The Queen of Social Distancing?

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Trisha Kannan

South Atlantic Modern Language Association conference, November 4–6, 2021, Atlanta, Georgia

Social isolation appears to have brought about a renewed interest in poetry as people seek solace in the written word. Emily Dickinson’s work has proved particularly apt, perhaps because the myth of Amherst has long been associated with reclusiveness and perhaps because her prolific use of "I" makes her seem to speak to us, for us, and with us, allowing us to feel less alone during lonely and uncertain times. Long before the computer, Dickinson created a social network that aligned with nineteenth-century practices—she wrote letters to connect and to console, and she incorporated hundreds of her poems within them. Readers during a pandemic in the twenty-first century see themes of isolation, resilience, resolution, and despondency in Dickinson’s work. The Emily Dickinson International Society seeks presentations that explore these "pandemic themes," proving or challenging the idea that Dickinson is the queen of social distancing. We welcome traditional as well as creative papers, and graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply. Please send a CV and abstract to Dr. Trisha Kannan at by July 15, 2021.