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43rd Annual Meeting of the International T. S. Eliot Society

23-25 September 2022

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Call for Papers

The Society invites proposals for papers to be presented at our annual meeting, this year held in St. Louis, MO from 23-25 September (Friday to Sunday). Clearly organized proposals of about 300 words, submitted as Word or PDF documents, on any topic reasonably related to Eliot, along with brief biographical sketches, should be emailed by June 1, 2022, to, with the subject heading “Conference Proposal.”

Each year the Society presents the Fathman Young Scholar Award to the best paper given by a new Eliot scholar. Graduate students and recent PhDs are eligible (degree received in 2018 or later for those not yet employed in a tenure-track position; 2020 or later for those holding a tenure-track position). If you are eligible for the award, please mention this fact in your submission. The award, which includes a monetary prize, will be announced at the final session of the meeting.

Memorial Lecturer: We are pleased to announce that our Memorial Lecture will be delivered this year by Doug Mao. It will be titled “The People of 1922.” The lecture will focus on how people are represented in The Waste Land?. What affective and dispositional textures come into play in such representations, and with what result?

Douglas Mao is Russ Family Professor in the Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production (Princeton, 1998); Fateful Beauty: Aesthetic Environments, Juvenile Development, and Literature 1860-1960 (Princeton, 2008); and Inventions of Nemesis: Utopia, Indignation, and Justice (Princeton, 2020). He is also the co-editor, with Rebecca Walkowitz, of Bad Modernisms (Duke, 2006) and the editor of The New Modernist Studies (Cambridge, 2021) as well as the Longman Cultural Edition of E. M. Forster\'s Howards End (2009). Professor Mao has been president of the Modernist Studies Association and held a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Formerly Senior Editor of ELH, he currently serves as Series Editor of Hopkins Studies in Modernism, from the Johns Hopkins University Press, and as a member of the editorial boards of ELH, Textual Practice, Modernism/ modernity, English: the Journal of the English Association, and The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies.

Peer Seminars
The peer seminar format offers the opportunity to share your work in a more in-depth way with a group of participants who share your interests. Participants will pre-circulate short position papers (5 pages) by September 1; peer seminars will meet to discuss the pre-circulated papers for two hours on the first day of the 2022 Society conference, on Friday morning, the 23rd. Membership in each peer seminar is limited to twelve on a first-come, first-served basis. Please enroll by July 31st, by sending an email with the subject line “peer seminar” to with your contact information.

The Society will award a prize, sponsored by The T. S. Eliot Studies Annual, to the best seminar paper presented by an early-career scholar. Graduate students and recent PhDs who attend a seminar are eligible (degree received in 2018 or later for those not yet employed in a tenure-track position; 2020 or later for those holding a tenure-track position). For consideration, papers must be submitted as Word or PDF documents attachments to by September 1 with the subject line “Seminar Prize Submission.” The winning paper will present original research and a persuasive argument in clear and fluent prose; it will also respect the length requirements of a typical position paper (5 pages double-spaced). The winner will receive a monetary prize and a copy of the following year’s Annual.

Peer Seminar leaders include Casey Andrews, of Whitworth University, Kevin Rulo (Catholic University of America), and Ron Bush (Oxford), who will be leading a virtual seminar on Zoom

Peer Seminar 1: Eliot on Peacemaking, War, and Reconstruction
led by Casey Andrews
Whitworth University

The famous lines in The Waste Land that link the dead of the Great War to the ancient militarisms of the classical past are but a small sample of the many facets of T. S. Eliot’s responses to the problems and possibilities of war. This seminar intends to engage in conversation about Eliot’s responses to war through his various genres as well as his work as a publisher and editor. But besides the typical discussions of modernism as representation of and response to violence and trauma, this seminar encourages thoughtfulness about the resources in Eliot’s work for thinking about peacemaking and reconstructing society. Though not a pacifist in the mode of someone like his friend Virginia Woolf, Eliot still offers nuanced and complicated views about the problems of war and the potential for peace-building. Relatedly, his stated theories and literary imaginings of reconstructing societies damaged by war (or configured in ways that support and sustain militarism) offer possible resources for those of us today seeking to address the structural violence of our current social systems. This seminar hopes for conversation about the wide range of Eliot’s engagement with diverse views on peace, war, and reconstruction.
Possible approaches include but are not limited to:

