A day of awards and community

Sarah Wider presents Shoji Goto with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society Distinguished Achievement Award. Photo credit: Yasunaka Hashimoto

Though many of us in Poe and Hawthorne studies have felt like a family for some time — especially those of us that have been seeing each other at conferences for decades — this conference has been intimate, engaging, and supportive in a way unique to a scholarly community whose members truly care about their work and their colleagues.

The day began with a stimulating discussion of translation theory and the work of Emerson. In this panel, Sarah Wider was able to present Professor Shoji Goto with the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society Distinguished Achievement Award for his years of contributions to the field, both as a writer and an instructor. After many more exciting panels about pedagogy, race, visual arts, and other topics, Michael Colacurcio delivered the keynote address, considering aesthetic concerns in the fantastic landscapes of Poe and Hawthorne’s work.

Michael Colacurcio delivers the keynote address, “Supernal Loveliness and Fantastic Foolery: The Aesthetic Dimension in Poe and Hawthorne.” Photo credit: Kyosuke Ogawa

The banquet was also a great success, featuring great food, a live string quartet, and a traditional maiko dance and music performance. After conference organizer Sandra Hughes read opening remarks, many people were honored and given tokens of appreciation for their sponsorship of the conference, as well as their contributions to Poe and Hawthorne studies, including Sam Coale, Shoko Itoh, and Richard Kopley. To conclude proceedings, conference organizer Masahiko Narita spoke eloquently to the value of expanding our communities as we continue to teach and interact with others’ ideas in the works we study. Find a selection of photos below, with a more extensive photo album and video recordings to come after the conference!

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