Schedule — Overview

SHARP 19 at a Glance

Conference Program

Conference Schedule at a Glance

The program lists papers and panels, with names of participants, arranged in blocks of parallel sessions, as in the grid above.

(If you are presenting at the conference and need to make revisions to your titles or abstracts, kindly write us sharpamherst at gmail dot com .)

A note on dining

Special events 
We are delighted that our budget has allowed us to make not only the opening and closing receptions, but also the banquet, free and open to all, in keeping with our desire to make this conference as democratic and inclusive as possible. We ask only that you register for these events so that we can get an accurate estimate of attendance.

Lunch: “dine on your own”
The University of Massachusetts Amherst has for three years in a row been recognized as having the best campus food in the United States, and the many establishments in the Campus Center offer a wide variety of excellent, affordable food for every taste. We concluded that having SHARPists purchase lunch on their own would cost them less than having to pay for catered lunches (with fewer choices) via a higher registration fee. 

For details on all meals within and beyond the confines of the conference schedule, please see our “Eating Here: Food and Drink” page.

UMass conference venues (larger version)  (full campus map)

Sunday, July 14th, 2019

Early Arrival Registration

1 to 6 p.m.
UMass Lincoln Campus Center Hotel lobby (map)

Monday, July 15th, 2019

Lincoln Campus Center (including Hotel UMass)

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Registration

UMass Lincoln Campus Center Hotel lobby (map)

Pre-Conference Events c. 12:30 p.m

Register for one of the following by June 19

1. Frost Library Special Collections, Amherst College
Native American Texts Seminar
(limited space; application process)

2. The book-historical institutions on the Hampshire College campus:
Yiddish Book Center & Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art 
curators provide behind-the-scenes tour, show collections (limited space)

3. Literary Amherst Tour (open to all):

“The Bunker”: Cold War command center-turned-library repository
Jones Library: Centennial Exhibit & Special Collections highlights
Amherst History Museum (including Mabel Loomis Todd Room, and Emily Dickinson’s famous white dress)

A shuttle bus will take you from the Campus Center Circle to your destinations 
(updates to follow as the date approaches)


Opening Night, Amherst College
5:00 p.m.

Opening events will take place in historic Johnson Chapel (1826-27)
Amherst campus map (includes parking)

Conference transportation: shuttle buses will run between UMass Campus Center Circle and Amherst College campus from 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Return buses from Amherst to UMass will run till 9 p.m.)

Parking if you are arriving in your own car:

The closest public metered street parking is on Boltwood Avenue. 

Campus itself:

All public parking is free of charge.Parking lots requiring permits during the day will be free by this time (permits enforced till 5, but we think you would be safe if you parked there slightly earlier). There are a few parking spaces close to the front of the Chapel on Johnson Hill Road, and behind it on the Quadrangle.  The closest parking lot is the Converse lot (there are also some free individual spaces adjacent to it). The Alumni lot is farther away but has much more capacity

See Amherst campus map (which includes nearby Town of Amherst public parking) for details.


Opening Keynote
Margaret Bruchac

Reconsidering Wampum:
Re-Weaving Materials, Memories, and Messages

Native American and First Nations shell wampum beads and belts are often interpreted, in museums, as evidence of mute artistic creations—“decorative beadwork” or “Indian money” or “colonial relics”—from an unknowable time and place. Woven wampum objects may be so vaguely identified and detached from text or experience that much is left to the imagination of the viewer. Wampum is, however, more than mere adornment; it is an evocatively potent method of messaging, whether woven into intricate material assemblages called “belts” or embedded into wooden bowls and clubs. In this keynote talk, Dr. Bruchac discusses how wampum belts and wooden objects embedded with wampum were created to both serve as messages and embody relations across time and space among humans, objects, landscapes, and other-than-human beings. By carefully reconsidering the materiality of the objects themselves, the texts that emerged from them, and the socio-political encounters—among Native peoples and colonial settler peoples—that brought these objects into being, even some of the most fractured memories can be recovered.

Margaret M. Bruchac—in her multi-modal career as a performer, ethnographer, and historian—has long been committed to revitalizing and repatriating cultural heritage through the use of restorative methodologies that challenge erasures and stereotypes. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bruchac is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Faculty in the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, and Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is the author of Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists (2018). She directs a restorative research project—“The Wampum Trail”—that focuses on the history, materiality, curation, repatriation, and revitalization of historical wampum objects over time.

Respondent and Moderator 
Corey Flintoff

Those of you who have viewed our promotional video for the conference heard the voice of narrator Corey Flintoff–already familiar to American listeners of National Public Radio (NPR). We are pleased to announce that he will be joining us to serve as occasional master of ceremonies, panel moderator, and interlocutor with our invited speakers.

Corey is a now retired NPR reporter, news reader, and foreign correspondent. His career took him from Anchorage, Alaska, to Washington, D.C., a host of European and Asian postings, and finally several years as the NPR presence in Moscow. Since then, he has pursued a career as a writer of science fiction and fantasy literature.

