Category Archives: Conferences

Eugene O’Neill Society 8th International Conference 2011

“O’Neill in Bohemia,” June 22-26, Greenwich Village, NY.  The Susan Glaspell Society was once again pleased to be participating in the International Eugene O’Neill Conference with a full day of events on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

12:00 —SGS Business Meeting in Dean’s Conference Room, Gallatin Building, 1 Washington Place. Meeting minutes are posted.

2:00—Panel: “‘The Beloved Community’: The Provincetown Players in Context,”in Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre, 1 Washington Place @ Broadway. Chair and organizer: Sharon Friedman, the Gallatin School, New York University.

Recent scholarship on Susan Glaspell and other writers and artists of the Provincetown experiment has probed and deconstructed the by now mythical narratives of its founding and evolution to provide a more historicized and intertextual analysis of the Players and the plays. These studies situate the group at an important historical moment—the development of socialism, feminism, psychoanalysis, modernism, and the emergence of global warfare—and reveal shared stylistic and thematic concerns as well as their profound connections to other writers, cultural institutions, ideologies, discourses, and events of the period. Presentations will build on this research to explore the synergies between plays produced by the Provincetown (1916-1922) and writings produced by Village institutions, such as the Washington Square Players, the Liberal Club, The Masses, and Heterodoxy, with which they shared members, ideals, and a range of responses to events and conditions of this period.

Papers: “Oligarchy of the Artists: Jig Cook, Greenwich Village, and American Cultural Identity,” Drew Eisenhauer, Mayor of Paris Research Fellow, University of Paris, Diderot;

“A Luncheon for Suffrage: Theatrical Contributions of Heterodoxy to the Enfranchisement of the American Woman,” Noelia Hernando-Real, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;

“Staging Bohemia: Theatrical Self-Representation in Greenwich Village,” Brenda Murphy, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English, University of Connecticut.

3:45—“Performing Bohemia”: A Concert Reading by Susan Glaspell Society members along with professional actors, adapted and assembled by Cheryl Black (University of Missouri) from Glaspell’s “The People,” the pages of the socialist journal The Masses, and sundry songs, poems, speeches, and manifestoes from the pens of the Provincetown Players and their Village cohorts, presented in the Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre. For photos of this event, follow the link to O’Neillian Win Goodbody’s gallery from “Links” page.

5:30—SGS Provincetown Punch Reception. We toasted “The Beloved Community” with their “Fish House” punch from the recipe preserved by Provincetown executive committee member Edna Kenton. The Players’ potent potable combines two kinds of brandy, rum, black tea, sugar, lemon juice, and ice, and was served to Glaspellians and O’Neillians in the gallery space adjacent to the Jerry Labowitz Theatre.

22nd Annual American Literature Association Conference 2011

May 26-29, Boston MA.
Panel: “Dramatizing Ideas: Hybrids, Heterodoxies, and Humanisms in Greenwich Village.”
Chair: Michael Winetsky.

The Glaspell Society is pleased to present its panel as part of the Five Dramatists Societies’ series of associated panels at ALA 2011 on “Dramatizing Ideas.” Selecting for traits, cross breeding, grafting, Claire Archer, the horticultural mad scientist at the center of Glaspell’s 1921 drama The Verge, uses all of these techniques to create a new self-reproducing species of plant, calling her efforts “mad new comings together.”  In imagining Claire’s work in this play, Glaspell hit upon a metaphor for the intellectual life of Greenwich Village, where new ideas in politics, philosophy, science, spirituality, and art were bred and crossbred. Glaspell’s horticultural metaphors for ideas have been linked by recent scholars to the educational organicism of John Dewey, to the Pragmatism of William James, to the Humanism of F. C. S. Schiller, to the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, to the ontology of Henri Bergson, as well as to the evolutionary science of Lamarck, Darwin, and Haeckel. Such metaphors must be seen as the culmination of Glaspell’s own long-standing interest in the fusion of different ways of knowing. “When art weds science,” Glaspell wrote in her first novel, The Glory of the Conquered, “the resulting library is difficult to manage.” Extending these metaphors into a more general inquiry, the Susan Glaspell Society invites papers that address Greenwich Village as a site for the transformation of ideas.

