L.M. Montgomery Institute Conference features free evening of song and celebration, June 22

Canadian Women’s Musical Oral Historian Rosalee Peppard to perform her musical portrait of Montgomery
Monday, June 11, 2018
Rosalee Peppard will give a free performance as part of the 13th LMMI Conference

The thirteenth biennial L.M. Montgomery Institute Conference will feature a free public concert by Canadian women’s musical oral historian Rosalee Peppard. Peppard will perform her song portrait of the Island’s literary icon Lucy Maud Montgomery on Friday, June 22, at 7:30 pm in the Holland College’s Florence Simmons Hall. The evening will begin with a reading by Prince Edward Island’s poet laureate, Deirdre Kessler. All are welcome to this free event.

Details for the full conference, including the schedule and instructions on how to register, can be found at lmmontgomery.ca. The conference runs June 21 through 24 in Charlottetown, PEI.

The four-day conference, L.M. Montgomery and Reading, will provide a forum to explore the idea and the role of reading as it applies to Montgomery. It will present opportunities to reflect upon and re-read the state of Montgomery studies and share insight about the past, present, and future of its inherently interdisciplinary work.

Montgomery herself studied, collected, and passionately re-read favorite books and cherished her literary encounters so deeply that they have become part of the fabric of her own writing. The conference seeks to tease out these threads and explore how communities of scholars and readers to share work that reflects on the intertextual potentials of Montgomery studies.

“The 2018 conference will bring together seasoned scholars, graduate students, independent scholars, and general readers to explore new questions for research and scholarly discussion about one of Canada’s best-known and loved authors and her works,” said Dr. Emily Woster, LMMI visiting scholar, conference co-chair, and assistant professor in English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The conference aims to explore the ways that reading, in all its forms and possibilities, has influenced Montgomery and her millions of readers and viewers over time. Delegates will explore the reception of Montgomery’s writings nationally and internationally with cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural conversations about her life and work. This 25th anniversary conference will reflect on the past, present and future of Montgomery studies.

The conference committee received more proposals for papers and presentations than ever before and selected 64 speakers from 11 countries.

“The L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI promotes research into, and informed celebration of, the life, works, culture, and influence of Montgomery,” said Dr. Philip Smith, LMMI committee chair. “We have a rich network of local, national, and international Montgomery scholars and enthusiasts. The conference welcomes both academics and community members, and anyone with an interest in Montgomery is encouraged to register.”

Conference keynote speakers:

Elizabeth Epperly, BA, MA, Ph.D., LL.D., fourth president of the University of Prince Edward Island, professor emerita of English, founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI, imagined she was reading Montgomery for herself even though her eyes were closed and she was just learning to manage the alphabet—so effortlessly did she enter Montgomery’s world when her father read to her sister and to her. Many Montgomery-related and inspired essays, talks, and books later, Epperly is a world-renowned Montgomery scholar. Her most recent works include a creative memoir, Power Notes: Leadership by Analogy (Rock’s Mills Press, 2017), and a children’s book, Summer in the Land of Anne (illustrated by her sister Carolyn Epperly), published by Acorn Press.

Margaret Mackey is professor emerita in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta. Her work on her own early literacies and texts culminated in the publication of One Child Reading: My Auto- Bibliography (University of Alberta Press, 2016), recently named as the Scholarly and Academic Book of the Year for 2017 by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. In 2017 she was also honoured by the Children's Literature Association with the Anne Devereux Jordan Award for lasting contributions in scholarship and service.

Catherine Sheldrick Ross is professor emerita and former dean of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) at Western. With a longstanding research interest in leisure reading, she has published scholarly articles and books on various aspects of the pleasure-reading experience. Catherine Ross has just completed a new co-authored book, Reading Still Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community (Libraries Unlimited, in press). Other recent books include The Pleasures of Reading: A Booklover's Alphabet (Libraries Unlimited 2014). In 2013, she received the Margaret E. Munroe Award given by the American Library Association for “significant contributions to library adult services.”

Emily Woster is the current visiting scholar for the L.M. Montgomery Institute and an assistant professor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She earned her Ph.D. in English Studies at Illinois State University. Emily’s work has focused primarily on the reading lives and textual worlds of L.M. Montgomery, including a chapter in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years, 1911-1942. Her broader research interests straddle the worlds between women’s life writing, children’s literature, and English studies. Emily is managing editor of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.

The conference also celbrates the L.M. Montgomery Institutes 25th anniversary. Full details can be found at lmmontgomery.ca.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

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