CALL FOR PAPER PROPOSALS

31st Ezra Pound International Conference

Brunnenburg, Dorf Tirol, Merano, ITALY

6-10 July 2025

Light and Memory in Ezra Pound 

 

          Where memory liveth,

                  it takes its state

Formed like a diafan from light on shade

                                        (C. 36/177) 

 

The 31st Ezra Pound International Conference will be held Monday, 6 July–Thursday, 10 July 2025 at Brunnenburg, Dorf Tirol, Merano, Italy. Clinging to a mountainside above the Alto Adige River and just below the village of Dorf Tirol/Tirolo, Brunnenburg is a stunning castle that has been the residence of Pound’s daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz, since 1948 when she and her husband, Boris de Rachewiltz, began to restore it from ruins. Nearby sits Schloss Tirol, one of the oldest extant castles in Europe, where Mary’s son, Siegfried de Rachewiltz, served as Curator and Director for many years, transforming the castle into one of Europe’s most prized edifices, a magnificent museum of Tyrolean history and culture. In addition to four days of papers and panels on Light and Memory in the work of Ezra Pound, as well as on other Poundian topics, special events tentatively planned include tours of Brunnenburg (including the Tyrolean Agricultural exhibits, the Pound Room, and African artefacts collected by Boris de Rachewiltz) and Schloss Tirol, excursions to Dorf Tirol and to Pound’s memorial three pillars at Tschengls, and musical soirées. But the crowning event will undoubtedly be the EPIC banquet, planned as a celebration of Mary de Rachewiltz’s 100th birthday! A post-conference excursion to Venice for a tour of Pound’s “forest of marble” is also a prospect.

In recognition of Mary de Rachewiltz’s remarkable achievement as both a poet and a tireless scholar and advocate of her father’s works worldwide, the theme for EPIC-31 is “Light and Memory in Ezra Pound.” Literally, figuratively, and philosophically, light (with its implicit counterparts of shade, shadow, and darkness) has a ubiquitous presence in Pound’s work. From his early dedicatory lines for Hilda Doolittle: “Let light flow about thee / As … a cloak of air” (End to Torment 69) and the light that “doth melt us into song” in “Ballateta” (Personae 36), to the poet finding in Sirmione “some clear place wherein the sun  / Lets drift in on us through the olive leaves / A liquid glory” (Personae 38) and “Light as the shadow of the fish / that falls through the pale green water“ (Selected Poems 78), light and memory are intricately bound together for Pound. The Cantos, in fact, mention light more than two hundred times, whether invoking the natural world (“Thus the light rains, thus pours, e lo soleills plovil” [C4]), the power of art (“In the gloom, the gold gathers the light against it.” [C11]), human character (“Light also proceeds from the eye” [C29]), economics (“and the light became so bright and so blindin’ / in this layer of paradise / that the mind of man was bewildered” [C38]), practical wisdom (“HIEN said: no rest for an emperor. A little spark /lights a great deal of straw [C52]), ethics (“in the light of light is the virtu / ‘sunt lumina” said Erigena Scotus” [C74]), memory (“Will I ever see the Giudecca again? / or the lights against it” [C83]), ritual (“And they take lights now down to the water / the lamps float from the rowers / the sea's claw drawing them outward” [C90]), love (“Lux enim — / versus this tempest” (C110), or prophecy (“Can you enter the great acorn of light? [C. 116]). Indeed, dimensions of the phanopoeia of light and memory proliferate throughout Pound’s work in all media. 

The EPIC Committee invites proposals for papers that address the theme of light and memory in Ezra Pound’s work and life, both specifically and in the broadest interpretations of these terms. As conference organizers for Brunnenburg, we further encourage papers exploring the work and life of Mary de Rachewiltz, as well as Pound’s ancestors and descendants. Proposals on all other topics pertinent to Pound are also welcome, including papers on Pound’s poetry, prose, drama, criticism, translations, music, letters, memoirs, journalism, conversations, or other texts, as well as his associations with other modernists, historical figures, or artists. Papers may involve textual interpretation, poetic language, criticism and critical reception, visual arts, economics, music, history, poetic influence, biography, politics, literary theory, transnationalism as well as globalism, teaching Pound, publishing, scholarship, digital and archival research, or other relevant areas of research. Poets are also welcome to submit a proposal to read from their own works related to Ezra Pound and/or Mary de Rachewiltz. 

 

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: November 15, 2024

 

If you are interested in giving a paper, please send a short proposal (250-400 words) (as Word Attachment or as email text). Please include your paper title, name(s) and affiliation(s), mailing address, and email address on the proposal.Presentations should be limited to 20 minutes delivery time (Max, 2000 words). Send proposals with the Subject Line:“EPIC-31 Proposal” by email to John GeryThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Walter BaumannThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To submit by regular post, please send your proposal to: Professor John Gery, EPIC-31, Department of Language & Literature, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148-2315 USA

 

If you wish not to propose a paper but wish to receive Registration Information and Conference Details, please contact the Secretary John Gery, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Committee:   

Massimo Bacigalupo, University of Genoa

               Walter Baumann, University of Ulster

               Diana Collecott. University of Durham

               John Gery, University of New Orleans (Secretary)

               Alan Golding, University of Louisville

               David Moody, University of York

               Akitoshi Nagahata, Nagoya University

               Viorica Patea, University of Salamanca

               Roxana Preda, University of Edinburgh

 

Follow Us