Drs. Hollynd Karapetkova and Bess Fox presented papers at the International Society for the Study of American Woman Writer’s Conference in Philadelphia, PA. They presented together on a panel that investigated the writing life and legacy of four American women writers working beneath the “anxiety of influence,” to borrow from Harold Bloom, of the modernist movement.
Dr. Karapetkova presented “Chatterton, Shelly, Keats, and I: Reading Anne Spencer in the White Literary Tradition.” Her paper reads Spencer’s poetry beside the poetry of Yeats and Browning, arguing that, in joining the company of these canonical figures, Spenser does not deny her blackness or womanhood, but manages with incredible skill the mutually exclusive terms of black, woman, and poet, marking through the white tradition every time she picks up the pen. Dr. Fox presented “Diary of an Author as a Young Theorist: Reading Susan Sontag’s Journals.” Her paper analyzed reviews of Sontag’s recently published journals, exploring the effect of the private journals on the public icon. In particular, she traces the connection between the accessibility the journals offer and Sontag’s burgeoning status as a woman writer, a status Sontag, herself, resisted.