Eliot and the peace movement
Eliot and the aesthetics of peace
Interdisciplinary peace studies approaches to Eliot
Eliot’s collaborations with combatants and peace workers
Eliot’s influence on antiwar, pacifist, and internationalist voices
Eliot and post-World War II reconstruction
Building just, equitable, and nonviolent societies
Wartime as problem and possibility
Responding to war, violence, and trauma in Eliot’s work

Charles Andrews is Professor of English at Whitworth University, where he teaches courses in modern British, Irish, and postcolonial literatures as well as film studies. He is the author of Writing against War: Literature, Activism, and the British Peace Movement (2017). In addition to writing on T. S. Eliot, he has published articles and chapters on peace studies approaches to several figures including Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, and Vera Brittain. He is currently completing a monograph entitled “Challenging the Nation: The English Modernist Novel as Political Theology,’ which explores literary resources for resisting militarism, civil religion, and the enchantments of the nation-state.

Peer Seminar 2: “The Waste Land at 100”
led by Kevin Rulo
Catholic University of America

A hundred years ago, writing to his old English teacher, Professor Felix Schelling, in July of 1922, Ezra Pound famously held up Eliot\'s Waste Land as the “justification of the ‘movement,’ of our modern experiment, since 1900.” Pound’s claim for the poem\'s centrality was justified: The Waste Land has remained at the center of lively and still compelling conversations over the century that followed its publication. In this year of the great poem\'s centennial, we invite seminar papers on any aspect of The Waste Land—its connections to contemporaneous modern works; its afterlives in literature and other arts; the ways that critical, theoretical, and social conditions of understanding in our own day have changed how we approach the poem. We hope the papers and our discussion in this seminar will help us appreciate the continuing power of Eliot\'s poem as well as helping us frame the poem and the poem\'s project in new ways for this new century.

Kevin Rulo is clinical assistant professor of English at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Satiric Modernism (2021), which examines the flourishing of satire in experimental art and literature from the twentieth century to the present, including in Eliot’s The Waste Land. His articles and essays have appeared in The Review of English Studies, Neohelicon, and Christianity and Literature. Most recently, “Eliot and Skin” was published as part of a special forum on “Eliot and the Biological” in Volume 3 of The T.S. Eliot Studies Annual.

Peer Seminar 3 (remote): “Reading Eliot with Ron Bush”
led by Ron Bush
St. John’s College, Oxford
(note: this conference will meet over Zoom at a day and a time before the Eliot conference convenes in person in St. Louis.)

Ron Bush is Emeritus Drue Heinz Professor of American Literature and Emeritus Research Fellow at St. John\'s College, Oxford, where since 1997 he has taught courses in American literature from the beginnings the present, and also in 20th-century English literature, especially modernist poetry and fiction. (Previously he taught at Harvard and Caltech.) He is as well a senior fellow at the Institute for English Studies at the University of London’s School for Advanced Studies. Bush is the author of The Genesis of Ezra Pound\'s Cantos and T. S. Eliot: A Study in Character and Style; the editor of T. S. Eliot: The Modernist in History; and co-editor of Prehistories of the Future: The Primitivist Project and the Culture of Modernism and of Claiming the Stones/Naming the Bones: Cultural Property and the Negotiation of National and Ethnic Identity. Among his recent publications are articles on Eliot, Pound, Joyce, Nabokov, and Roth, as well as the chapter on “Modernist Poetry and Poetics” in The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature. His major work in progress is a multi-volume textual and genetic study of Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos, culminating in a critical edition of the suite based on its full manuscript record.

Conference Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Conference Starts: September 23, 2022
Conference Ends: September 25, 2022

CFP Submission Deadline: July 31, 2022

For more information, contact: John Whittier-Ferguson