Corey has been a regular visitor to the Pioneer Valley and a participant in many events at the Five Colleges over the past 25 years. An English major with a multiplicity of interests, he is eager to immerse himself in the richness of research that constitutes a SHARP conference.

6:30 p.m.
Reception, Emily Dickinson Museum

Lifelong Amherst resident Emily Dickinson (1830-86) is widely regarded as America’s greatest and most innovative poet. The Dickinson Museum (owned by Amherst College), located on the former family property near the center of Amherst, comprises some 11 acres (4.45 hectares) including gardens and two houses: the 1813 Homestead, in which Dickinson grew up, and the 1856 Evergreens, built by her brother. The Museum’s mission is to spark the imagination by amplifying Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home.

The reception will take place on the beautiful historic landscape of the Homestead, where a tent will provide shelter from rain or high heat. The reception will include the opportunity for self-directed tours of both family houses. 

Getting there

Located at 280 Main Street, the Dickinson Museum is approximately .6 miles / .96 km from Johnson Chapel. (map)
We assume most SHARPists will walk, but we are trying to arrange for a van or bus for those for whom this option is preferable.
If you are coming by car, there is some metered street parking in front of the Museum (free after 6 p.m.). If that is full, we recommend the nearby Amherst College Alumni lot, which is open to the public by that hour.

(Return buses from Amherst to UMass will run till 9 p.m.)

Dine in Town On Your Own

Eating Here: Food and Drink

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Opening at the University of Massachusetts

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration and Information Desk Open

Integrative Learning Center (ILC), Main Commons
 (C3 on the campus map)

9 a.m.
Welcome and Keynote

Thompson Hall 104 (B3 on campus map)

Second Keynote 
Peter Sokolowski 

The Invention of the Modern American Dictionary

Noah Webster’s revolutionary 1806 publication, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, the first truly American dictionary, and his subsequent work were showing their age and shortcomings by the mid-nineteenth century, when competition from the excellent dictionary of Joseph Worcester drove the publishers to a moment of truth—and of disruption. The decisions they subsequently made set the course for the company’s editorial and business policies to this day. This change from the idiosyncratic work of an individual to the organized effort of a team was an important and influential moment in the development of modern lexicography, and it is best understood alongside the business strategies that were its motivation. Webster’s work, the details of the “War of the Dictionaries,” and the teamwork resulting in the landmark edition of 1864 will all be discussed.

Peter Sokolowski, an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts (French literature), is a lexicographer and editor at large for Merriam-Webster, the preeminent publisher of US dictionaries, where he works on the Word of the Day podcast, Ask the Editor videos, and articles about word trends and etymologies.

Profiles of him have appeared in the Atlantic and New Yorker, and he made Time Magazine’s list of 140 best Twitter feeds (@PeterSokolowski). In addition to academic work on lexicography, he conducts workshops for teachers of English as a second language, serves as pronouncer for spelling bees around the world, and is a substitute jazz host for New England Public Radio. (He also plays a mean jazz trumpet.)

Panels: Parallel Sessions 1-3

11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parallel Session 1
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. LUNCH on your own: various venues
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
 Parallel Session 2
3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Parallel Session 3

Most sessions, and all coffee breaks, will take place in the Integrative Learning Center (ILC)
A few will take place in Du Bois Library (Room 1920)
(both in sector C3 of the campus map)

5:30 p.m.
Third Keynote

Bartlett Hall 65 (C4 on the campus map)

Ilan Stavans

Books & Immigrants:
In the Frontline of Global Publishing

No two issues better define the present than the rise of populism and the persistence of immigration. Art, with its capacity, in Shakespeare’s phrasing, “to hold up a mirror to nature,” is fated to reflect those concerns. And book publishing in particular has the responsibility to keep the mirror as accurate as possible. Yet it often fails—miserably. Professor and cultural critic Ilan Stavans, publisher of Restless Books, an independent nonprofit enterprise devoted to championing stories that speak to us across linguistic and cultural borders, meditates on the challenges of diversifying the diet and broadening the viewpoint of international readers.

(book-signing to follow at reception)

Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College.

He has taught courses on a wide array of topics such as Spanglish, Jorge Luis Borges, Shakespeare in prison, modern American poetry, Latin music, Don Quixote, Gabriel García Márquez, Modernismo, popular culture in Hispanic America, world Jewish writers, the cultural history of the Spanish language, Pablo Neruda, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Yiddish literature, Jewish-Hispanic relations, cinema, Latin American art, and U.S.-Latino culture.

A scholar and commentator of wide-ranging interests–essayist, literary critic, cultural historian, translator, editor, radio host–he is the author of many books, including Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language and A Most Imperfect Union as well as (with artist Steve Sheinkin) the graphic novel El Iluminado. He is also general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.

6:30 -8:00 p.m.

