Living on the extreme end of the continent has its perks. Besides a rich culture, gorgeous beaches, and something we call weather–sorry folks, most of you don’t really have weather–we in Prince Edward Island also have Anne of Green Gables.
It’s true, it gets a bit much with all the tourists buzzing around and all the TV remakes. But even those have upsides. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work has introduced the world to a gem of an Island, and this interest, in turn, has buoyed the prosperity of Canada’s poorest province. And as far as TV remakes go, the cartoon and the Martin Sheen version were painful, but the 1980s Kevin Sullivan miniseries still wears well, there is intriguing work coming out of Japan, and the new Anne program on Netflix/CBC is very well done (though the latter is either loved or hated by fans).
As part of encouraging the worlds of Anne from an Academic and artistic perspective, the L.M. Montgomery Institute has a biennial conference at the University of Prince Edward Island (where I teach part-time in religious studies). I had a wonderful experience at the conference in 2018 (see my write-up here), and I hope that you will consider joining us.
The Institute is looking for strong, interdisciplinary papers and presentations that draw out the best of Canada’s century-old literary superstar with the best of 21st-century scholarship. This conference is extremely rigorous; with a proposal deadline is August 16th–a full 10 months before the conference next June–they expect Montgomery scholars and readers to be on their toes.
Besides spending time in Prince Edward Island at a lovely point at the end of June, this conference might be interesting to you as an academic or as a reader of L.M. Montgomery. My own proposal is about how Montgomery deals with providence and evil in Anne’s House of Dreams, a book she wrote during WWI and after she lost a child. What would your approach be? With a theme about vision, perhaps you want to talk about how Montgomery (or Anne, or Emily) envisions the future. Or maybe you want to look through her books to see what she sees about culture, ideas, religion, politics, or something more intimate. Or perhaps you want to come and just soak in the words and the work by attending a world-class conference
In any case, you should come to this little Island! For me, I’m back to my reading of Anne’s House of Dreams.
CFP: L.M. Montgomery and Vision (link here)
“My fingers tingle to grasp a pen—my brain teems with plots. I’ve a score of fascinating dream characters I want to write about. Oh, if there only were not such a chasm between seeing a thing and getting it down on paper!” –Emily Climbs (1925)
“If for Montgomery Nature was eternal and eternally present, then the memory pictures of Nature reflected were perhaps meant to help her and her viewers to transcend time and, in entering the imaginative landscape, initiate generative seeing and fresh reverie.” –Elizabeth Epperly, Through Lovers Lane: L.M. Montgomery’s Photography and Visual Imagination
The 2020 conference invites proposals for research pertaining to L.M. Montgomery’s life, writings, and/or scholarship through the lens of vision. Montgomery found inspiration in what she saw around her, and she spent a lifetime translating what she saw into her writing and other creative works. The word vision derives from the Latin videre, “to see,” but as Montgomery knew, there is never a direct or straight line between the observing eye and the object that is seen (or not seen). Beyond topics relating to “visuality,” “vision” might also suggest, among others, (in)visibility, prescience, dreams, wisdom, imaginary or supernatural phenomena, apparitions, and the visioning and re-visioning of material – including her own life – for which Montgomery is renowned.
The conference theme might inspire papers that explore:
- Montgomery’s visual descriptions and aesthetic; how she “sees” the world through her writing
- Adaptations or revisions of Montgomery’s life and works on/in film, stage, art, new media, and beyond
- The art and artistry of the illustrators of Montgomery’s works
- Connections between vision and other senses in her fiction
- Sight/seeing and the limitations of it or the enhancements and physical aids to it (e.g., glasses, binoculars, telescopes, camera lenses, etc.)
- Metaphors of vision (e.g., re/views, perspectives, visionaries, reflections, blindness, opacity/transparency, etc.) in and around the world of Montgomery
- Re-seeing, revision, remembering, and nostalgia in Montgomery’s creative and/or autobiographical processes
- Things unseen, invisible, imaginary, or otherwise out of sight
Please submit 250-300-word proposals by 16 August 2019. Proposals should clearly articulate a strong argument, but they should also situate that argument in the context of established Montgomery scholarship. Proposals that view Montgomery’s life and art from different cultural and theoretical perspectives are welcomed. All proposals are blind reviewed. Proposals for pre-conference workshops, special exhibits, films, performances, or other visual displays are encouraged and welcomed.
PS., here are PEI’s old tourism videos, many of them gorgeous.