Poems of War

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
South Atlantic Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Emily Dickinson International Society (guaranteed panel) at SAMLA, November 2-4, 2018, Birmingham, Alabama

Scholarship in the 1980s, most notably by Shira Wolosky, initiated a revision of Dickinson’s relationship to the Civil War. Contrary to Allen Tate’s assertion in 1928 that “when she went upstairs and closed the door, she mastered life by rejecting it,” Wolosky contextualized Dickinson’s work within an era of war, arguing that “Dickinson’s preoccupation with anguish and loss need not be seen as the product of an individual and morbid imagination.” However, it remains difficult to see Dickinson as a war poet; although she was most prolific during the war years, a small percentage of her 1,789 poems can be read as about the war. But why do we expect poems composed during a war to be about that war? How can we situate Dickinson’s subtlety within a broader context of Civil War poetry and publication? And how does poetry written or published during the Civil War compare to more recent wars? The Emily Dickinson International Society seeks abstracts that explore these and many other questions about war and poetry. Submissions need not focus exclusively on Dickinson, and creative works are encouraged. Please submit a CV, abstract (200-300 words), and A/V requirements to Dr. Trisha Kannan at tk1139@gmail.com by July 31, 2018.