The T. S. Eliot Society




Society Activities


2017 Memorial Lecturer: John Haffenden

T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting

For our 2017 Memorial Lecture, we are pleased to present John Haffenden, general editor of T. S. Eliot’s letters, honorary member of our Society, Fellow of the British Academy, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Professor Haffenden is a Principal Investigator in the T. S. Eliot Editorial Research Project and, since 2009, a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, University of London.

A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, he completed his doctorate at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, under the supervision of Richard Ellmann. During his distinguished career teaching at the University of Sheffield (where he is now Emeritus Professor of English Literature), he wrote or edited sixteen books on John Berryman, W. H. Auden, William Empson, and others. His edition of Empson’s Argufying (1987) was chosen by Sir Isaiah Berlin as one of the Books of the Year in the Sunday Times. His edition of The Complete Poems of William Empson (2000) was chosen by Sir Frank Kermode as one of the International Books of the Year in the TLS and by David Sexton as a Book of the Year in the London Evening Standard. Finally, his biography William Empson: Among the Mandarins (2005) won the American Publishers Association Award for Biography and Autobiography. Professor Haffenden may be best known to Eliot scholars, however, as the editor of Eliot’s letters, so far six volumes, with more to come.



Call for Peer Seminar Participants: Eliot and the Biological

T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting

The peer seminar format offers the opportunity to share your work in a more in-depth way with an interested group of participants. This seminar, led by Julia Daniel of Baylor University, welcomes any project related to Eliot's presentation of the biological, broadly construed. Topics might include Eliot's environmental vision, the depiction of bodies or animals, or the representation of toxic threats to biologic flourishing.

Participants will pre-circulate short position papers (5 pages) by September 1, for discussion at the meeting of the peer seminar on the first day of the 2017 Eliot Society conference, Friday, September 22. Membership in the 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 tseliotsociety@gmail.com with your contact information.

Julia Daniel is an assistant professor of modern American poetry and drama at Baylor University. Her book, Building Natures (forthcoming from UVA in Nov. 2017), is an ecocritical study of city and national parks in modernist poetry. She has published on Eliot's drama and his engagement with popular culture in The Waste Land, as well as on urbanism in modernist poetry and the nature/culture divide in Vachel Lindsay's presentation of traffic noise.



Call for Peer Seminar Participants: Eliot and Fiction

T. S. Eliot Society Annual Meeting

The peer seminar format offers the opportunity to share your work in a more in-depth way with an interested group of participants. This seminar, under the leadership of Megan Quigley of Villanova University, will focus on Eliot and fiction. Eliot once claimed that contemporary fiction nourished his own work more than poetry did, and the time seems ripe (with the publication of Eliot’s complete prose and the recent poetry volumes) to revisit Eliot’s relationship to prose fiction and novelists. Possible topics for discussion might include:

  • New materials shedding light on Eliot’s fictional influences, including Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Gustave Flaubert, Honoré Balzac, James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence, May Sinclair, and the list goes on.
  • Eliot’s impact on twentieth-century fiction, through personal relationships and literary influence
  • The last twist of the knife: Eliot’s interest in Detective fiction
  • Eliot as fiction writer: “Eeldrop and Appleplex”
  • Eliot as editor of fiction at Faber and Faber
  • Eliot’s fictional afterlife (for example: biofiction, postcolonial fiction, contemporary British fiction)
  • Fiction and the everyday: Eliot’s belief that fiction was more closely connected to daily life and how we see that infused in his verse
  • Eliot’s relationship to New Criticism and its approaches to the novel
  • Eliot in narrative theory: reading Eliot through narrative theory, formalist theory, genre theory

Participants will pre-circulate short position papers (5 pages) by September 1, for discussion at the meeting of the peer seminar on the first day of the 2017 Eliot Society conference, Friday, September 22. Membership in the 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 tseliotsociety@gmail.com with your contact information.

Megan Quigley is an Associate Professor of English at Villanova University, focusing on British and Irish twentieth-century literature. Her recent book, Modernist Fiction and Vagueness: Philosophy, Form, and Language, investigates the intertwined history of philosophy and literature in the modern British novel (Cambridge UP, 2015). Megan received her BA at Stanford University in 1995, graduating with honors in English with a creative writing emphasis, and then went on to earn her M.Phil at Oxford University in the Modern Period. Quigley received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2006.

Her work has appeared in the Cambridge Companion to European Modernism, the James Joyce Quarterly, the Journal of the T. S. Eliot Society (U.K.), Modernism/modernity, and Philosophy and Literature. She has twice been an invited lecturer at the T. S. Eliot summer school in London and won fellowships for her work from the Harry Ransom Center and the Huntington Library. She is currently at work on a project investigating T. S. Eliot’s relationship to fiction, and will be delivering lectures on this subject at the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center and at the “Logic and Literary Form” conference at the University of California, Berkeley, in Spring 2017. Her courses at Villanova have included The Contemporary British Novel, Modernist Manifestos, T. S. Eliot and Modern Novels, Virginia Woolf, and The Philosophy of Modernism. In 2014 she received the Tolle Lege Award for Teaching Excellence from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova.



Call for Papers: Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture Since 1900

The Eliot Society is organizing a panel for the 2018 Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, to be held at the University of Louisville, Feb. 22-24. We will consider papers on any topic substantially connected to T. S. Eliot.

If interested in participating, please send a 300-word abstract (including title) and brief bio to us at tseliotsociety@gmail.com by August 25.

For further information, please visit the conference website.



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