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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. VII, No. 2
Summer-Fall 1983



The date and hour have been announced for the Special Session on Eugene O'Neill at the 1983 Convention of the Modern Language Association in New York City next December:

Date: Wednesday, December 28.
Hour: 10:15-11:30 a.m.
Room: Clinton, New York Hilton.

The session, entitled "Reevaluating O'Neill: New Approaches, New Discoveries," will be directed by Michael Hinden of the University of Wisconsin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Eugene O'Neill Society. As announced in the last issue of the News-letter, three papers will be presented:

"Toward a Post-Structuralist Approach to O'Neill's Later Plays," by Michael Manheim, University of Toledo;

"Current Trends in O'Neill Publication," by Frederick C. Wilkins, Suffolk University; and

"An Agenda for O'Neill Studies," by Paul D. Voelker, University of Wisconsin Center-Richland.

Professor Hinden's initial proposal to MLA clarifies the content and stresses the importance of the session. The following is an abridgement of that proposal.

"The three panelists will address the issue of how new source materials and new critical methodologies will influence O'Neill studies in the next half decade, as we approach the centennial celebration of the playwright's birth in 1988. The purpose of this special session is to set the agenda for O'Neill studies in the next five years.

"Papers are in two categories: (1) new discoveries, (2) new approaches. In the area of new discoveries, there have been important publications since 1980 of original works and papers left by O'Neill at the time of his death to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. These works now are being made available to the public for the first time. One purpose of the special session is to evaluate these new discoveries and to assess their impact on our understanding of O'Neill's career. Two of the three presentations (those by Professors Voelker and Wilkins) will constitute the first comprehensive discussion of these materials in any public forum (outside reviews).

"At the same time, the session will address the question of what new critical approaches might be applied to the O'Neill canon as the centennial nears. Professor Manheim's paper will be a pioneering effort in this regard. Few sessions on the playwright's work have been as timely or as comprehensive."

For copies of the papers, write to the speakers after November 15. For information on the date, hour and location of the 1983 Annual Meeting of the Eugene O'Neill Society, expect a mailing from the Society early in the fall. If you are not now a member, request the information of Jordan Y. Miller, Secretary, c/o Department of English, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881. You may join at either the special session or the annual meeting, which usually occurs on the same day.



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