Dr. Lesley Peterson, professor emerita of English and Dr. Jeffrey Bibbee, professor and chair of the department of History, organized this year’s conference under the UNA Centre for British Studies, with support from the Office of the Provost and the UNA College of Arts and Sciences.
Scholars from five countries on three continents converged for the first time in North America for a juvenilia conference with a variety of papers and events. By the conference’s conclusion, a new scholarly society, the International Society for Juvenilia Studies, had been formed, with Dr. Bibbee appointed to the Board, and Dr. Peterson named editor of the society’s new Journal of Juvenilia.
“The scholars that attended this conference are some of the leading figures in this field around the world,” said Bibbee. This prestigious gathering is a real honor for UNA and the Shoals community. The last conference was in Barcelona, Spain and the next two will be in Durham, UK, and Sydney, Australia,” he said.
Conference organizers, Bibbee and Peterson, along with co-editor Leigh Thompson Stanfield and student editors, Emily Cater, Catherine James, and Melissa Thornton, also launched the Juvenilia Press’s latest edition, O Ye Jigs and Juleps by Virginia Cary Hudson. Over 50 conference attendees and UNA community members enjoyed a video message from Virginia’s granddaughter and biographer on the fascinating adult life and publication of her work in the 1960s, as well as recitations of selected passages read by the student editors.
The conference also included the formal inauguration of the International Society for Literary Juvenilia, with Rob Breton (Nipissing University) and David Owen (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) elected as chair and vice-chair of the new society.