Abstracts Due: January 30, 2014
Dates: June 12-15, 2015
Location: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (North Adams, MA)
In 1850 Hawthorne moved his family to Lenox, where for almost two years he produced a range of literary work: The House of the Seven Gables and a new edition of Twice-Told Tales, as well as A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys, The Snow Image and Other Twice-told Tales, and other works for children. Related to this productivity were his new friendships with Herman Melville in nearby Pittsfield and the circle of women authors in the vicinity, including Catharine Sedgwick, Caroline Sturgis Tappan, and Fanny Kemble Butler. It was while living in Lenox that the Hawthornes learned of Margaret Fuller’s death, with all of its accompanying questions about women’s professional, authorial, and domestic identities. The scenic region, which had become a summer playground for the very rich, also brought Hawthorne into contact with Shakers, artists, mill owners and workers, and church-goers of all persuasions. During his brief time in the Berkshires, in short, Hawthorne encountered a rich variety of contradictory personalities and complex social forces, all of which bore upon his thinking and writing.
Proposals for “Hawthorne in the Berkshires” should address some facet of the work that was inspired by or produced during the writer’s Berkshire phase. Papers that explore Hawthorne’s influence on (or work by) neighboring writers and artists, or that examine the cultural, economic, religious, and social contexts of the region in the early 1850s, are also welcome, as are those which reflect on the author’s legacy on this 150th anniversary of his death in 1864.
Please send 250-500 word abstracts to Jason Courtmanche at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30, 2014.