Emerging Perspectives in H.D.’s Hellenic Modernity and the Future of New Modernist Studies Hybrid Conference 25-26 May 2024

International Symposium (hybrid) co-organized by Aristotle University, Thessaloniki (Greece), Athens College (Greece), & University of Alberta (Canada)

Date: 25-26 May, 2024

Venue: Amphitheater I – Research Dissemination Centre AUTH

The writings, travels, and all forms of pilgrimage or periegetic homage of early twentieth century Modernist authors and artists reveal that their pursuits were imbued with the desire to decipher and understand the conditions of their own modernity. In H.D.’s writings, the notion of antiquity was not just linked to the Classic period, but it served as a trope to better comprehend the modernist angst of dispersion. But it was en route to Athens, Delphi, and Corfu when she and her lifelong partner, novelist, poet, and essayist Bryher (Winnifred Ellerman) were able to envision her “Greek stories.”

H.D.’s Hellenism appears to be a world resistant to postwar materiality charged with a “sense of persistent incipience, glimpses into beckoning ruins” as Susan McCabe notes in her study An Untold Love Story of Modernism. And though H.D. talks about her “Greek Novel,” the elusive, finalized version of this text is never retrieved in its entirety because her Greek novel has many versions: it is published and unpublished, it is present and vocal, it is taciturn and buried in her palimpsestic writings as well as half-concealed in scraps of journals, and in the lengthier poems she produced in the course of time as she was writing or not writing.

The International Symposium (hybrid) to be hosted by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will attempt to re-visit and re-assemble H.D. ‘s Greek stories in the physical space where they were inspired. This interdisciplinary and international two-day event brings together an array of distinguished modernism scholars from Canada, U.S.A., and Europe in an attempt to re-envision the foundational contribution of Hellenism and Hellenic civilization within and outside the historical, cultural and linguistic premises of Modernism in relation to and beyond H.D.’s oeuvre.

Keynote speakers:

Susan McCabe (University of Southern California, U.S.A.)

Demetres Tryphonopoulos (University of Alberta, Canada)

For the symposium Program, registration information, and additional details, check the Symposium webpage.

For further inquiries, contact: modernism@enl.auth.gr

Organizing Committee:

Anna Fyta, Ph.D., (Independent Scholar, IB Instructor), Athens College, Greece

Tatiani Rapatzikou, Ph.D., (Associate Professor, Head of Dept. of American Literature and Culture, School of English), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Demetres Tryphonopoulos, Ph.D., (Dean & Executive Officer), University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, Canada


“Signets Reborn: H.D.’s Serpent-and-Thistle Signet Ring and Louvre Museum Item Number BJ 1212” by Graham Borland identifies the source of H.D.’s Signets imagery

Graham Borland’s Open Access article in Notes and Queries, “Signets Reborn” offers a valuable gloss on the source of H.D.’s serpent and thistle motif that plays an important role in Tribute to Freud.

The article highlights signet rings from the catalogs of the Louvre and British Museum. Borland identifies the likely source as the Louvre catalog item Bj 1212:

© 2006 RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

CFP American Literature Association, Boston, May 2023, deadline Jan 23

American Literature Association Conference Web Page Screen Shot
American Literature Association Conference Web Page

The H.D. International Society will sponsor one session at the 2023 annual conference of the American Literature Association, May 25-28, 2023, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, MA.

In the past year, both Winged Words by Donna Hollenberg and H.D. and Bryher: An Untold Love Story of Modernism by Susan McCabe have transformed the landscape of critical biographies of H.D. New Directions has reissued HERmione, and studies like Lara Vetter’s “H.D., Modernist Fiction, and a Queer Quotidian” or Zlatina Nikolova’s “Onscreen Femininity Deconstructed” are highlighting the relevance of H.D. Studies to contemporary debates about gender and sexuality. The H.D. Society looks forward to sharing your new perspectives on H.D. Studies at the ALA conference in May 2023.

Please send proposals (up to 250 words), along with a brief biography or curriculum vitae, to Celena Kusch, co-chair of the H.D. International Society) at kuschc@uscupstate.edu. Please send submissions no later than January 23, 2023.

Posted in CFP

CFP American Literature Association Chicago, May 2022, deadline Jan 23

American Literature Association Conference Web Page Screen Shot
American Literature Association Conference Web Page

The H.D. International Society will sponsor one session at the 2022 annual conference of the American Literature Association, May 26-29, 2022, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, IL. At present, this conference is planned as a fully face-to-face event with no virtual presentations. Any updates or changes to those plans will be posted on the ALA Web site and shared with selected panelists as soon as possible.

The range of new work in H.D. studies has included new approaches to H.D.’s response to war, to the environment, to gender and sexuality, to film, to life writing, to avant-garde experimentation, to the archives–not to mention the impact of Susan McCabe’s new H.D./Bryher biography. We look forward to sharing your fresh insights at the ALA conference.

Please send proposals (up to 250 words), along with a brief biography or curriculum vitae, to Celena Kusch, co-chair of the H.D. International Society) at kuschc@uscupstate.edu. Please send submissions no later than January 23, 2022.


