Sunday, March 5, 2017

Welcome to the Louisa May Alcott Society!

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For information about the Society, please contact President Anne Phillips at

Please join us for these scholarly panels at this year's annual conference of the American Literature Association, May 24-27, 2017, at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. 

For more details about the conference, visit to

Session 1. May 26, 2017, 9:40-11 am:

Louisa May Alcott in Concord
Session organized by the Louisa May Alcott Society

Chair: Sandy Petrulionis, Penn State Altoona

1.     “Louisa May Alcott and Transcendentalism’s Affective Legacy,” Mark Gallagher, University of California, Los Angeles
2.     “‘To the Schoolmates of Ellsworth Devens . . . This Village Story is Affectionately Inscribed,’” Anne K. Phillips, Kansas State University
3.     “Louisa May Alcott’s Re-‘Work’ing of Thoreau’s Walden,” Tracey A. Cummings, Lock Haven University

Session 2. May 26, 2017, 12:40-2 pm:

Rebecca Harding Davis and Louisa May Alcott
Session organized by the Louisa May Alcott Society and the Rebecca Harding Davis Society

Co-Chairs: Alicia Mischa Renfroe, Middle Tennessee State University, and Melissa McFarland Pennell, University of Massachusetts Lowell

1.     “Reclaiming the Spiritual Self through Maternal Benevolent Feminism in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Margret Howth and Louisa May Alcott’s Work,” Jane E. Rose, Purdue University Northwest-Westville Campus
2.     “Waiting: Temporality and the Race Question in Louisa May Alcott and Rebecca Harding Davis,” Katie Waddell, University of Kentucky
3.     “Market Negotiations: Rebecca Harding Davis’s and Louisa May Alcott’s Representations of Women, Work, and Marriage,” Sarah Gray, Langston University
4.     “‘Life and Labor’ in the 1870s: Davis and Alcott on Work,” Arielle Zibrak, University of Wyoming Casper

Photos from our panels at the 2016 ALA conference in San Francisco. 

from left to right: Deanna Stover, Anne Boyd-Rioux, Daniel Shealy, Krissie West, Azelina Flint

from left to right: Sarah Wadsworth, Alicia Beeson, Chris Doyle, Marlowe Daly-Galeano

Members gather for the annual Society business meeting at the ALA conference, 2016

Members toast incoming president, Anne Phillips!

Members enjoy dinner at San Francisco's excellent and socially responsible Delancey Street Foundation Restaurant.


We were active last spring in Boston and Concord! 

Below are photos of society members and guests celebrating our tenth anniversary as an author society, presenting two panels at the annual conference of the American Literature Association, and holding our annual business meeting. 


The Louisa May Alcott Society celebrates ten years as an author society!

Our host for this event was none other than Louisa May herself, who graciously welcomed us to her home and lawn at Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts!

Free books! Donated by our members, Miriam Reed and Mary De Jong


The society sponsors two recent panels at this year's annual conference of the American Literature Association

Left to right: Marielena James, Helen Deese, Katie Kornacki, and Phyllis Cole

  Conversations: Fuller, Alcott, and Others

(co-sponsored with the Margaret Fuller Society)

 "'A Loving League of Sisters': The Legacy of Margaret Fuller's Boston Conversations in Louisa May Alcott's Work: A Story of Experience," Katie Kornacki, University of Connecticut

"The Ideals of Companionate Marriage: A Conversation Between Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Fuller," Marielena James, University of Pretoria, South Africa

"Caroline Healy Dall and the Mantle of Margaret Fuller," Helen Deese, Massachusetts Historical Society

Left to right: Charlene Avallone, Beverly Clark, Ellen Campbell, and Chris Doyle

 Transatlantic Alcott

“Picturing Europe in Little Women,” Beverly Lyon Clark, Wheaton College

"Revising the Marriage Plot in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda,” Ellen Campbell, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Alcott Rewrites George Sand: Moods and Jacques,” Charlene Avallone, Kailua Hawai’i

Our annual business meeting drew the society's largest crowd in our ten-year history!

Left to right: President Sandy Petrulionis, Treasurer Melissa Pennell, President-Elect Anne Phillips, Secretary Marlowe Daly-Galeano, and new Advisory Board member Wes Mott

Traveled the greatest distance to attend! Left to right: Marielena Davis (Pretoria, South Africa) and Kristeena West (London, U.K.)



May 24, 2014, American Literature Association Conference Panels. Washington, DC

Session 1: Louisa May Alcott’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century: Moods at 150
Chair: Anne Phillips, Kansas State University
Left to right: Christine Doyle, Mary Shelden, Daniel Shealy, Anne Phillips
“‘Playing with edge tools’: Teaching Louisa May Alcott’s Moods,” Daniel Shealy, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Moods: ‘The Oversoul’ and Oysters,” Christine Doyle, Central Connecticut State University
“'Shakespeare’s Tragedies Became Her Study’: Women’s Genius and the Marriage Question,” Mary Lamb Shelden, Virginia Commonwealth University

Session 2: “I Want Something To Do”: Alcott, Whitman, and Nursing in the Nation’s Capital

  Chairs: Ed Folsom, University of Iowa, and Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Penn State Altoona

Left to right: Sandy Petrulionis, Emily Waples, J. D. Isip, Ed Folsom, Soeren Froehlich

“Nursing’s Domestic Grotesque: Alcott, Whitman, and the Civil War Wounded,” Emily Waples, University of Michigan
“The Pail Tells the Tale: Blood, Nursing, and the Remade Nation,” Sören Fröhlich, University of California San Diego
“‘This Heart’s Geography’s Map’: Alcott and Whitman Sketching an Affective Landscape,” J.D. Isip, Texas A & M University-Commerce

2013, American Literature Association Conference

"Celebrating the Sesquicentennial of Hospital Sketches: A Teaching Round Table"

(left to right: Society President Mary Shelden, Paul Medeiros, Marlowe Daly-Galeano, James Hewitson, Daniel Shealy)

"Re-visioning Alcott: Her Impact on the Work of Later Writers and Artists"

left to right:

Chair:  Beverly Lyon Clark
Society Secretary Anne Phillips ("'Certainly Reminiscent of Alcott’s Little Women': The Marches, the Penderwicks, and the Family Story as Genre'")
Lauren Rizzuto ("'Jo March Is Pregnant and Laurie's the Father': Fanfiction and Little Women")
Gregory Eiselein ("Louisa May Alcott, Patti Smith, and Punk Aesthetics")