The organizers of this panel, which has been approved by the conference organizers, request papers offering new ways to think about Emily Dickinson’s musical life, a topic of growing critical interest. Recent critical discourse has moved beyond Dickinson’s perceived formal reliance on Congregationalist hymnody. Since the online publication of Dickinson’s music book by Harvard’s Houghton Library, we increasingly understand Dickinson’s musical life as richer and more engaged with popular culture than did previous generations of critics. What do we know about Dickinson’s musical life? What new questions and critical approaches are made possible by recent research on the subject? How might approaching Dickinson’s musical life differently, as critics have with her other artistic and cultural interests, such as gardening and visual art, enable us to read her writing in new ways?
We welcome proposals for papers from academic scholars in all stages of their careers. Topics of interest that presenters might write on (but are by no means limited to):
-Dickinson and vernacular music
-Dickinson and immigrant voices
-Dickinson and African American spirituals
-Dickinson and minstrelsy
-Dickinson and 19th century popular music
-Dickinson and sheet music
-Dickinson and hymnody: new perspectives
-Dickinson and circus/parade music.