NEASECS 2016: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA,
The Northeast ASECS held our annual meeting at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, October 20-22. Joseph Bartolomeo was our conference chair. Highlights of the meeting included a plenary address by Suvir Kaul of the University of Pennsylvania, "Cosmopolitanism, Nationalism, and Empire: British Literature in the Eighteenth Century" ; and a performance of Molière's The Misanthrope in a new verse translation.
The play, written by Candace Congdon and based on a new translation by Virginia Thomas, brings the play into a modern vernacular but in verse that is evocative and conversational. The director set the play in a "Friends"-like apartment, in a "Friends"-like sitcom. The conceit worked remarkably well. After the performance, Julie Hayes, Dean of Humanities at UMASS and a Moliere scholar, joined the director and playwright for a talk-back.
The meeting closed with a banquet, a business meeting, and closing remarks by Dean Julie Hayes, thanking Joe Bartolomeo for organizing a wonderful conference.