L.M. Montgomery and War

Four New Calls for Papers

I’m pleased to post four new calls for papers on L.M. Montgomery and her work. The first two were included in the program for the L.M. Montgomery and War conference, held this past weekend at the University of Prince Edward Island: a collection of essays entitled L.M. Montgomery and War, to be edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell, and a call for the 2016 conference, L.M. Montgomery and Gender, with Andrea McKenzie and Laura M. Robinson as conference co-chairs. The remaining two are for proposed panels for the NeMLA conference, to be held in Toronto in April 2015: L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World, to be chaired by Lesley D. Clement, and Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side, to be chaired by Laura M. Robinson.

UPDATE: The dates of the L.M. Montgomery and Gender conference have been confirmed: 23–26 June 2016! Deadline for submissions is 15 August 2015.

L.M. Montgomery and War (Collection of Essays)

Edited by Andrea McKenzie and Jane Ledwell
Deadline for Papers: 15 August 2014

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. We invite submissions of papers for a collection of essays that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online
communities. McGill-Queen’s University Press has expressed interest in this collection.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This essay collection seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Papers should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship about both Montgomery and the discipline or field in which you work. (For information about current and past scholarship about Montgomery, please see the website for L.M. Montgomery Online at http://lmmonline.org). Submit a paper of 5,000 to 6,000 words (including references), a biographical statement of 70 words, and a CV by 15 August 2014 to both Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and Jane Ledwell (jandlwedll@gmail.com). Papers must be submitted in Word-compatible format and follow Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, superscript style, for references https://www.mqup.ca/style-guide-pages-99.php.

L.M. Montgomery and Gender (23–26 June 2016)

The L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Twelfth Biennial Conference
University of Prince Edward Island, 23–26 June 2016
Revised deadline: 31 August 2015

From Anne’s initial iconic and heartrending cry in Anne of Green Gables—“You don’t want me because I’m not a boy”—to the pressure on young men to join the war effort in Rilla of Ingleside, and from the houseful of supportive co-eds in Anne of the Island to the tyrannical grandmother in Jane of Lantern Hill, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work highlights gender roles: how formative and deterministic they seem, and yet mutable they may be. Much Montgomery criticism of the past several decades has regarded her work from a feminist and gender studies perspective. Given that Canada is fast approaching the centenary of women’s suffrage in the province of Manitoba (1916) and nationally (1918), the twelfth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, which will take place 23–26 June 2016, invites proposals for papers that re-consider the role of gender in L.M. Montgomery’s work, broadly defined: her fiction, poetry, life writing, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks, as well as the myriad adaptations and spinoffs in film, television, theatre, tourism, and social media. To what degree do Montgomery’s works, or works inspired by her, challenge or re-entrench normative gender roles? Do her works envision new possibilities for girls and women, boys and men? Or, is our contemporary fascination with her world, in part, nostalgia for what people imagine to be the more clearly-defined gender roles of a bygone era?

Engaging the rich scholarship of the past, possible topics might examine the intersection of gender with:

  • Sexual identity, queerness, bachelor- and spinsterhood, and/or heterosexual romance;
  • Friendship of all kinds; relationships with personal and professional acquaintances;
  • Geographic, cultural, linguistic, racial, or ethnic identities, such as Scottishness;
  • Voting and politics; careers and/or education for women (or men); domesticity;
  • Levels of ability and mobility;
  • Childhood, particularly orphanhood;
  • Mental and/or physical illness, addiction, and/or failing health.

Please submit a proposal of 250–300 words, a CV that includes education, position, publications, and presentations, and a list of A/V requirements by 31 August 2015 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Abstracts should not only clearly articulate a strong argument but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship. All proposals are blind reviewed. Any questions or requests for further information can be directed to the conference co-chairs: Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com) and/or Dr. Laura Robinson (Laura.Robinson@rmc.ca).

L.M. Montgomery’s Ontario Years, 1911–42: A Changing World (April 2015)

L.M. Montgomery lived in Ontario from 1911 to 1942, writing fiction that confirmed her place, established by the early Anne novels, in not just Canadian letters but world literature. This session will explore familial, cultural, historical, and geographical influences on her writings during the period that Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Norval, and Toronto and vacationed in Bala. Bookended by the First and Second World Wars, this period is characterized by changes such as redefined roles for women, increasing commercialization and commodification, and power struggles among those in the literary establishment to shape the canon. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Lesley Clement at lclement@lakeheadu.ca.

