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2019 International Conference - Asilomar, California

Call for Papers


Meeting August 8-11, 2019
Asilomar, California
“To another Sea”: Dickinson, Environment, and the West

We invite papers for the 2019 International Conference on the work of Emily Dickinson and the sea. The conference will take place on August 8-11, 2019, in Asilomar, California. Known as Monterey Peninsula's “Refuge by the Sea,” Asilomar State Park is located on 107 acres of state beach and conference grounds, within the quaint and scenic town of Pacific Grove. Asilomar is celebrated for its restored dune ecosystem and architectural significance, with cozy, historic structures designed by renowned Arts & Crafts architect Julia Morgan between 1913 and 1928. Dickinson writes she “never saw a moor” or “the sea,” yet she recognizes the landscape intuitively and knows “how the heather looks” and “what a billow be.” Emily Dickinson may have said she never saw the sea, but she also maintains that she knows it. Through her creative imagination, Dickinson explored the landscape of the inner wild. Her poetry and letters investigate the end of consciousness and the West, as a figure for the unknown and a way to transcend physical and mental boundaries. Her writing investigates this unknown place by transforming her daily experience in poetry and allowing her readers to take a voyage with her through imagination.

The conference will feature panels by international scholars on a variety of topics, including critical interpretations of Dickinson’s poetry and letters in light of water, environmental criticism, non-human studies, plant studies, creativity and imagination, ecology, geography, landscape, and the like. Topics on unrelated areas of current interest in Dickinson studies are also welcome. A variety of formats, including traditional panels and roundtables, as well as flash presentations, will be encouraged. Please submit 250-word abstracts or panel proposals and a two-page CV for each presenter by January 31st to Elizabeth Petrino (

To register for the EDIS 2019 conference, click here.