s poetry and poetics in their various forms and instantiations (original compositions, translations, embedded poems, etc.), and we welcome proposals that approach Fuller along with other writers and poets.

Please send a 250 word abstract and a brief bio to Sonia Di Loreto (sonia.diloreto [at] unito [dot] it) by January 19, 2019.

CFP: “Transcendentalism: Men and Women Conversing”

In a collaborative call from the Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott Societies, we invite proposals for papers to be presented at the next Thoreau Gathering in Concord, MA (July 11-14, 2019) on dialogues between men and women of the Transcendentalist movement. When Emerson looked back at Transcendentalism, in “Historic Notes of Life and Letters in New England,” he recalled men and women who read adventurously, became friends, formed a club for conversation, and launched  a magazine. They were talkers as well as solitaries. Across the apparent divide of gender, what did they have to talk about?

Papers might closely study an individual dialogue or consider the broader dynamics of two or more writers within or alongside the movement. All conversation was not face-to-face; instead, in keeping with the Gathering’s 2019 theme, “Nature, Technology, and the Connected Life,” it was also made possible by the post office that delivered letters, the railroad that enabled travel, and the print industry that opened authorship in books and periodicals.

The following list suggests only some areas of possibility:

  • Mary Moody Emerson’s exchange of letters with Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Mary Moody Emerson’s conversation with Henry David Thoreau, as reported by Thoreau
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson’s exchanges of letters and opinion with Margaret Fuller
  • Fuller editing Thoreau as editor of the Dial
  • Much more on the Dial: perhaps Caroline or Ellen Sturgis’ poems and their reception, or any dialogues within or between issues
  • Fuller’s social vision in re Orestes Brownson’s or Theodore Parker’s or W.H. Channing’s
  • Fuller’s Conversations, with vs. without male participation
  • Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and Bronson Alcott as educators at the Masonic Temple school
  • Peabody publishing Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” in Aesthetic Papers
  • Thoreau and the women of his family as antislavery activists
  • Interactions across gender at Brook Farm or Fruitlands
  • Louisa May Alcott and her father
  • Louisa May Alcott’s fictional or poetic representations of Emerson and/or Thoreau
  • Lydia Maria Child on the movement from New York: definitions and satires; her own practical Transcendentalism (urban reform, antislavery , Croton water) vs. Emerson’s or Thoreau’s or ?
  • Fictional refractions of Emersonian thought by Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Mary Gove Nichols, Margaret Sweat, or ?
  • Caroline Dall as sponsor of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Woman” at the 1855 Boston women’s rights convention
  • Acknowledgement of or resistance to Emerson or Thoreau or another male transcendentalist by your choice of feminist author or activist
  • Dall’s history of the movement in “Transcendentalism in New England” (1895)
  • The gender divide and its overcoming in history or criticism of the Transcendentalist movement

This will be a peer-reviewed panel. Please send one-page proposals and short c.v.’s to Phyllis Cole (pbc2 [at] psu [dot] edu) or David Greenham  (David [dot] Greenham [at] uwe [dot] ac [dot] uk) by Nov. 26. Decisions will be made by Dec. 15. Inquiries are welcome at any point.