Ford Madox Ford and America, New York Sep 23-25 (abstracts by April 1)
America was a major preoccupation of Ford Madox Ford's. He wrote widely about America and American life in his fiction, criticism, and reminiscences, and he was for many decades involved closely with American writers and American literature. He admired and wrote about the work of his friends Henry James and Stephen Crane, and he knew many more of the best American writers of three times and places: figures such as Ezra Pound and H.D. in England before the First World War; Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Anne Porter, and William Carlos Williams in post-war Paris; Allen Tate and Caroline Gordon, Robert Lowell, Theodore Dreiser, and Charles Olson in the U.S.A. in the 1930s. From the late 1920s he lived frequently in New York, and travelled over much of the country, accompanied in the 30s by his American partner Janice Biala.
As an influential literary editor, Ford conceived his role as bringing European and American literature into contact; something he also attempted in his regular reviewing of American novels. From his launching of the transatlantic review in 1924, and through the 1920s as he spent more of his time in New York and became more popular in the States, Ford not only came to think of American literature as the most dynamic of its time, but also began increasingly to address his work to American readers. There are major collections of his papers at Cornell, Princeton and Yale university libraries.
This conference, at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) aims to focus attention on Ford's lesser-known texts, and to explore his complex and evolving relation to America as a way of broadening, and deepening, our critical picture of Ford and his cultural relations. The Ford Society is committed to an outward-looking programme of events, examining Ford's involvement with other writers, artists, milieux and cultural forms. We welcome work (from graduate students as well as established scholars) on the literary and cultural movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and comparative work on Ford and other figures.
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)
Co-sponsored by the Leon Levy Center for Biography
New York, NY
September 23-25, 2010