Hope Mirrlees’s Paris: A Poem at 100 (MLA 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Nell Wasserstrom, Boston College
contact email: 

Hope Mirrlees’s Paris: A Poem at 100


Panel Proposal for MLA 2020

January 9-12, Seattle WA


Since Julia Briggs produced the first scholarly edition of the poem in Gender in Modernism: New Geographies (2007), Hope Mirrlees’s modernist epic, Paris: A Poem, has steadily gained more critical attention: Sandeep Parmar’s edition of Mirrlees’s Collected Poems (2011) offers a sustained critical reflection both on Paris and its place within Mirrlees’s oeuvre; the T.S. Eliot Society dedicated their Summer/Fall 2011 Newsletter to a series of essays reflecting on the poem by scholars such as Nancy Gish, Cyrena Pondrom, and John Connor; and Peter Howarth seemed to solidify Paris’s position within the modernist canon with his chapter, “Why Write Like This?” from The Cambridge Introduction to Modernist Poetry (2011), which reads modernist poetry through the techniques, conventions, and innovations of Mirrlees’s “difficult” poem.


Yet despite its crucial place as a bridge between the English-language epic tradition of Pound, Joyce, and Eliot and the Parisian avant-garde of Cubism and Apollinaire, Paris has continued to remain on the margins of critical discourse and modernist syllabi. Published by Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s Hogarth Press in the spring of 1920, the poem’s centenary offers us the occasion to revisit Mirrlees’s “lost” masterpiece. This panel proposes a new critical exploration of Paris and invites papers that consider any aspect of the poem, its influences, and its legacies.


Please send a 250-word abstract and brief biography to Nell Wasserstrom, wassersn@bc.edu, by March 15.