Discussing the insufficiency of labels and categories for gender and sexuality, panelists in the History 2 Workshop explored the cases of Bryher, Havelock Ellis, and several other twentieth-century artists, writers, and intellectuals. The panel was part of Transformations: Exploring the History of Science and Gender, an interdisciplinary conference in Exeter, UK.
Lara Vetter’s A Curious Peril: H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose(2017) is a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and now it is available in paperback. The book provides both a political and intellectual context for H.D.’s late prose that extends far beyond H.D. and makes the work an excellent anchor for any course on late modernism, literature and WWII, or literature and war in general.
from the University Press of Florida Web page: “Vetter’s book stands as an important corrective to accounts of H.D. as ethereal and disconnected. She shows, carefully and persuasively, that H.D.’s engagement with politics was not merely the interest of a woman who happened to live through some seismic shifts in political and national history, but that H.D. was engaged to the extent of the imaginative construction of possible social and political futures.”—Review of English Studies
Lehigh University, the Bethlehem Area Public Library, Mock Turtle Marionette Theater, and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center are joining forces to promote a year of community engagement with H.D. and her legacy. The year of events will culminate in the debut of a new play in October 2019.
The H.D. International Society will sponsor one session at the 2019 annual conference of the American Literature Association, May 23-26, 2019, at Westin Copley Place in Boston. We have had excellent panels at ALA lately, and we hope you can join us.
The American Literature Association’s 30th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 23-26, 2019 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). For further information, please consult the ALA website at www.americanliterature.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions must be received no later than January 15, 2019.
All the best,
Celena Kusch & Rebecca Walsh, Co-Chairs, H.D. International Society
Unlike many of the beautifully-preserved Moravian buildings of Bethlehem, PA, H.D.’s childhood home did not survive. On the site now stand the City Hall and, perhaps fittingly, the Bethlehem Area Public Library. In September 2017, United for Libraries named the site one of 160 literary landmarks. For a local newspaper story about the dedication, see The Morning Call‘s “Literary Landmark in Bethlehem Named in Honor of Hilda Doolittle.”
“Passages”: The Robert Duncan Centennial Conference at the Sorbonne Université, Paris, June 12-14 2019, welcomes papers on the H.D./Duncan connection (The H.D. Book, the correspondence, etc.) among many other possible topics. Anyone who remembers the 2013 H.D. and Modernity Conference in Paris will remember many of these conference organizers as well.
Stephen Fredman Miriam Nichols Michael Palmer
“I am speaking now of the Dream in which America sleeps, the New World, moaning, floundering, in three hundred years of invasions, our own history out of Europe and enslaved Africa.”—Robert Duncan, Ground Work
American poet Robert Duncan would be turning 100 in January 2019. With his direct address to his contemporaries and the broad forces and structures—psychological, political, cosmological—at work in the world, and with his aspiration to write a holistic “grand collage” sweeping up all possible inputs to his poetry, it could be argued that we need Duncan’s work and his vision now more than ever.
Duncan’s work on a poetry and poetics of “passages,” in particular, remains key. The “Passages” poems spatialize poetry as an “area of composition,” embrace discontinuity and incompletion (they remain part of a work always “larger than the book in which they appear”) and seek intertextual and psycho-social connection at every moment of their unfolding.
Radically open, Duncan’s work thus calls for re-engagement—for the following of new connecting passages through and out of his work, for drawing new poetic passages from a resource that remains inexhaustibly “beyond.” This is all the more important since Duncan’s creative heterodoxy eschews habitual notions of genealogy or tradition. Because his is a rare case of great relevance which does not easily translate into lineage, it seems most appropriate that one should now turn to Duncan, standing as we are today Before the War and In the Dark, and listen to the cadence of his verse anew.
The Paris Conference, as a centennial celebration of Robert Duncan’s works, invites proposals from scholars and poets. Possible topics may include:
* Responses to recent publications of note, such as The Collected Writings of Robert Duncan series published by University of California Press: The H.D. Book (ed. Michael Boughn and Victor Coleman, 2011), Collected Early Poems and Plays (ed. Peter Quartermain, 2012), Collected Later Poems and Plays (ed. Peter Quartermain, 2014), Collected Essays and Other Prose (ed. James Maynard, 2014); but also A Poet’s Mind: Collected Interviews with Robert Duncan 1960-1985 (North Atlantic Books, 2012), Imagining Persons: Robert Duncan’s Essays on Charles Olson (ed. Robert J. Bertholf and Dale M. Smith, UNMP, 2017), An Open Map: The Correspondence of Robert Duncan and Charles Olson (ed. Robert J. Bertholf and Dale M. Smith, UNMP, 2017)
* Manuscripts and archives: the Robert Duncan Papers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University at Buffalo
* Duncan’s published and unpublished correspondences: epistolary relations as poetics
* Duncan’s relations with the Berkeley and the San Francisco Renaissance poets (Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, among others), the Black Mountain poets (Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, among others), H.D., Ezra Pound, Louis Zukofsky, Denise Levertov, but also with the new generations (e.g. the Language poets, Ron Silliman, Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, Nathaniel Mackey, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Stephen Collis), to name only a few.
* War, America, Empire, order, and strife
* Vocation and calling: Duncan on the role of poetry and the poet
* Duncan’s relationship with the French language, Francophone poets and translators
* Duncan and the poetry wars: polemics and poetics in postwar American poetry
* American poetry after Duncan: questions of influence
* The history of Duncan’s reception
* Duncan as teacher (San Francisco State University Poetry Center, Black Mountain College, University at Buffalo, New College, etc.), his lectures, workshops, readings
* Approaches to teaching Duncan
* Duncan’s queer legacy and the question of gender
This essay spans H.D.’s poetry and prose, from Trilogy and By Avon River to The Sword Went Out to Sea, Helen in Egypt, Vale Ave, Hirslanden Notebooks, and Hermetic Definition. Hogue combines disability studies and feminist poetics to explore the later years of H.D.’s career.
This panel seeks to examine graphic eroticism in its myriad modernist forms. From the graphically risque or taboo to the textual representations of non-normative sex and sexuality in poetry and prose, modernist women writers often embedded eroticism within their literary experiments. With H.D., for instance, her letters describe trips to erotica shops in Vienna to find pornographic photos for Bryher and the pressure she received from publishers to write a tell-all memoir about her relationship with Ezra Pound and other male modernists, while her prose and poetry codify seduction and sexual encounters in less literal, though no less “graphic” ways. This panel encourages explorations of the relationship between the explicit, the erotic, and the graphic in the queer, straight, and mixed networks of women modernists. We welcome papers that interrogate modernist eroticism through a women-centered lens and that move past critical models of “romantic thralldom” or gendered revision in their approaches to gender, sex, and sexuality.
The H.D. International Society will again be sponsoring a panel at the American Literature Association conference, May 24-27, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, CA. The call for paper proposals is open ended, although projects working with some aspect of H.D.’s later writing or new approaches to teaching H.D. would be particularly welcome given the recent publications of H.D. editions and their scholarly framings. Please send a brief paper proposal (250 words) along with a short biography/CV to Celena Kusch, email@example.com, no later than January 25, 2018.