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The 2014 Howells Essay Prize Competition Call for Entrants (Deadline 1.16.15)

The 2014 Howells Essay Prize Competition Call for Entrants

The Howells Society Essay Prize is awarded each year for the best paper on Howells presented at the annual ALA conference. The winning essay may have been presented in any session on the program of the conference, including but not limited to panels sponsored by the Howells Society. Papers are judged by members of the Executive Committee, who have the option of appointing additional readers as neces- sary.

The author of the winning essay will receive a cash award of $250, and the winning essay will be published (with the author’s permission) in a future issue of The Howellsian. Copyright remains with the writer of the essay, so publication here does not preclude later publication elsewhere of a re- vised version of the essay.

2014 presenters who wish to enter their papers in this year’s competition must submit them by January 16, 2015 to the Society’s President, Dan Mrozowski. You are welcome to revise your paper before submitting it, but please keep in mind that the essay should be a “conference length” paper and should not exceed 12-15 pages, maximum. Please send the papers as e-mail attachments, in MS Word format, to daniel.mrozowski @

Howells Society Panels at ALA this week (Thursday, 5.22.14)

Thursday, May 22, 2014 1:30 – 2:50 pm 

Session 4-J William Dean Howells & Ethical Values (Glacier: 2nd Floor)

Organized by the William Dean Howells Society

Chair: Dan Mrozowski, Trinity College

  1. “A Hazard of New Entitlements: The Politics of Pensions in William Dean Howells’s A Hazard of New Fortunes,” Daniel Graham, University Connecticut-Storrs

  2. “Redemptive Realism: Liberation Soteriology in the Novels of William Dean Howells,” Andrew Ball, Lindenwood University

  3. “Howells’ Christian Faith in ‘A World Come of Age,’” Thomas Wortham, UCLA 

Thursday, May 22, 2014 3:00 – 4:20 pm 

Session 5-G William Dean Howells in the 1890s (Glacier: 2nd Floor)

  1. Organized by the William Dean Howells Society Chair: Dan Mrozowski, Trinity College

    1. “William Dean Howells, a Realist Poetics, and the Limits of 1890s American Democracy,” Patricia Chaudron, University of Buffalo
    2. “William Dean Howells’s Failed Utopia from the Feminine Narrative View,” Margaret Jay Jessee, University of Alabama-Birmingham

    3. “Our ‘Imperative Duty’: Why Teach Howells’s Novella Now,” Charles Baraw, Southern Connecticut State University 


Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:30 – 5:50 pm 

Session 6-L Business Meeting: William Dean Howells Society (Olympic: 2nd Floor) 

New Issue of The Howellsian Available

Howellsian Spr 2014–Vol 16 No 2

Pre-ALA Mini-Issue

The 2013 Howells Essay Prize Winner:
Cristina D’Amico, “In Conversation with William Dean Howells’ A Traveler from Altruria (1894)……………………………….. 2

Howells Panels at the 2014 ALA Conference, Washington D.C. . . . . . . . . . . 8

Membership Information…………………………………………. .. 9


Howells in the News: W. D. Howells, Steampunk Spymaster at Wired

At Wired, Bruce Sterling reads Howells’s “American Literature in Exile.”  A sample:

*It’s good to read Howell because he’s so secure in his own world. He’s properly dressed in his own Manhattan tie-and-tails; he’s not bitterly agitated, or preyed upon by bipolarity, like Clemens was. Howells is energetic without ever being antic. He gives the impression of a natural ruling-class figure who would likely do very well in the State Department.

*There’s a steampunk version of the Howells-Twain relationship where Howells is “M,” the master spy, the firm-hand-on-the-tiller, while Mark Twain is his brilliant yet reckless field agent, with a license to wander the world and kill off steampunk super-villains. I shouldn’t have said that, because now somebody’s gonna do it and get it all wrong; but, well, I’m in literary mode now, writing an Italian dieselpunk story, and the flights of fancy are proliferating out of control.

New Howellsian mailed to Howells Society Members

From Howellsian editor Paul Petrie:

This issue marks the first time that the Society is distributing the newsletter electronically rather than via print and mail. The issue is in PDF format, and should be easily readable on any reasonably current computer, and printable on standard 8 ½ X 11 paper .

This issue has been mailed to all Society members whose email addresses we know. Please help us spread the word among Howellsians that the Society’s email distribution list is seriously incomplete. Society members who have not received this email should send an updated email address to the Society’s secretary-treasurer, Prof. Mischa Renfroe, at to update their contact information.

In This Issue:

  • Eminent Howellsians: An Interview with Professor Thomas Wortham . . . . . . . . . 2
  • Howells Essay Prize Competition
  • Call for submissions from presenters of Howells papers at the 2013 ALA Conference . . . . 3
  • Essay Abstracts
  • Papers delivered at the 2013 American Literature Association Conference, Boston . . . . . . 4
  • Minutes William Dean Howells Society Annual Meeting, May 2012 . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . .   7 Membership Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
  • “Society,” by W.D. Howells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …… . . . .  9
  • Call for Papers: Howells Panels at the 2014 ALA Conference, Washington D.C. . . ..  10