The Gift by H.D.: The Complete Text Now Available in Paperback

Jane Augustine’s edited and annotated critical edition of The Gift has been an essential reference in H.D. studies since its initial release in 1998. Now, the University Press of Florida is releasing the paperback edition–perfect for teaching centered on H.D., on autobiography, and on “the gift” of artistic creativity.

book cover The Gift by H.D.

“It is a special joy to have the complete text of The Gift, a stunning work in the H.D. canon, a work of import for studies in autobiography and the essay, for understanding the spiritual crisis of modernism, and as a climactic work in the career of an extraordinary 20th-century woman writer.”

Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Temple University

The Butterfly Hatch: Literary Experience in the Quest for Wisdom, Uncanonically Seating H.D.

book cover Butterfly Hatch by Richard VytniorguRichard Vytniorgu of the University of Leicester positions H.D. as a thinker and reads her autobiographical prose and recently published work of the 1940s in conversation with literary theorist, Louise Rosenblatt. The book, The Butterfly Hatch (Sussex, 2019), takes H.D.’s recurring imagery of butterflies as a metaphor for exploring wisdom, consciousness, and experience.

The book is a brilliant and urgent call for new interventions in both the study and teaching of literature. Vytniorgu, whose indebtedness to the theory and practice of Louise Rosenblatt is everywhere evident, promises readers greater self-knowledge and enhanced understanding of some of the central existential issues of life. The book upends most established approaches to both the study and teaching of literature, especially those that remove the person from readings of texts and ignore crucial concepts such as wisdom. The Butterfly Hatch is an indispensible work, therefore, for educators, students, and nonprofessional readers interested in learning about themselves and the world from their encounters with literature.

Elizabeth A. Flynn, Professor Emerita, Michigan Tech University

Bryher’s Beowulf Reprint Available through Edelweiss

Bryher’s Beowulf: A Novel of the London Blitz was published originally in 1956 by Pantheon Press. Schaffner Press has issued a 2020 reprint of the novel with an introduction by Susan McCabe.

book cover Beowulf: Novel of the London Blitz by Bryher

This gorgeous book features two women who own a local teashop in the midst of the London blitz of World War II. Founded on the everyday challenges and survival strategies, the novel transforms the old hero into Beowulf, the plaster bulldog statue that embodies the spirit of the teashop and the community it creates.

Look for a preview of Susan McCabe’s introduction online.


Susan McCabe Publishes the First Double Critical Biography of H.D. and Bryher

book cover H.D. & Bryher: An Untold Love Story of ModernismH. D. & Bryher: An Untold Love Story of Modernism (Oxford UP, 2021) digs into the rich archives of both H.D. and Bryher to offer a portrait of modernist literature, queer life, and political engagement. This comprehensive double-biography (424 pages) promises to unlock new approaches to the H.D./Bryher networks and their role in shaping and enabling modernism around the world.

“This rich and stunning biography tells the untold story of two women, Bryher and H.D., who radically shaped modernism. McCabe uncovers the emergence of their aesthetics, spirituality, sexuality, politics and more–together and apart–against the backdrop of the oppressive milieu, their international travel, and beyond.” — Cassandra Laity, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Pre-order from www.oup.com/academic with promo code AAFLYG6 to save 30 %.


Celebrating H.D. in the Classroom and Community

Hannah Voss of Durham University and co-editor of Postgraduate English shared her strategies for remembering the 60th anniversary of H.D.’s death on the 27th of September.

Oread by HD text of poem and #HDday, 27 Sept

Using a guerrilla poetry strategy, Voss is making cards and stickers of ‘Oread’ along with a QR code that takes you to H.D.’s poetry foundation page. Voss is calling on the H.D. community to share the small remembrance with students, in bookstores, and on social media with #HDday.

Link to Voss’s card template.


Lheisa Dustin publishes Ghost Words and Invisible Giants on H.D. and Djuna Barnes

book cover Ghost Words and Invisible Giants: H.D., Djuna Barnes, and the Language of Suffering

Focused on H.D.’s late writing in The Sword Went out to Sea and Helen in Egypt, Lheisa Dustin takes a psychoanalytic approach to what she calls the “language of suffering.” Dustin’s book is Ghost Worlds and Invisible Giants: H.D., Djuna Barnes, and the Language of Suffering (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2021).

The book is available in hardback and ebook formats.

About the book:

“Lheisa Dustin draws on Lacanian theory, Buddhist thought and feminist scholarship to offer densely argued interpretations of work by H.D. and Djuna Barnes. Focusing particularly on the two women’s challenging use of language, Ghost Words and Invisible Giants acknowledges academic and spiritual sources while suggesting fresh ways of making sense of enigmatic linguistic tendencies and patterns. This study will be of particular interest to readers in literary modernism, spirituality and psychoanalytic theory.”
— Caroline Zilboorg, is the editor of Richard Aldington and H.D.: Their Lives in Letters and H.D.’s Bid Me to Live. Among her other books are Transgressions, a historical novel about H.D., and the two-volume Life of Gregory Zilboorg (Psyche, Psychology and Psychoanalysis and Mind, Medicine and Man)