L.M. Montgomery Institute hosts 16th biennial conference June 19 to 23 at UPEI

Conference features two events open to the public
| Seminar/Conference
L.M. Montgomery. Photo: UPEI Library/LM Montgomery Institute (Ryrie-Campbell Collection)
L.M. Montgomery. Photo: UPEI Library/LM Montgomery Institute (Ryrie-Campbell Collection)

Delegates from 16 countries will explore the theme of “L.M. Montgomery and the Politics of Home” during the L.M. Montgomery Institute’s 16th biennial conference at UPEI from June 19 to 23, 2024.

The conference is co-chaired by Dr. Caroline E. Jones, Visiting Scholar at the L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) and an independent scholar and editor in Austin, Texas, and Dr. Laura Robinson, a former Visiting Scholar with the LMMI and professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Acadia University.

“This year marks the 150th anniversary of L.M. Montgomery’s birth, and in celebrating her work and legacy, we remember the past, celebrate the present, and anticipate the future of Montgomery studies,” said Drs. Jones and Robinson. “As we look back, we consider the formative elements of politics and home that shaped Montgomery as author, diarist, and public and private citizen. As we look forward to the next 150 years of Montgomery studies, we celebrate new scholars, new voices, and new ways of seeing and understanding the author whose work brings us together.”

Members of the public are welcome to attend two of the conference events free of charge. The first public event will take place on Wednesday, June 19, from 7:00–9:00 pm, in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium (Room 242), Don and Marion McDougall Hall, when the Enchanted Book Club will host “A Conversation between the Literary Houses of L.M. Montgomery, Emily Carr, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Gaskell.” Panelists will include Jan Turnquist, executive director of Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set Little Women; Sherry Ashworth, speaker for Elizabeth Gaskell House; Pascale Halliday, executive director of the Carr House; Lizzie Dunford, director of Jane Austen’s House; and Dr. Alan MacEachern, researcher of the Green Gables House and Farm and past Visiting Scholar with the LMMI.

The second public event, on Thursday, June 20, starts with a #Maud150 Birthday Cake Reception from 3:00–3:30 pm in Schurman Market Square, Don and Marion McDougall Hall. This will be followed immediately by an hour-long “Celebrating L.M. Montgomery, Her Homes, and Her Heroines, at 150: An Armchair Discussion” with Dr. Kate Scarth, Chair of L.M. Montgomery Studies at UPEI, and Hayley Solano, founder of the Enchanted Book Club, in the Alex H. MacKinnon Auditorium (Room 242), also in Don and Marion McDougall Hall.

“We are so pleased to be hosting our conference during this special year—the 150th anniversary of Montgomery’s birth,” said Dr. Philip Smith, chair of the LMMI. “Through her writing, Montgomery created a legacy with enduring power and appeal to people around the world—aptly demonstrated by the range of (home) countries our delegates come from. We are proud to honour and celebrate this great author and Islander.”

Registered participants will have the opportunity to attend over 80 presentations on the theme of Montgomery and the politics of home, including keynote addresses by Dr. Jones; Dr. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, chair of the joint program in English and education and associate professor at the University of Michigan’s Marsal Family School of Education; and Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, founder of the L.M. Montgomery Institute and professor emerita of English at UPEI.

Participants will have the option to attend the conference in person or virtually. For more information about the conference program and registration, visit https://lmmontgomery.ca/registration-lmmontgomery-politicsofhome.

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