It is a beautiful spring day here in Prince Edward Island–tilting solidly to summer, even. I have already done beach walks and my garden is mostly in, some of the usual signs of the season. One of the markers of my even-year springs, the L.M. Montgomery international conference at the University of Prince Edward Island, has been disrupted somewhat, as you might have guessed. Instead of gathering for some raspberry cordial in the UPEI quad with Montgomery readers and scholars from six continents, because of COVID-19 we have had to reimagine the conference in a virtual space.
The organizers of the “L.M. Montgomery and Vision Conference” conference for 2020 have been remarkably resilient through all of the cancellations and new plans. They have provided various ways to participate:
- On 24-28 June 2020 there is a Launch of the Vision Forum, an online virtual space. The Launch will include five days of scholarly presentations, creative projects, information on LMMI and LMM-related projects, and virtual fun and camaraderie.
- There will be new scholarly material, as well as digital links to conference resources, such as Dr. Trinna Frever’s super engaging talk, “Seeing Female Readers, Reading Female Readers, Making Meta-Readers: L.M. Montgomery as Depictor and Creator of Scholars,” linked below.
- There is an invitation for scholarly papers to be presented in video or audio form, to be considered for a peer-reviewed publication in the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies, or both.
- There is a call for creative projects to be published in any manner of ways, including the Journal or online.
- There is a “Domestic Art Challenge.”
- There is also a call for papers on Montgomery and Mental Health.
The link to the Vision Forum is here, which will be filled in as the week goes on. For updates, watch the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s social media (@lmminstitute on Facebook & Instagram; @LMMI_UPEI on Twitter). I hope that my accepted paper, “Making Friends with the Darkness: L.M. Montgomery’s Popular Theodicy in Anne’s House of Dreams,” will be part of Forum space over the coming months.
One of the activities in the Vision Forum is the launch of the MaudCast: The Podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute. This brand new podcast is our quest to discover cutting-edge scholarship about the life and works of Lucy Maud Montgomery, welcoming to the microphone leading academics, emerging scholars, local researchers, and imaginative readers and writers from around the world.
And … the MaudCast is hosted by yours truly, Brenton Dickieson! I have been a podcast guest a number of times, but this is my first time on the other side of the studio. Well, to be honest, though we have a studio on the beautiful campus of the University of Prince Edward Island, right now my “studio” is my USB microphone and my desk at home. But we have interviewed three engaging Montgomery scholars and recorded a teaser.
Podcasts that we’ll be releasing next week include:
- S01E01: Lesley Clement, Launch of the Vision Forum
- S01E02: Laura Leden, L.M. Montgomery and Nordic Translation
- S01E03: Kate Scarth and the L.M. Montgomery Institute
So, although I don’t have a chance to practice my weak but well-pronounced Japanese, there is still a lot of great Montgomery content available online, for free, anywhere in the world. And I get to chat with readers, artists, and scholars about their work. Be sure to share the news, follow us on Spotify, Podbean, Youtube, or favourite podcast app, and follow #LMMI2020 for in-time conversation. I’ll also be blogging #LMMontgomery content throughout the week, so I look forward to seeing you online!
You can see Dr. Trinna Frever’s paper, “Seeing Female Readers, Reading Female Readers, Making Meta-Readers: L.M. Montgomery as Depictor and Creator of Scholars,” at the link here or in the video below.