Beyond “Green Gables”: L.M. Montgomery’s Darker Side (April 2015)

A proposed panel for NeMLA 2015 in Toronto

L.M. Montgomery’s last work, The Blythes Are Quoted, and how it came into being, remains largely untouched. This collection of stories and vignettes emphasizes disillusionment and “despair” alongside hope; it is an experiment in form, but a continuation of earlier works in content. This panel seeks to explore the darker threads of Montgomery’s earlier writings, from dark humor and wit to tragedy, examining earlier iterations and themes that better illuminate how her final work came into being. Please submit a 250–300-word abstract and short bio online at www.nemla.org. Deadline: 30 September 2014. For further information, contact Laura M. Robinson at laura.robinson@rmc.ca.

Welcome Wagon Redux

Statue of L.M. Montgomery, located at Borden–Carleton Gateway Village, Prince Edward Island
Statue of L.M. Montgomery, located at Borden–Carleton Gateway Village, Prince Edward Island

Given that today is the first day of L.M. Montgomery and War, the 11th biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute of the University of Prince Edward Island (an event that I am co-chairing with Andrea McKenzie), it seemed like the best time to launch this site, a new, expanded incarnation of the L.M. Montgomery Research Group that appeared in 2007.

This site continues to offer users resources pertaining to L.M. Montgomery’s life, work, and legacy, including editions of her books, scholarship, and textual transformations in the form of extensions, adaptations, and translations. My plan is to add more items from my personal collection, particularly more recent editions of Montgomery’s books, and eventually I will invite fellow Montgomery collectors to contribute details about books and other items from their own collections. Given the vast amount of materials out there, and the fact that interest in Montgomery’s life and work continues to grow, this website will never be “done,” but rather will continue to expand over time. If you find a dead link or an error, please let me know. You can also find the site on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

Postcard for L.M. Montgomery and War

I’ve been looking forward to the conference, part of a series of biennial conferences that started in 1994 (and that I’ve attended since 1996). Two years ago, at the conference on L.M. Montgomery and Cultural Memory, four of my friends contributed blog posts about the conference, each covering the events of a single day. I’m hoping to replicate that this year, and you can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #lmmi14.

Ben with Anne at the Charlottetown airport
Ben with Anne at the Charlottetown airport

I have been on the Island since last Friday, and have enjoyed getting reacquainted with familiar friends and places as well as experiencing this year’s production of the musical Anne and Gilbert. I’ve been coming here so long that, in a way, it feels a bit like I’ve come home.

L.M. Montgomery and War: Conference Registration Open

Registration is now open for the 11th International Montgomery conference, L.M. Montgomery and War, to be held on 26–29 June 2014 at the University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada. The conference will explore war, its definition, and its impact through a multidisciplinary examination of the works of L.M. Montgomery and their influence across a century. With an exciting line-up of keynote speakers, including distinguished historian Jonathan F. Vance, Montgomery scholar and former UPEI President Elizabeth Rollins Epperly, and Canada Research Chair Irene Gammel, this conference promises to foster research excellence and innovative directions in Montgomery scholarship. For more information about the conference program and registration, go to http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/conference2014.

New Deadline for L.M. Montgomery and War

The call for proposals for L.M. Montgomery and War, the eleventh biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute and held at the University of Prince Edward Island, has a new deadline of 15 August 2013! Please visit the new conference Facebook page for all the latest updates!

CFP: L.M. Montgomery and War (26–29 June 2014)

University of Prince Edward Island, 26–29 June 2014

Please note that the deadline for submissions is now 15 August 2013

“And you will tell your children of the Idea we fought and died for—teach them it must be lived for as well as died for, else the price paid for it will have been given for nought.” — Rilla of Ingleside (1921)

“I am thankful now, Jem, that Walter did not come back … and if he had seen the futility of the sacrifice they made then mirrored in this ghastly holocaust …” — The Blythes Are Quoted (2009)

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. For the eleventh biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, we invite proposals for papers that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online communities.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This conference seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Proposals should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship in the field (please see for an updated bibliography). For more information, please contact the conference co-chairs, Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre (ben@roomofbensown.net) and Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com). Submit a proposal of 200–250 words, a biographical statement of 70 words, and a list of A/V requirements by 15 August 2013 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Proposals for workshops, exhibits, films, and performances are also welcomed. Since all proposals are vetted blind, they should include no identifying information.

Two L.M. Montgomery Calls for Papers

Two calls for papers have now been posted, for the next two conferences hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island: L.M. Montgomery and Cultural Memory (21–24 June 2012) and L.M. Montgomery and War (26–29 June 2014).

L.M. Montgomery and Cultural Memory (21–24 June 2012)

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” —The Golden Road (1913)

“and even if you are not Abegweit-born you will say, ‘Why … I have come home!’” —“Prince Edward Island” (1939)

For the tenth biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, we invite scholars, writers, readers, and cultural producers of all kinds to consider the topic of L.M. Montgomery and cultural memory. A term that originated in the field of archaeology and that now resonates in a wide range of disciplines, cultural memory refers to the politics of remembering and forgetting, sometimes in opposition to official versions of the past and the present. Within textual studies, the term invites us to consider the ways in which the past, the present, and the future are remembered, recorded, and anticipated by members of a collective and encoded into text. As a result, cultural memory touches on a number of key concerns, including identity, belonging, citizenship, home, community, place, custom, religion, language, landscape, and the recovery and preservation of cultural ancestries.

But what versions of Prince Edward Island, of Canada, of the world do Montgomery’s work and its derivatives encourage readers to remember? How do gender and genre (not to mention religion and power) affect and shape Montgomery’s selective and strategic ways of remembering in her fiction and life writing? What acts of memory can be found in the depiction of writers, diarists, letter writers, oral storytellers, poets, and domestic artists in her fiction? What roles do domesticity, nature, conflict, and war play in the shaping and reshaping of cultural memory? To what extent do nostalgia and antimodernism drive Montgomery texts in print and on screen? How have these selective images of time and place been adapted to fit a range of reading publics all over the world?

The LMMI invites proposals for papers that will consider these issues in relation to Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online communities. Proposals for workshops, exhibits, films, and performances are also welcomed. Proposals should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship in the field (please see for an updated bibliography). For more information, please contact the program chair, Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre (ben@roomofbensown.net). Submit a proposal of 200-250 words, a biographical statement of 70 words, and a list of A/V requirements by 15 August 2011 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Since all proposals are vetted blind, they should include no identifying information.

L.M. Montgomery and War (26–29 June 2014)

“And you will tell your children of the Idea we fought and died for—teach them it must be lived for as well as died for, else the price paid for it will have been given for nought.” — Rilla of Ingleside (1921)

“I am thankful now, Jem, that Walter did not come back … and if he had seen the futility of the sacrifice they made then mirrored in this ghastly holocaust …” — The Blythes Are Quoted (2009)

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, a global conflict that would prove life-changing for L.M. Montgomery and millions of her contemporaries. For the eleventh biennial conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, we invite proposals for papers that consider war in relation to L.M. Montgomery’s fiction, poetry, life writing, photographs, and scrapbooks, and the range of adaptations and spinoffs in the areas of film, television, theatre, tourism, and online communities.

Montgomery’s 1921 novel Rilla of Ingleside is one of the only contemporary accounts of Canadian women’s experience on the homefront during the First World War, but the War is evoked and implied in direct and indirect ways in many of the novels, short stories, and poems that precede and follow it. The Blythes Are Quoted, Montgomery’s final published work, bridges the years between the First World War and the Second World War, complicating Montgomery’s perspectives and thoughts about war and conflict. Montgomery’s work has met with a variety of responses world-wide during times of war and rebellion, from post-WWII Japan to today’s Middle Eastern countries. Different kinds of wars and rebellions also permeate her fiction and life writing—class conflicts, family disputes, gender and language wars—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic. This conference seeks to take stock of the complex ways in which war in all its forms has influenced Montgomery’s works and their reception, both in Canada and around the world.

Possible topics include: the Great War anticipated, revisited, remembered, and re-imagined; the politics of gendered witnessing; Montgomery’s reception in times of war and conflict; chivalry, patriarchy, conflict, and romance in poetry and fiction; war as an agent of change; internal and external rebellion in relation to war; the psychology of war in battle and on the homefront.

Proposals should clearly articulate the proposed paper’s argument and demonstrate familiarity with current scholarship in the field (please see for an updated bibliography). For more information, please contact the conference co-chairs, Dr. Benjamin Lefebvre (ben@roomofbensown.net) and Dr. Andrea McKenzie (acmcken@gmail.com). Submit a proposal of 200–250 words, a biographical statement of 70 words, and a list of A/V requirements by 15 August 2013 by using our online form at the L.M. Montgomery Institute website at http://www.lmmontgomery.ca/. Proposals for workshops, exhibits, films, and performances are also welcomed. Since all proposals are vetted blind, they should include no identifying information.