 Papers: “Loving Outside the Law: Nature as Mother in Susan Glaspell and Mary Hallock Foote,” Catherine Q. Forsa, Seton Hall University;

“Jung’s Impact on the First Greenwich Village Avant-Garde,” Dr. Jay Sherry, independent scholar;

“‘What is that?’: Epistemological Crises in Glaspell’s Trifles and The Morning is Near Us,” Taryn Norman, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

International Conference on American Drama 2010

Oct. 29-30, Kean University, Union NJ.

Panel: “The Significance of Susan Glaspell to American Drama and Performance.”
Chair: Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University.

Papers:  “Re-Visiting Bernice in the 21st Century,” Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School of New York University;

“Gender Identity in Susan Glaspell’s and Marsha Norman’s Plays”, Noelia Hernando-Real, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;

“Searching for the Voice of Minnie Wright in Trifles,” a dramatic monologue written and performed by Milbre Burch, University of Missouri.

In addition, a staged reading of Chains of Dew was presented by SGS members and professional actors, adapted and directed by Cheryl Black, University of Missouri.

Association of Theatre in Higher Education Conference 2010

Aug. 3-6, Los Angeles.
SGS/ATDS sponsored panel: “Surviving The Outside: Modernity and the Woman Artist.”
Chair: Monica Stufft, University of California at Berkeley.

This ATDS focus group panel involved Susan Glaspell Society members and featured a reading and discussion of Glaspell’s play, The Outside. A deeply symbolic one-act set at an abandoned life-saving station, the play focuses on two women who have virtually exiled themselves. In the play, male characters attempt and fail to resuscitate a drowning victim while the two women living at the life-saving station struggle with their decision to remain isolated from the rest of society. Allie Mayo “has not spoken an unnecessary word for twenty years” after the death of her husband while Mrs. Patrick has elected to be emotionally and physically distanced from others after the infidelity of her husband. Our reading (with a run-time of approximately 30 minutes) and discussion explored the significance of what Veronica Makowsky has called “two aspiring, but temporarily stymied, female modernist artists-in-life.” We considered the implications of Glaspell’s presentation of a highly gendered view of modernism or modernisms in The Outside. In particular, we addressed Glaspell’s suggestion that the woman artist cannot survive if she disconnects herself from society or from her past in order to consider the play’s implications for theatre today.

21st Annual American Literature Association Conference 2010

May 27-30, San Francisco.
Panel: “Intertextual Exchanges: Susan Glaspell.”
Chair: Drew Eisenhauer, University of Maryland.

Following our successful collaboration in 2009, once again the Susan Glaspell Society joined forces with the American Theatre and Drama Society, the Eugene O’Neill Society, the Arthur Miller Society, and the Thornton Wilder Society to collaborate on a series of panels and roundtables on the theme of “Intertextual Exchanges” conceived in the broadest sense. Topics included direct intertextual references to authors such as Emerson or Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as comparisons or interrelationships between Glaspell and her fellow Provincetowners, other playwrights of her era, or textual connections with European dramatists such as Shaw, Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekov. The panel was not limited to dramatic works: Glaspell’s novels and short fiction also offered an opportunity to explore intertextuality as she adapted themes and characters to different genres and challenged American traditions in fiction. Another avenue of exploration considered was Glaspell’s interaction with textual sources from areas of intellectual inquiry such as evolution, psychoanalysis, metaphysics, political philosophy, and contemporary events causing social and political debate during the time of her writing.

Papers:  “Intertextuality on the Frontier in Susan Glaspell’s Inheritors,” Sarah Whithers, Indiana University;

“Looking for Herland: Embodying the Search for Utopia in Susan Glaspell’s The Verge,” Frank Lasik, University of Missouri-Columbia;

“‘Trailing Clouds of Glory’: Politics, History, and Material Culture in Glaspell’s Echoes of Romantic Literature,” Michael Winetsky, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Society for the Study of American Women Writers 4th International Conference 2009

October 21-24, Philadelphia, PA.

Panel: “Susan Glaspell’s Alison’s House and the Legacy of Emily Dickinson.”
Chair: J. Ellen Gainor, Cornell University.

This panel invited papers considering any aspect of the relationship between the Emily Dickinson legend and Glaspell’s 1931 Pulitzer Prize winning drama. Possible topics included the relationship between the Dickinson biographies (Taggard’s and/or others) or other treatments of the Dickinson legend and Glaspell’s play; comparisons between Alison’s House and other dramas about the Dickinson legend; comparisons of Glaspell’s and Dickinson’s writing; historical analyses of the controversial Eva Le Gallienne production of Alison’s House or its critical reception; new directions in the study of Alison’s House alone or in combination with other Glaspell works.

