Our next #DickinsonLive talk will take place on May 7th, at 2PM EST. Members will receive the zoom link the day before. Interested others are welcome. Write mnoble@american.edu for the link.

Title: "Emily Dickinson in the 21st Century: Black Lives Matter!” A reading of original poems from our conversation with Emily Dickinson, by Ivy Schweitzer and Al Salehi

Abstract: How could a woman from an elite Puritan family living in mid-19th-century Amherst possibly be relevant to today’s struggles over racial injustice, oppression, and politics? Compelled by the history of injustices that reached a breaking point in the summer of 2020, we set out in this project to explore Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice as it inspired and, surprisingly, echoed our own poetic meditations on the crucial national reckoning about race and justice. This project came about as Al Salehi, a graduate student in Dartmouth’s Liberal Studies program, explored Dickinson’s poetry with Professor Ivy Schweitzer. Inspired by Dickinson, Al produced a manuscript of poems on issues related to the #Blacklivesmatter movements. Ivy, then, composed poems in conversation with both Emily and Al. Their talk highlights the continuing relevance and inspiration of Dickinson’s poetry. They describe their collaboration and read several sections of the now completed manuscript.

Ivy Schweitzer is Professor of English and Creative Writing, and past chair of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. Her fields are early American literature, American poetry, women’s literature, gender and cultural studies, and digital humanities. She is the editor of The Occom Circle, a digital edition of works by and about Samson Occom, an 18th century Mohegan Indian writer and activist, and co-producer of a full-length documentary film entitled It’s Criminal: A Tale of Prison and Privilege, based on the courses she co-teaches in and about jails. In 2018, she blogged weekly about the year 1862 in the creative life of Emily Dickinson, and recently co-edited a collection of essays in honor of the Occom Circle titled Afterlives of Indigenous Archives. She is currently collaborating on a poetry manuscript entitled “Emily Dickinson in the 21st Century: Black Lives Matter!”
Contact: Ivy.Schweitzer@Dartmouth.edu

Ali Abdolsalehi “Al Salehi” is an American of Persian descent. Ali earned his BA at UCLA and went on to specialize in Digital Library Technologies at Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the CEO of Glancing Interactive Solutions, a biotech company. In June 2021, he will earn his Masters in Liberal Studies with a focus on Creative Writing from Dartmouth College’s Guarini School of Graduate Studies. His thesis is a manuscript of original poems in dialogue with Emily Dickinson on issues related to #Blacklivesmatter movements. Ali has also authored several other full length poetry manuscripts, “The History of Light,” a prequel to “Enter Atlas,” which was a semi-finalist for the University of Wisconsin’s Brittingham & Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry, judged by Natasha Trethewey. Ali also plays the electric violin and enjoys making people laugh. He plans on pursuing an MFA or PhD in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry.
Contact: aasalehi@gmail.com

EDIS Member-At-Large Election

2021 Member-At-Large Election

Instructions for Voting

  • If you want to vote electronically, please visit this page.
  • If you want to vote by email, please write to paraic.finnerty@port.ac.uk, subject line “Member-at-Large,” and put your name and the name of your candidate of choice (Gerard Holmes, Adalberto Müller, Wendy Tronrud, Cheryl Weaver) in the email.
  • If you want to vote by mail, please download this form and circle one name and return this ballot along with your contact details to:

    Páraic Finnerty, Milldam, Burnaby Rd,
    University of Portsmouth,
    Portsmouth, PO13AS, UK

VOTING CLOSES ON May 15, 2021.

Click here to read the candidate's statements.

2021 ALA Sessions

Two Pre-recorded Sessions (Available at the ALA and EDIS Youtube website in July)

A. Dickinson and Greenness:

Chair: Elizabeth A. Petrino (Fairfield University), Renée Bergland (Simmons University), Li-hsin Hsu (National Chengchi University)

  1. “‘This Whole Experiment of Green’: Teaching Emily Dickinson in the Anthropocene--now more than ever for the class of 2025”, Barbara Mossberg, University of Oregon
  2. “Text & Context, Absence & Encounter: Reading & Writing In Vicinities Of”, Gillian Osborne, Poetry in America / Bard College
  3. “‘Had Nature an Apostate’: Emily Dickinson, Scale, and Fungal Companionship”, Karen Leona Anderson, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  4. “Emily Dickinson’s Sphere of Green”, Renée Bergland, Simmons University
  5. “Ecogothic Dickinson”: Li-hsin Hsu, National Chengchi University

