Literary Biography of the Twentieth Century

Thursday, October 13, 2005 - 2:00pm to Friday, October 14, 2005 - 5:00pm

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Yale Collection of American Literature invites literary scholars to participate in Literary Biography: A Symposium to be held October 13 and 14, 2005 at the Beinecke Library. Speakers will include Diane Middlebrook, Valerie Boyd, Thadious Davis, Brenda Wineapple, Langdon Hammer, Bruce Kellner, Tim Redman, and others. Panels and topical working groups will consider theoretical and practical issues specific to biographical research and writing. The conference will highlight strengths of the Yale Collection of American Literature in the areas of American Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and twentieth century American poetry; biographical subjects considered will include H. D., Gertrude Stein, James Merrill, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston.


Registration is free, but required for planning purposes. Space for topical working groups is very limited, registration is mandatory. Please visit our registration page to sign up.

Thursday, October 13 - Beinecke Library
 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Registration sign-in and coffee and tea welcoming reception
 3:15 - 5:00 p.m. Panel 1: Literary Biography & the Harlem Renaissance
  • Valerie Boyd
  • Joseph Thompson
  • Thadious Davis
5:15 p.m.
Keynote Address by Diane Middlebrook
"The Imperative of Narrative in Literary Biography
 6:15 p.m. Conference Reception
Friday, October 14 - Yale Center for British Art
 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.Coffee and pastries and sign-in  
 9:00 - 10:45 a.m.Panel 2: Works in Progress   
  • Langdon Hammer
  • Linda Leavell
  • Tim Redman
 10:45 - 11:15 a.m. Coffee Break   
 11:15 - 12:45 p.m. Panel 3: Women & Modernism   
  • Brenda Wineapple
  • Jeanne Heuving
  • Bruce Kellner
 3:15 - 4:30 p.m. Breakout Working Groups - Beinecke Library
Mandatory sign-up required, space is limited.

Breakout Sessions are now full

Group 1: Emily Bernard: Editing Writers’ Correspondence
Navigating the landscape of literary correspondence and the uncertainties of editing writers’ letters, including questions of context, writers’ relationships, and the position of their letters in their body of literary work.


Group 2: Joan Schenkar: Outsider Art: From the Margin to the Center
Tracking the life and work of the marginalized using varieties of evidence, fugitive material, and the biographers' dirtiest little secret: disliking their subjects


Group 3: Deirdre Bair: Conflicting Sources
Confronting contradictory documentation and accounts in biographical research and determining which truth is true


Group 4: Timothy Young: Highlights from the Beinecke Collections
A short tour of some of the library’s rich resources for biographical and critical study of literary figures of the Modernist period.



Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
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The exhibition gallery is closed while the library's building is under renovation.

Temporary Reading Room Hours 
Monday - Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm

The temporary reading room is located in Yale's Sterling Memorial Library, across Wall Street from the Beinecke.

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule