21st-Century Moore Conference, March 19-22, 2015

An international conference on the work of the great Modernist poet Marianne Moore

Scholars gathered at UH from around the US and abroad to share their research on Marianne Moore, a defining figure in the Modernist arts scene.  Her work, at once radically innovative, challengingly oblique, playful, and socially committed, engages an enormous range of subjects—from armored animals like pangolins to Persian art, from stenography to the 18th-century fur trade.  Moore jumped back into the spotlight recently with the 2013 publication of Linda Leavell's prize-winning biography (Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore, FSG).  Leavell provided the conference keynote, and a panel of scholars on Thursday night explored the role played by biography in interpreting poems (Robin Schulze, University of Delaware; Kristen Treen, Cambridge University; Karin Roffman, Yale University). 

The conference continued through Sunday morning, with a total of 32 excellent papers presented in a unified format, in which all presenters hear all papers, creating a very engaged scholarly community.  The conference resulted in the formation of a new Marianne Moore Society.  Moore scholars Fiona Green, Cambridge; Elizabeth Gregory, UH; Stacy Carson Hubbard, University of Buffalo ; Cristanne Miller, University of Buffalo; Heather White, University of Alabama, composed the steering committee. 

Some of the other leading scholars present included: Bonnie Costello, Boston University; Victoria Bazin, Northumbria University; Ellen Levy, Pratt Institute; Cynthia Hogue, Arizona State University; Linda Kinnahan, University  of Pittsburgh; Roger Gilbert, Cornell University; Jennifer Leader, Mt. San Antonio College; Meg Schoerke, San Francisco State University; Vivian Pollak, Washington University; and Patricia Willis, Yale University emerita, along with a host of excellent others, including a very lively cohort of strong young scholars, from France, England, Czechoslovakia and across the US (Ned Allen, Cambridge; Sarah Giragosian, SUNY Albany; Zack Finch, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts;  Aurore Clavier, Sorbonne Nouvelle, &c).

The conference was funded through the generosity of the Martha Gano Houstoun Endowment in the UH English Department and the El Paso Corporation Lecture Series, CLASS & the Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. 

Photo Gallery