Our late colleague and former William Morris Society president Jack Walsdorf, whom we lost this past summer, wrote of a past Modern Language Association convention, “This will be a great time for Morris lovers from across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. to bond in friendship.”

Jack’s comment speaks to the WMS’s history of forging relationships and welcoming new members. In addition to coordinating activities with Morris societies worldwide, our annual meeting, which we hold in conjunction with the MLA Convention each year, offers our members many opportunities to meet up with fellow Morrisians. 

This year’s convention in New York City promises to be a busy one for WMS members, with all our formal events taking place on Friday, January 5. Our sponsored session this year is on “Objectifying Morris” (3:30-4:45 pm) with the following participants and papers:

Rachel Ernst (Boston College), "Materially Relational: William Morris and the Hybrid Literary Object"

Florence S. Boos (University of Iowa), "Where Have All the Manuscripts Gone? Morris's Autographs in Diaspora"

Corinna Illingworth (Independent Scholar), "William Morris's Interior Design Creations and His Love of Mythology"

Respondent: Andrew Wood (University of California-Santa Cruz)

Moderator: Jason D. Martinek (New Jersey City University)

Board member Paul Acker has also organized a session on “Pre-Raphaelites and the Pierpont Morgan Library” (1:45-3:00 pm) with the following participants and papers:

Meghan Freeman (Manhattanville College), "Utopia Under Construction: News from Nowhere in the Pierpont Morgan Library"

Heather Bozant Witcher (St. Louis University), "'Fingers, eyes, and sympathy': The Kelmscott Chaucer Platinotypes"

Paul Acker (St. Louis University), "In the Pre-Raphaelite Archive"

Moderator: Florence S. Boos (University of Iowa)

Taking advantage of the Convention’s location in New York, Paul has also arranged for a special viewing of an exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite materials at the Morgan Library.
The East Room of the Morgan Library
Our annual meeting and dinner, held this year at Johns of 12th Street, will offer further opportunities for forging new relationships. The event allows us to celebrate the dedication of two outgoing board members: President Jason Martinek, and Vice President Linda Hughes, who have both set very high bars for future officers. Dinner also allows us to welcome new board members, remember those who can no longer be with us, and appreciate those who can be. 

Additional details on our MLA schedule and information for those who would like to attend any of these events can be found on our website. All are welcome.

--KellyAnn Fitzpatrick, Georgia Institute of Technology