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.