Edith Wharton and Beauty

deadline for submissions: 
January 5, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
American Literature Association Conference 2023
contact email: 

American Literature Association

34th Annual Conference

May 25-28, 2023

The Westin Copley Place
10 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

Edith Wharton and Beauty

The Edith Wharton Society invites papers that explore Wharton’s engagement with beauty in her works. Panelists are encouraged to consider the role of beauty in her writing on design, gardens, and travel as well as her novels and stories. All theoretical approaches are welcome. Proposals might consider (but are not limited to) the following questions:


  • What does beauty mean or how is it constituted in Wharton’s work?
  • How do questions of shape, color, or form inflect Wharton’s perspectives on design, art, or fashion?
  • How does affect relate to beauty in Wharton’s works?
  • What is the role of natural beauty in Wharton’s texts?
  • How are Wharton’s characters affected by beauty?
  • How is beauty gendered, raced, or classed in Wharton’s work?
  • What is the relationship between beauty and cosmopolitan taste in Wharton’s texts?


Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and a brief CV by January 5, 2022. Please include any requests for AV needs in your proposal. Scholars whose proposals are accepted must be members in good standing of the Edith Wharton Society by the time of the conference.

Please send to mjjessee@uab.edu