B. Dickinson in Her and Our Time:

Chair: Elizabeth A. Petrino (Fairfield University), Renée Bergland (Simmons University), Li-hsin Hsu (National Chengchi University)

  1. “‘Much Madness is divinest Sense’: Exploring Kantian Transcendentality through the Dickinsonian Mind”, Mousumi G. Banerjee, The English and Foreign Languages University
  2. “‘This Smart Misery’: Emily Dickinson and Spiritual Intellectualism”, Amy L. Crawford, the University of Central Florida
  3. “Robbed Time: Emily Dickinson, Rhythm, and Rubato”: Gerard Holmes, University of Maryland (US)
  4. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” as Twitter Ritual”, Micah Bateman, The University of Iowa
  5. “Dickinson’s Transnational Landscapes”, Christa Holm Vogelius, University of Copenhagen

#Dickinson Live

Our next event in #DickinsonLive takes place Friday April 16th, 2 PM EST, via zoom. Members will receive the link; non-members may request it from Marianne Noble at mnoble@american.edu

Speaker: Antoine Cazé, Professeur des Universités, Universités de Paris

Title: “Before I got my eye put out: Emily Dickinson’s Eye Disease Seen from a Pathological Perspective”

Abstract: Cazé explores the links between Emily Dickinson’s poetry and the eye troubles of fall of 1863 to late 1865. The talk is not a psycho-biographical reading of her work. Rather, Cazé seeks to understand how visuality works in her poetry and how it gets expressed simultaneously in linguistic signs and medical symptoms—thus sketching a semiology of the visual, so to speak. We know that Dickinson chose to keep her poetic work largely secret, and that she lived a relatively secluded life. By these means, she shunned the gaze of others, thereby retaining control over this gaze. Cazé posits a continuum between Dickinson’s psychic structure, so far as we can understand it from her writing, and her medical symptoms. He first emphasizes the central part played by mental and physical distance in setting up that structure (note that he does not diagnose Dickinson’s mind—she cannot be a patient, cannot be psychoanalyzed); this distance is made particularly obvious by Dickinson’s reliance on letter writing, which shapes her self-image, or the image of herself she decides to give others. He links her eye disease to an economy of distance, factoring in that she had to be treated far from home during two long stays in Boston. He concludes by examining the tension between the visible and the invisible in several poems.

Couldn’t make #DickinsonLive in real time on Fri. April 16th? Access Antoine Cazé’s “Before I got my eye put out: Emily Dickinson’s Eye Disease Seen from a Psychopathological Perspective” by following this link.


Dear Members,

EDIS is launching an exciting new speaker series on Zoom: #DickinsonLive. It’s an outgrowth of the pandemic, but if people like it, we’ll continue it indefinitely.

Our speakers will be drawn from our members, many of whom are engaged in scholarship and creative work on Dickinson. The series will feature interesting new work and work-in-progress, and it will run around 45 minutes, with Q&A afterwards. The discussions will take place either on a Wednesday or Friday afternoon, via Zoom. The lecture will be recorded and posted on the EDIS website.

We are fortunate to be able to announce that our first speaker, Renée Bergland, Simmons University, will give a talk, “The Infinite Aurora,” on March 26 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Author of The National Uncanny and Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science, Renée’s current book project is about Dickinson, science, and magic. She looks forward to sharing part of her work in progress.

We hope this series will be an opportunity to connect with friends old and new during the pandemic, especially when other forms of connection are unavailable. In particular, we hope to take advantage of the internet to develop international friendships and networks.

Please consider joining us for this new and exciting event. We look forward to seeing you all and encourage you to spread the word among other readers of Dickinson.

Couldn’t make #DickinsonLive in real time on Fri. March 26th? Access Renée Bergland’s “The Infinite Aurora” by following this link.

Current EDIS members will receive the link prior to the event. Non-members who wish to attend should contact Marianne Noble at mnoble@american.edu.

In possibility,

Marianne Noble and Elizabeth Petrino


Subscribe to The Emily Dickinson International Society RSS