Stephen Crane Panels at ALA 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Session 10-B Culture and Context in Stephen Crane’s Work
12:40-2:00 p.m. 
Organized by the Stephen Crane Society

Chair: Paul Sorrentino, Virginia Tech

1. “Creative Destruction: Conflagration, The Newspaper Sketch, and Stephen Crane’s ‘The Monster,’”
Jennifer Travis, St. John’s University
2. “Tommie’s Resurrection: The Role of the Impoverished Child in Stephen Crane’s New York
Sketches,” Maggie Morris Davis, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
3. “Re-reading the Animals in Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage,” Qizhi Shu, Xiangtan

Session 12-K Business Meeting: Crane Society
University/University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Session 11-H Culture and Context in Stephen Crane’s Work
2:10-3:30 p.m. 
Organized by the Stephen Crane Society

Chair: Benjamin F. Fisher, University of Mississippi

1. “’A Spector of Reproach’: Revisiting Figures of Shame in The Red Badge of Courage,” Keiko Nitta,
Rikkyo University/Yale University
2. “Stephen Crane’s Literary Journalism and the Limits of Liberalism in the Progressive Era,” Clemens
Spahr, Mainz University
3. “Structures of Feeling within Stephen Crane’s ‘The Blue Hotel,’” Robert Welch, Indiana University of

Session 12-K Business Meeting: Crane Society

3:40-5:00 p.m. 

New Whitman Digital Resource: Letters from his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman


   Wesley Raabe, an assistant professor in the Department of English at Kent State University, has edited the letters of Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, mother of the poet Walt Whitman. Her 170 letters and a new introduction have been published under the title “walter dear”: The Letters from Louisa Van Velsor Whitman to Her Son Walt on the Walt Whitman Archive, and they are now freely available to scholars and to the general public.

   The newly published letters feature digital facsimiles, authoritative transcriptions, dating, and annotation, and integration with Walt’s and other family members’ letters in the Whitman Archive section entitled “Correspondence.” Scholars for the first time will be able to read Walt Whitman’s letters alongside the replies of his mother, who was by far his most frequent correspondent. The edition also includes a new introduction with a biography. The letters and the introduction are online at


   Walt Whitman described his mother as “illiterate in the formal sense,” but he also proclaimed his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, to be the “flower of her temperament active in me.” Louisa’s letters illuminate the most important relationship in the poet’s life and offer a rare glimpse into the emotional life of a working-class nineteenth-century American woman. Though she lacked formal education, her letters display verbal power and expressiveness, offering insight into the “family usages” that shaped Walt Whitman’s poetry.  


   The letters from Louisa Whitman to Walt span the period from just before the outbreak of the Civil War through a week before her death in May 1873. Her letters helped bind the Whitman family together during the disruptive years of the Civil War and early Reconstruction. The letters to Walt treat mundane everyday life and moments of great family sorrow, and they make incisive observations on Walt’s growing critical reputation and offer curt dismissals of lesser writers.

Edith Wharton Collection at the Beinecke Library to close temporarily beginning in April 2014

From Gary Totten: 

Various Archival Collections to Close Temporarily Beginning in April 2014

Beginning in April 2014, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library will temporarily close various archival collections in preparation for a major building renovation scheduled to start in May 2015. In general, collections that are temporarily closed will be unavailable for six to eight weeks.

Researchers planning to visit the Beinecke should consult the library’s closed collections schedule beforehand to confirm the availability of desired materials. The schedule is currently subject to change, so researchers should check it frequently as they plan their visits.

Over the next year, the library will transfer about 12,000 cartons of collection material to an offsite shelving facility. This work requires the temporary closing of many of the library’s most important and frequently consulted archival collections. While temporarily closed, the collections will be unavailable for consultation in the reading room, classrooms, or for reproduction requests.

The temporary closings will be staggered throughout the year. Among collections slated to close in the spring of 2014 are the papers of Thornton Wilder, Eugene O’Neill, H.D., Langston Hughes, James Weldon and Grace Nail Johnson, and Edith Wharton. Collections to close in the fall of 2014 include the papers of Mable Dodge Luhan, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe.