The Wilde Archive

Friday, May 29, 2009–Saturday, May 30, 2009
All Day

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

—a conference organized by Joseph Bristow, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles


This conference reveals the wealth of current research that continues to develop from the dedicated work that scholars undertake in the Clark Library’s immense archive of materials relating to Oscar Wilde. The twelve speakers acquired their knowledge of this extraordinary resource when they participated in the five-week seminar titled “The Wilde Archive,” which was hosted by the Clark Library in the summer of 2007. This seminar, which was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, brought together a highly talented group of college-level teachers who wished to undertake advanced research on Wilde’s life and writings. The resulting presentations throw fresh light on important apsects of Wilde’s twenty-five-year career, from the time he tried to make his mark as poet in a somewhat Pre-Raphaelite mold to an incarcerated writer who knew only too well the abuses of the prison system. “The Wilde Archive” opens our eyes to the many reasons why this remarkable writer remains of such interest to this day.

Session 1: Wilde’s Early Movements: English Romanticism, Irish Aestheticism, Russian Anarchism
Chair: Joseph Bristow, University of California, Los Angeles

Chris Foss, University of Mary Washington
“’I, the last Endymion’: Oscar Wilde and the Importance of Being Romantic”

Gregory Castle, Arizona State University
“Misrecognizing Wilde: The American Tour of 1882 and the Aesthetics of Irish Modernism”

Elizabeth Carolyn Miller, University of California, Davis
“Reconsidering Wilde’s Vera; Or, the Nihilists”

Session 2: Wilde, Gender, and Desire in the 1880s
Chair: Felicia J. Ruff, Wagner College

Molly Youngkin, Loyola Marymount University
“The Aesthetic Character of Oscar Wilde’s The Woman’s World

Loretta Clayton, Macon State College
“The Androgynous Ideal: Oscar Wilde, the ‘Masculine Feminine’ Image, and the Transgender Gaze”

James Campbell, University of Central Florida
“Sexual Gnosticism: The Procreative Code of The Portrait of Mr. W. H.

Session 3: Wilde’s Fictions: Actions and Beliefs
Chair: Joseph Bristow, University of California, Los Angeles

Rachel Ablow, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Oscar Wilde’s Fictions of Belief

Neil Hultgren, California State University, Long Beach
“Wilde’s Poetic Injustice”

Lois Cucullu, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
“From Somnambulism to Insomnia: Fiction, Fashion, and the Modern Woman’s Sexual Turn”

Session 4: Oscar Wilde, the Spoken, and the Unspoken
Chair: Felicia J. Ruff, Wagner College

John Paul Riquelmé, Boston University
“Reading between the Lines (and Letters) of An Ideal Husband—but my professor objects (I.250)”

Casey A. Jarrin, Macalester College
“The Right to Refuse Silence: Wilde’s Prison Letters and The Ballad of Reading Gaol

Ellen Crowell, Saint Louis University
“Millard’s Mysterious Book: Oscar Wilde, Baron Corvo, and the Unwritten Quest”