Society Activities
T. S. Eliot Society
35th Annual Meeting
St. Louis, September 19-21, 2014

The Society invites proposals for papers to be presented at the annual meeting in St. Louis. Clearly organized proposals of about 300 words, on any topic reasonably related to Eliot, along with biographical sketches, should be forwarded to the President, Michael Coyle, by June 13, 2014.

Papers given by graduate students and scholars receiving their doctoral degrees no more than two years before the date of the meeting will be considered for the Fathman Young Scholar Award. Those eligible for this award should mention the fact in their submission. The Fathman Award, which includes a monetary prize, will be announced at the final session of the meeting.

Eliot Society members who would like to chair a panel are invited to apprise the President of their interest, either with or independently of a paper proposal.


Call for Peer Seminar Participants: "Eliot at the Limits of History and Historicism"
T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting
St. Louis, September 19-21, 2014

Eliotís work has always raised historical questions: whether in the temporal vortex of The Waste Land, the medieval pageantry of Murder in the Cathedral, or the timeless suspension of Four Quartets, the reader is invited again and again to meditate upon the pastís presence. Austin Grahamís seminar will accept that invitation, exploring the many ways in which Eliotís writings seek to apprehend history. What manner of historian is Eliot? To what extent does he seek to escape history, or master it? How does Eliot help us understand the larger modernist movementís attachment to the old, the archaic, and the passť? Participants are also encouraged to consider how Eliotís poetry is itself historical, and ask how history-conscious scholars ought to approach it. What is Eliotís true historical context? What are the stakes of thinking of him as an early twentieth-century artist, or as an avatar of an older "tradition," or as a creator of transcendent, ahistorical art? All manners of approach to these questions are welcome, and in our seminar we will work to connect Eliotís past-minded verse to recent debates about the roles that history, context, and novelty play in literary scholarship more generally.

The seminar will be led by T. Austin Graham, assistant professor of English at Columbia University, where he teaches American literature. He is the author of The Great American Songbooks: Musical Texts, Modernism, and the Value of Popular Culture (Oxford, 2013). His current project is a study of American historical fiction and the American historical profession in the twentieth century.

The seminar is open to the first 15 registrants; registration will close July 15th. Seminarians will submit 4-5 page position papers by email, no later than September 1st. To sign up, or for answers to questions, please write Frances Dickey.


2014 Memorial Lecturer: Sarah Cole
T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting
St. Louis, September 19-21, 2014

The Eliot Society is pleased to announce that Sarah Cole will join us as this year's T. S. Eliot Memorial Lecturer.

Sarah Cole is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. Her most recent book, At the Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland (Oxford, 2012), investigates the strange proximity of modernist aesthetics and violence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, Cole reads The Waste Land in the context of the First World War to examine the polarizing relationship between "enchanted" and "disenchanted" violence. Her Modernism, Male Friendship, and the First World War (Cambridge, 2003) explores the literary and cultural history of masculine intimacy in the twentieth century. Her article on The Waste Land and violence appeared in PMLA, and she has also published in Modernism/Modernity, Modern Fiction Studies, and ELH.

Cole teaches courses on British literature of the modernist period, and her work on modernism is oriented toward history, with a particular focus on the First World War. She will be using her Guggenheim Fellowship to write a book reassessing the contribution of one of the twentieth centuryís most unrecognized geniuses, H. G. Wells. Her Memorial Lecture will consider Eliotís debate about history with Wells, using this debate as a springboard for thinking about different modes of history in Eliotís work, and in modernism more broadly.