Old Chapel

(C4 on campus map)

The UMass campus constitutes a living museum of evolving architectural styles from the mid-19th century to the present. The 1885 Old Chapel–originally also home to a library, and thus an appropriate place for a SHARP reception–is the most iconic building. In recent decades, it fell into disrepair, but the passionate engagement of the campus community and alumni/ae led to a major restoration and renovation effort that was equally sensitive to historic value and modern sustainability, earning the Chapel both a listing on the National Register of Historic Places and a LEED Gold Certification for energy efficiency. Today, it is a state-of-the-art venue for events of all sorts.

c. 8:00 p.m. 
SHARP 2019 Welcome Event:
Books & Beer

Listen Up!
Poetry and the spoken word as heard in Amherst from the earliest days to the present.

Native American, Beowulf, Chaucer, Kerouac, Dickinson–and more

Readings by Ron Welburn, Jen Adams, Todd Tietchen, Jane Wald,  Melissa Hudasko, Craig Davis, Michael Moynihan, and Steve Harris. With Thomas Hassler on didgeridoo.

(you will also have the opportunity to purchase food:  menu)

Upstairs at  High Horse Brewery, 24 North Pleasant Street
(1.3 miles/2 km; directions)

If you are coming by car, there is parking (free after 8 p.m.) on the street and in two nearby parking lots: Amity Street & North Pleasant Street

At the original Beowulf & Beer event in 2013

Formerly an event at which the SHARP President and (maybe) a few other notables greeted students and “Early Career Researchers,” this event began last year to evolve into a general social event, allowing the host committee and city to provide an extra welcome to SHARPists of all ages and career levels. We liked this model and decided to continue it.

But in order to make clear that one of our goals remains to extend a special welcome to students & ECRs: you will still get a free drink courtesy of the SHARP bank account.

Poetry + free beer: what’s not to like?

If not attending the welcome event:

Dine in Town On Your Own

Eating Here: Food and Drink

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration and Information Desk Open

Integrative Learning Center (ILC), Main Commons
 (C3 on the campus map)

Panels: Parallel Sessions 4-7

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parallel Sessions 4-5
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. LUNCH on your own: various venues
2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Annual General Meeting (Thompson 104: B3 on campus map)
3:45 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Parallel Sessions 6-7

Most sessions, and all coffee breaks, will take place in the Integrative Learning Center (ILC)
A few will take place in Du Bois Library (Room 1920)
(both in sector C3 of the campus map)

8:00 p.m.  Informal Conference Banquet
Commonwealth Honors College

(B4 on campus map)

Characterized by small classes and close interaction with faculty, the Commonwealth Honors College (2013) provides a diverse community of academically talented students with extensive opportunities for learning, leadership, and community engagement in a small residential and teaching facility within a nationally recognized research university. The complex, comprising seven buildings organized around a series of open courtyards, is certified LEED silver for energy efficiency and sustainability.

9:30 p.m. After Hours On Your Own
Eating Here: Food and Drink

Thursday, July 18, 2019

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Registration and Information Desk Open

Integrative Learning Center (ILC), Main Commons
 (C3 on the campus map)

Panels: Parallel Sessions 8-11

9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Parallel Sessions 8-9
12:30 to 2:00 p.m. LUNCH on your own: various venues
2:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Parallel Sessions 10-11

Sessions will be divided between the Integrative Learning Center (ILC)Du Bois Library (Rooms 1920 & SCUA), and Hasbrouck
All coffee breaks will still take place in the ILC
(all three sites are in sector C3 of the campus map)

5:30 p.m. Closing Plenary
Writers’ Houses, Sense of Place, and 
Book History in Cultural Tourism

  • Andrea Calouri, Engagement Manager, Trustees of Reservations, Northwest
  • Beth Luey, former SHARP President, author of books on historic houses of Massachusetts (University of Massachusetts Press)
  • Jane Wald, Executive Director, Emily Dickinson Museum

    Moderator: James Wald (SHARP Conference Co-Chair)

Thompson Hall 104
(B3 on campus map)

6:30 p.m. Closing Reception
South College

(B3 on campus map)

Built in 1867, as one of the first structures of the new Massachusetts Agricultural College (founded 1863), South College served multiple functions. Destroyed by fire in 1885, it was soon rebuilt in a historicizing chateau style. A major 2014-17 project both restored and modernized the historic structure, adding a four-story, 60,000 square foot addition that complements the original architecture and includes the grand atrium (above), where our reception will take place. The building, which houses the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, including the Dean’s office, HFA Advising, and departments of EnglishPhilosophyArt History, and Women, Gender & Sexual Studies, is a candidate for LEED Gold certification for energy efficiency and sustainability.

8 p.m. Dine in Town on Your Own

Eating Here: Food and Drink

Friday, July 19, 2019

Post-Conference Excursions

New England Writers’ Homes:
Place and Public History

c. 8:15 departures from UMass Campus Center Circle

Eastern Massachusetts
Concord, Massachusetts: Thoreau, Emerson, Alcott; Concord Museum and Revolutionary Battlefield

Connecticut River Valley
Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster Company (pre-eminent US dictionary publisher)
Hartford, Connecticut: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Noah Webster

Western Massachusetts
Cummington: William Cullen Bryant; Pittsfield: Herman Melville; Lenox: Edith Wharton


Evening: Dine in Town On Your Own

Eating Here: Food and Drink