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L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables and the Idea of "Classic"

June 25-29, 2008, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Imagine Pippi Longstocking, Heidi, Nancy Drew, Tom Sawyer, Tarzan, and Harry Pottter at one gathering. What is a classic and what popular books will become classics? In 2008, we invite you to consider AGG, LMM, and the very idea of "classic" itself. What does the word "classic" mean to young readers today and why does this matter? You may want to consider AGG in relation to other phenomenally best-selling books that had or have a cross-generational appeal but did not or may not last through time; you may want to think about AGG readers as part of a "fandom" and how this readership compares with other fandoms. Why has Anne of Green Gables been around 100 years? Will it make it for another 100? What do classics tell us about perceptions of gender and class?

This conference was an international celebration of imagination and creativity and for a critique of the meaning and power of the (popular) designation "classic."




Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict June 21-25, 2006 at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada

Thank you for another successful conference!  
Presenter, Dr. Andrea MacKenzie, receives instructions from LMMI staff member, Sara McLure (standing), and Conference volunteers Pauline MacPherson (lft) and Nancy Clark (rt).
Dr. Margaret Doody gives Keynote Address and begins the conference.
Book launch for After Green Gables held Friday at the conference.
Some tasty seafood treats at the closing reception.
Dr. Elizabeth Waterston, Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, and Dr. Mary Rubio (lft-rt),enjoy the banquet the second last night of the conference.
President Wade McLaughlin (lft) speaks with Earle Lockerby of the L.M. Montgomery Society of Ontario at the reception.



2004 L.M. Montgomery's Interior and Exterior Landscapes

Attended by 150 people from countries such as Australia, Japan, England, Scotland and from all over the United States and Canada, the sixth international conference was a wonderful success. Keynote speakers were Prof. Rosemary Johnston of the Institute of Technology, Sydney, Australia and Canadian writer, Rachna Gilmore. With presentations on a wide variety of topics and a number of fun and entertaining visits to Montgomery sites and other beautiful PEI locations, this was a terrific conference for all involved. We were especially moved by a one-woman play about Montgomery's life, Maud of Cavendish, written and portrayed by Anne-Kathleen McLaughlin of Ontario.

L-R: Dr. W.P. Bolger, Jennie Macneill, John Macneill, Dr. Mary Rubio, Yuko Izawa, Donna Campbell, and Ian Campbell at the 2004 conference banquet.



2002 L.M. Montgomery & Life Writing

The fifth international biennial conference drew about 130 enthusiasts and scholars from around the world. The keynote speakers were Dr. Irene Gammel of the University of Prince Edward Island and Dr. Mary Rubio and Dr. Elizabeth Waterston of the University of Guelph. Drs. Rubio and Waterston, editors of the four volumes of Montgomery's Selected Journals, did a joint presentation on Montgomery's late adult novel A Tangled Web while Dr. Gammel did a talk entitled "Montgomery's Moonstorm: Where Life Writing Meets Fiction."

Dr. Elizabeth Waterston signs her book, Rapt in Plaid, for Donna Campbell at the 2002 conference.
L-R: Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, Dr. Mary Rubio, Benjamin Lefebvre, and Dr. Jennifer Litster at the 2002 conference.
The Intimate Life of L.M. Montgomery edited by Dr. Irene Gammel is based in part on presentations from this 2002 conference.



2000 L.M. Montgomery & Popular Culture

Attended by more than 170 scholars and fans from around the world, the fourth biennial international conference featured more than 40 presenters whose presentations ranged from scholarly papers to personal reflections. Kate Macdonald Butler's opening keynote took the form of a letter to her grandmother, L.M. Montgomery, who died before Kate was born. Juliet McMaster's "Imagining it Away: Hair Red, Black, and Nut-Brown," captivated her audience. Edie Zakem's magnificent hand-sewn quilt demonstrated her meticulous research in choosing the images that would best reflect Montgomery's writing and life. Collector Ron Cohen's passion for Montgomery's books as artifacts and his detective work on the publication details held his audience spellbound.

Making Avonlea: L.M. Montgomery and Popular Culture (Ed. Irene Gammel) contains essays based on papers presented at this conference.



1998 Message in a Bottle: The Literature of Small Islands

This collaborative venture between the Institute of Island Studies, the UPEI English Department, and the L.M. Montgomery Institute was the first scholarly international conference devoted to the investigation of the literature of small islands, with almost 60 presentations from international scholars and creative writers. One hundred of the 250 people who attended the conference participated in the Montgomery sessions which looked at Montgomery's treatment of islands – virtual, metaphorical, and physical - in her writing.

Message in a Bottle: The Literature of Small Islands (Eds. Laurie Brinklow, Frank Ledwell and Jane Ledwell) contains partial proceedings of the conference, including two papers on Montgomery.



1996 L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture

The second conference hosted by the L.M. Montgomery Institute focused on L.M. Montgomery and her works as touchstones for Canadian culture. L.M. Montgomery's journals and letters as well as her fiction and poetry reflect and comment on the literature, events, ideas, and discoveries from the 1890s to the 1930s. Twenty-four papers were presented in fourteen plenary sessions, including a panel discussion on Montgomery's poetry.

L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture (Eds. Irene Gammel and Elizabeth R. Epperly) contains essays based on papers presented at this conference.



1994 L.M. Montgomery and Her Works

The first L.M. Montgomery conference held in June 1994 was the first major event for the newly formed L.M. Montgomery Institute. The programme featured ten papers by international scholars on a wide range of topics. A highlight of the conference programme was a speech delivered by Adrienne Clarkson on how Montgomery's writing helped her learn about Canadian culture, which can be found in the essay collection L.M. Montgomery and Canadian Culture (Eds. Irene Gammel and Elizabeth R. Epperly) and on the CD-ROM The Bend in the Road: An Invitation to the World and Work of L.M. Montgomery