Teaching Alcott's *Moods* (American Literature Association, 22-25 May 2014 - submit by Jan 20)

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Louisa May Alcott Society
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The first of Alcott's novels to be published, *Moods* has sometimes been called the most Transcendentalist of her works. Opening with an Emersonian epigraph, depicting characters understood to be modeled on Emerson, Thoreau, and Fuller, and on Alcott herself, Moods offers many opportunities for intertextual readings from the Transcendentalist canon. Commonly understood as one of Alcott's fictions for adult readers, inscribed to Abba Alcott as her "first romance," and referenced in her great work, Little Women, as Jo's "first-born," Moods also offers interesting possibilities for readings in relation to Alcott's biography and other works in her oeuvre. The moment of the book's publication, too, invites readings related to the American Civil War - and, as Helen Deese has noted, its serious consideration of the marriage question is also of historical importance.

Observing the sesquicentennial of the 1864 publication of *Moods*, the Louisa May Alcott Society will host a session to consider our teaching of this important work. What do we make of *Moods*? Which edition of it do we teach - the 1864, the 1882, both together? How do we manage the existence of electronic editions that make no note of the book's various iterations? And how do we situate the work in our syllabi and curricula?

Please send 200-300-word abstracts electronically to Mary Shelden at mlshelden@vcu.edu. The deadline for proposals is Friday, January 20, 2014. Early submissions welcome.