Papers:  “No Hard Evidence: Alison’s House and Emily Dickinson,” Basia Ozieblo, Universidad de Malaga;

“Susan Glaspell’s Alison’s House and the Many Meanings of Emily Dickinson’s Legacies,” Sharon Friedman, the Gallatin School, New York University;

“On Closets and Graves: Intertextualities in Susan Glaspell’s Alison’s House and Emily Dickinson’s Poetry,” Noelia Hernando-Real, La Salle College-Universidad Autonoma de Madrid;

“Susan Glaspell, Eva La Gallienne: Queering . . . Chekov?” Drew Eisenhauer, University of Maryland.

Staged Reading of Alison’s House presented by the Susan Glaspell Society
Friday evening October 22, 6:00-8:00
Abridged, Directed, and Introduced by Cheryl Black, University of Columbia-Missouri

20th Annual American Literature Association Conference 2009

May 21-24, Boston MA.  The Susan Glaspell Society was pleased to join the Eugene O’Neill Society, the Thornton Wilder Society, the Arthur Miller Society, and the American Theater and Drama Society in sharing the general thematic topic “Adaptations” at ALA 2009.

Panel: “Challenging Generic Boundaries: Susan Glaspell’s Adaptations.”
Chair: Martha C. Carpentier, Seton Hall University.

In addition to welcoming papers discussing film adaptations of Susan Glaspell’s work (can anybody find Paramount Pictures1931 The Right to Love with screenplay by Zoe Akins?), this panel invited discussions of Glaspell’s own adaptations. While producing eleven innovative plays for the Provincetown Players from 1916 to 1922, Glaspell continued to publish short stories in magazines such as Harpers Monthly as well as producing a third critically acclaimed novel, and her increasingly sophisticated fiction showed the impact of her playwriting success. Throughout Glaspell’s four-decade writing career she was a consistent adapter of her own work: themes, narratives, and characters that engrossed her appear and reappear, transformed, in both the genres she excelled in. This panel asked contributors to analyze how Glaspell tests generic boundaries as she adapts similar content to the different demands and different possibilities offered by drama and fiction. Works suggested for consideration were: Trifles and its short-story version “A Jury of Her Peers”; her 1917 play Close the Book and 1916 story “Unveiling Brenda“; her lyrical 1917 one-act The Outside with “A Rose in the Sand” written ten years later; either of her 1921 full-length plays Inheritors or The Verge with the 1919 story “Pollen“; her final play for the Provincetown, Chains of Dew, and 1931 novel Ambrose Holt and Family, etc.

Papers:  “Ethnic and Racial Discourse in Susan Glaspell’s Generic Transformation of ‘Unveiling Brenda’ to Close the Book,” Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School, New York University;

“Susan Glaspell’s Dionysian Poetics in Trifles and ‘A Jury of Her Peers,'” Yoko Onizuka Chase, Osaka University of Human Sciences;

“Susan Glaspell’s Generic Hybridity,” Drew Eisenhauer, University of Maryland.

The Society also presented a concert reading of Inheritors directed by Cheryl Black: Inheritors Program

American Drama Conference 2008

November 1-9, Saint Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Panel: “Staging Modern Geographies: Susan Glaspell and the Dramatic Space.”
Chair: Noelia Hernando-Real, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

Papers:  “Susan Glaspell’s Theatre and the ‘Discourse of Home,'” Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School, NYU;

“On the Margins of Utopia: Heterotopian Houses in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and The Outside,” Emeline Jouve, Toulouse University;

“Crumbling Geographies: The House of Usher in Susan Glaspell’s Theatre,” Noelia Hernando-Real.

Workshop: “Broader Contexts for Teaching Susan Glaspell.”
Chair: Barbara Ozieblo, University of Málaga.

Participants:

Nieves Alberola, Universidad de Jaume I, Castellón; Judith E. Barlow, University at Albany, SUNY; Martha C. Carpentier, Seton Hall University; Sherry Engle, CUNY; Drew Eisenhauer, University of Maryland; Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School, New York University; Noelia Hernando-Real, La Salle Collage-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; Michael Winetsky, Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Symposium 2008

Americans and the Experience of Delphi,” June 24-26, Delphi, Greece.

