I have been a beneficiary of the generous support of the Emily Dickinson International Society in the past and I am keen on contributing to the society by promoting EDIS to a broader audience outside the U.S. I hope to help expand EDIS membership and generate interest in Dickinson internationally by engaging more pedagogical as well as academic societies and institutions in Asia to form partnerships with EDIS. I would like to strengthen a tighter connection between EDIS and the Far East by working with scholars from EDIS’s chapters in Japan and China to arrange Dickinson-related symposia, translation workshops and poetry-reading events for local high schools, universities and international book festivals. More international Dickinson scholars could be invited with the sponsorship of the Taiwanese government to give lecture tours around Asia so that the attention of more Asian poetry readers, students and scholars alike, could be brought to understanding and appreciating Dickinson’s works. More collaborations between the U.S. and Asia could also be increased with the involvement of local artists, poets, musicians and translators to work with Dickinson scholars through electronic media to generate cross-cultural, experimental artworks and translations.
I have taught a regular course on Emily Dickinson Studies for the postgraduate program of my department and helped increase the number of students working on Dickinson in the past few years. I invited two international Dickinson scholars to give tours of public talks, sponsored by the government, around Taiwan in 2014 and 2017. I also collaborated with Stephanie Farrar on translating six of Dickinson’s poems into Chinese during the 2014 Dickinson conference in Shanghai. Last December, I organized a poetry-translation workshop, inviting a well-known Dickinson translator in Taiwan to give a talk on the challenges of translating Dickinson into Chinese. I also held a poetry-reading salon in my department, featuring translation works of Dickinson. I am currently serving as editor-in-chief of an international journal The Wenshan Review (the Literary Mountain), successfully promoting local interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies to a wider audience. My research interests include Dickinson studies, Romanticism, Transatlantic studies, Reception history, Orientalism, and Ecocriticism. My recent project, funded by the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology (2017-19), involves Dickinson and a Taiwanese poet. Part of the project explores Dickinson’s Asian receptions and aesthetic connections by looking at “Asia’s Dickinson” in a contemporary Taiwanese context.
I would appreciate the opportunity to serve as member-at-large on the EDIS board to enhance its global outreach.
I’m both honored and humbled to be nominated for an At-Large position on the EDIS Board. While relatively new to the Society, I feel that the combination of my background and experience could help the organization to diversify and expand in ways that will continue to help meld the 19th century world of Emily Dickinson with the directions of the 21st century.
I have to be very clear about what I am not. I’m do not have a Ph.D. in English; my doctorate is in communication and media studies. I have not spent my entire career studying Dickinson’s poetry, but my research over the past several years, leading to the publication of my forthcoming mother/daughter biography of Mabel Loomis Todd and Millicent Todd Bingham, After Emily: Two Remarkable Women and the Legacy of America’s Greatest Poet (WW Norton, 2018) has brought me deeply into the magical world of Emily’s poetry and letters.
I’ve gotten to know not only the work of many Dickinson scholars, but the scholars themselves. I’ve published numerous articles about the Todds (Mabel and Millicent, as well as David) in academic journals and in more popular magazines. One of my current projects is an article examining Mabel’s work in the controversial titling of some of Dickinson’s poems and the extent to which her own life might have influenced some of the choices she and Higginson made.
My research has led me to spend a great deal of time in Amherst. I know the libraries well. I have led tours for the Amherst Historical Society and Museum and co-curated an exhibit. I have spoken at several different venues in Amherst about my work. My upcoming research projects are also based in Amherst – and, since my youngest child will be starting at Amherst College in the fall, I have multiple reasons to be spending time in this place that’s an easy 90- minute ride from my home outside Boston.
Having served as chair of a large academic program at Tufts University and been in other leadership positions both in my professional life and in my volunteer life, I have cultivated a lot of the skills to help navigate and develop organizations. I’ve served on numerous boards of different types. All of this work has furthered my understanding of organizational cultures. I have planned and executed innumerable large public events. My other professional work in media studies and journalism has provided me with invaluable knowledge of how to get ideas and events known and publicized, and with the contacts to help do so. Though I’m very comfortable finding my way around archives I’ve also done a lot of work in the digital world, writing for online publications including The Huffington Post, designing and updating websites and working with film. I feel these skills, combined with my perspective and my passion for the world of 19th century Amherst and its residents, could help to further EDIS’ productive camaraderie going forward.