Marlboro College, Vermont, October 7th-8th 2013
After his marriage to Caroline Balestier in January 1892, Rudyard Kipling settled in Brattleboro, Vermont. He built their house 'Naulakha' on a hillside, made many American friends, started a family, and wrote busily and contentedly. He came to love the Vermont landscape, the colours of the Fall, the fierce winters and the burgeoning spring. During these richly productive years he wrote the Jungle Books, Captains Courageous, many of the stories collected in The Day’s Work and Many Inventions, the poems of The Seven Seasand the first of the Just So Stories.
This Symposium, with speakers from Britain and America, will focus on Kipling’s work in Vermont, how he saw Americans and how they saw him, and how these years influenced his work and his thinking about the world. The Symposium will be directed by Jan Montefiore of the University of Kent. On October 7th, Thomas L. Pinney, the eminent Kipling scholar, whose Cambridge Edition of the Poems of Rudyard Kiplingappeared in three volumes in 2012, will give the keynote lecture: 'What did the neighbors think? How the folk of Brattleboro responded to the Kiplings and their Naulakha household'. Six leading Kipling scholars will then present 30-minute papers on aspects of Kipling's writing in and about the United States.
- Daniel Karlin of Bristol University: 'A stranger of an unloved race', on Kipling's response to the USA in his memoir Something of Myself.
- U.C. Knoepflmacher of Princeton University 'Relocations and ruptures: Kipling's American "berangements" for the young', the arrangement and patterning of stories in the Jungle Books.
- Tricia Lootens of the University of Georgia: 'Influence and incommensurability: Huckleberry Finn and the transformations of Kim', on Kipling's creative dialogue with Mark Twain.
- Jan Montefiore of the University of Kent: "Bound to Mother Carey": politics and metaphor in The Seven Seas, Kipling's handling of the sea as theme, figure and setting in this poetry collection.
- Judith Plotz of George Washington University: 'Engines that could: •007 and the American man-machine', the relation between Kipling's 'machine texts' and American national psychology.
- David Richards, whose definitive Rudyard Kipling, a Bibliography appeared to great acclaim in 2010: 'Rudyard to Josephine: how to write a short story', on a recently discovered MS of advice about story-writing from Kipling to his sister-in-law Josephine Balestier.
- Mary Hamer will read from her recent award-winning novel Kipling and Trix (2012) about the intertwined but contrasting lives of Rudyard Kipling and his sister.
The following day (October 8th) we shall visit the Kipling house, "Naulakha" which is now owned and maintained by the Landmark Trust, and Charles Fish of the Dummerston Historical Societ will talk on 'Vermont and Vermonters in Kipling's day.'
For further information and to apply for a Travel Bursary, email Jan Montefiore the Symposium Director at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 20th 2013. To register for the Symposium, email Jan at the same address by June 30th