Presented by the Richard Stockton College Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies; Executive Director: Tom Papademetriou, Conference Director, David Roessel.

On one side of the Philadelphia Art Museum stands a replica of the famous statue of “The Charioteer” in the archaeological museum of Delphi. The statue is more than simply a copy of a famous work of art; it also represents a cultural matrix linked to the ancient shrine of Apollo at Delphi, a matrix that centers on what it means to be human and happy as encapsulated in the phrases “know yourself” and “nothing in excess.”  Often in current discourse “Greek” or “Hellenic” is taken as a single ideological construct, but “Greece” as an idea is polymorphous and multicultural, and Delphi occupies a key place within that ideological construct.  By understanding what it meant, and continues to mean, in the modern age, we take a step toward knowing ourselves.  And within that step, of course, lies the meaning of Apollo’s sanctuary.

Participants in this symposium examined the work of American and European artists, writers, and scholars who stood at the ancient site and, like the founders of the famed Provincetown Players, George Cram Cook and Susan Glaspell, inhabited Delphi in body and mind.  Participants analyzed how the “spirit” of Delphi inspired individuals, and how they in turn infused that spirit into American literature and culture, presenting, in addition to Glaspell and Cook, papers on Isadora Duncan, Eva Palmer Sikelianos and her role in the Delphic Festivals of the 1920s, H. D., Henry Miller, and James Merrill.     

Susan Glaspell Society Panels and Papers:

June 24, George Cram Cook Session, Chair Christa Frantantoro:
“Jig Cook’s Road to the Temple,” Linda Ben-Zvi, Tel Aviv University.

June 25, Susan Glaspell Session, Chair Marina Angel:
“Letters Home: Susan Glaspell’s Experience of Delphi,” Barbara Ozieblo, University of Málaga;

“Susan Glaspell’s Greece: the people, the place and the past,” Martha C. Carpentier, Seton Hall University;

“Susan Glaspell’s Female Charioteers: the spirit of Delphi and Aristotle’s Poetics in Inheritors, The Verge, and The Comic Artist,” Noelia Hernando-Real, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid;

“The Noble Peasant: Humanism and Primitivism in Glaspell’s Life and Work,” Michael Winetsky, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

June 26, L’Envoi to George Cram Cook Session, Chair David Roessel:
“The Influence of George Cram Cook’s Delphic Spirit on Eugene O’Neill,” Michael Solomonson; Northland Pioneer College.

University of Athens students presented a spirited reading of Suppressed Desires on the evening of the 26th.

For more information:
Delphi Symposium Program
Susan Glaspell Paper Abstracts

The Theatre of Dionysus and Temple of Apollo at Delphi, which Glaspell celebrated in Fugitive's Return and The Road to the Temple.

Linda Ben-Zvi and guide take us to Susan and Jig's camp in Kalania (SGS members left to right, Michael Winetsky, Martha Carpentier, Yoko Chase, Noelia Hernando-Real, and Linda Ben-Zvi). "The forest opens and gives us Kalania--the mountain park, that secret beauty, loveliness that is like a heart, a heart guarded by mountains of spruce" (The Road to the Temple 261).

Eugene O’Neill Society 7th Annual Conference 2008

“O’Neill’s Global Legacy,” June 11-15, Tao House, Danville CA.

Panel: “Performing Race, Gender, and Nation: Susan Glaspell, Eugene O’Neill
and the Modern Drama Classroom.”
Chair: Monica Stufft, University of California Berkeley.

This panel explored the global legacies of the two playwrights and considered the ways we locally stage these legacies in a broadly defined modern drama classroom that includes scholarship and productions. Papers investigated intertextual links around issues of race, gender and/or nation, and considered questions such as how do the plays of Glaspell and O’Neill construct identities both nationally and internationally? How might issues of race, gender and/or nation circulate when we frame these playwrights as American in relation to the European modern theatrical tradition and, in our scholarship and productions, as part of the modern drama canon?

Papers:  “Divided by a Common Language: O’Neill, Glaspell and the European Modern Drama Tradition,” Francesca Coppa;

“Performing Liberalism: Empathy and Protest in an Age of Nationalist Fervor,” Michael Winetsky, City University of New York;

“American Bodies: Intersections of Race and Gender in Emperor Jones and Inheritors,” Monica Stufft, University of California Berkeley.