The T. S. Eliot Society

Society Activities

Call for Papers: 39th Annual Meeting of the T. S. Eliot Society

21-23 September 2018
Atlanta, GA

The Society invites proposals for papers to be presented at our annual meeting, this year held in Atlanta. Clearly organized proposals of about 300 words, on any topic reasonably related to Eliot, along with brief biographical sketches, should be emailed by June 1, 2018, to with the subject heading “conference proposal.”

Each year the Society awards a prize to the best paper given by a new Eliot scholar. Graduate students and recent PhDs are eligible (degree received in 2014 or later for those not yet employed in a tenure-track position; 2016 or later for those holding tenure-track positions). If you are eligible for the award, please mention this fact in your submission. The Fathman Young Scholar Award, which includes a monetary prize, will be announced at the final session of the meeting.

2018 Memorial Lecturer: David E. Chinitz

T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting

Meeting at Emory University in 2018, the Eliot Society will celebrate the publication of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, a major editorial project led by Ronald Schuchard of Emory and digitized at the university’s Beck Center for Electronic Collections. To mark this occasion, we are pleased to present as our memorial lecturer the coeditor of Volume 6, David E. Chinitz, who will speak on questions of annotation in the new Eliot editions.

Chinitz, professor of English at Loyola University Chicago, revolutionized Eliot studies in 2003 with his brilliant and exhaustively documented T. S. Eliot and the Cultural Divide, exploring Eliot’s debts to and affection for popular culture. He is also the author of Which Sin To Bear? Authenticity and Compromise in Langston Hughes (Oxford, 2013), editor of the Blackwell Companion to T. S. Eliot and coeditor, with Gail McDonald, of the Blackwell Companion to Modernist Poetry. With Ronald Schuchard, he coedited The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot, Volume 6: The War Years, 1940-1946, which was released in 2017. He served as president of the Modernist Studies Association in 2013-14 and as president of the T. S. Eliot Society from 2010 through 2012; he remains with the Eliot Society as its treasurer and webmaster. With Pamela Caughie, he co-directs Modernist Networks, the federation and aggregation site for digital projects in modernist studies.

A New York-area native, Chinitz received his BA from Amherst College, MS in applied mathematics from Brown University, and PhD in English from Columbia University. He has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as from the Center for Ethics at Loyola. An amateur classical pianist for many years, he is more recently the founder and musical director of a madrigals choir at Loyola in which he also sings bass.

Call for Peer Seminar Participants: 1. Eliot and History / 2. New Editions, New Writings

T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting

The Eliot Society is pleased to offer two peer seminars at this year’s annual meeting, and we encourage members to consider participating in a seminar as a way of sharing their research with other members in Atlanta. Participants will pre-circulate short position papers (5 pages) by September 1; peer seminars will meet to discuss the pre-circulated papers on the first day of the 2018 Eliot Society conference, Friday, September 21. Membership in each peer seminar is limited to twelve on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please enroll by July 15, by sending an email with the subject line “peer seminar” to with your contact information.

1. Eliot and History

Led by Paul Stasi, SUNY Albany

T. S. Eliot famously argued that “the historical sense” was necessary for anyone who wished to be a poet beyond age twenty-five, and his writing is pervaded by a consciousness of the past, in ways that critics have extensively documented. Yet a desire to transcend time and history is often seen as animating much of his later verse. This seminar seeks to examine Eliot’s complex relationship to history as well as his place in history. Possible topics include:

The evolution of Eliot’s thought as it responds to larger historical shifts, such as decolonization, the post-WWII order, secularization, etc.
His response to specific historical events
Theories of history found within his prose or poetry
His relation to the transnational or global turn in modernist studies
Eliot’s historical impact, in the sense of his legacy in poetry and criticism
The common ground or opposition between his thought and dominant modes of historicization (New Historicism, Historical Materialism)

Paul Stasi teaches twentieth-century Anglophone literature at SUNY Albany. He is the author of Modernism, Imperialism, and the Historical Sense (Cambridge 2012), the coeditor (with Jennifer Greiman) of The Last Western: Deadwood and the End of American Empire (Continuum 2013) and coeditor (with Josephine Park) of Ezra Pound in the Present (Bloomsbury 2016). His work has appeared in ELH, Novel, Comparative Literature, Journal of Transnational American Studies, Twentieth-Century Literature, James Joyce Quarterly, Mediations, and Historical Materialism.

2. New Editions, New Writings: Fresh Perspectives on Eliot

Led by John Whittier-Ferguson, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
    and Jayme Stayer, John Carroll University

Until very recently, the selection of Eliot’s writings available for scholars has been more partial, more restricted than that of virtually every other central writer of the modernist period. In recent years, Eliot studies has been transformed by the publication of close to 2,000 pages of the annotated Poems; 6,000 pages of letters (not yet complete); and 5,400 pages of The Complete Prose. This peer seminar calls for papers making substantive use of any of the “new Eliot” now available to us. Each contribution for this seminar will use the material in these new editions in some way that helps to bring Eliot into fresh focus for his readers. This may mean discussing hitherto unpublished or uncollected works; it may also mean utilizing the critical and textual apparatus now gathered around more well-known texts of Eliot’s to illuminate unexplored contexts, antecedents, and connections.

John Whittier-Ferguson is a Professor in the English Department at the University of Michigan, where he’s been since 1990. His most recent book, Mortality and Form in Late Modernist Literature, was published by Cambridge in the fall of 2015. He is the author of Framing Pieces: Designs of the Gloss in Joyce, Woolf, and Pound (Oxford, 1996), and coeditor, with A. Walton Litz and Richard Ellmann, of James Joyce: Poems and Shorter Writings (Faber 1991).

Jayme Stayer holds degrees in music (Notre Dame), theology (Boston College), and literature (Notre Dame and the University of Toledo). Currently Associate Professor of Literature at John Carroll University, he has published work in the fields of rhetoric, music, and modernism. His most recent books are The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition. Vol. V: Tradition and Orthodoxy, 1934–1939, co-edited with Ronald Schuchard and Iman Javadi (Johns Hopkins, 2017); Think About It: Critical Skills for Academic Writing (2014), coauthored with John Mauk and Karen Mauk; and T. S. Eliot, France, and the Mind of Europe (editor, 2015).

Call for Papers: 2018 South Atlantic Modern Language Association ("SAMLA 90")

Birmingham, Alabama, 2-4 Nov.

T. S. Eliot and Social Change

This special panel sponsored by the T. S. Eliot Society invites papers on Eliot’s life and work. The SAMLA 90 theme – Fighters from the Margins: Socio-Political Activists and Their Allies – invites us to examine in particular Eliot’s work in the context of socio-political change, as well as his associations with, usages by, or role as a conservative force against socio-political activists and activism.

The recent watershed of previously unpublished material from Eliot offers rich ground for exploring these relationships. But the panel would like to invite, too, work which in general takes up Eliot in light of this recently available material – that is, whether it quite fits the conference theme or not. It is an exciting time for Eliot scholarship, and we want to continue to build momentum.

By June 1, 2018, please submit a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Craig Woelfel at Flagler College.

This year’s SAMLA Conference will be held at the Sheraton in Birmingham, Alabama, from November 2nd to the 4th. More on the conference and its organizing theme can be found on the SAMLA website.


Eliot Society Facebook Page

For ongoing T. S. Eliot news updates, please like us on Facebook.