Mae McDonald

Doubt as an Integral Component of Faith in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry


From what scholars have deduced of Emily Dickinson’s life, faith in God is not something that she considered to be a large part of her life although she was surrounded by it. Dickinson uses her poetry to help visualize her internal struggle with faith through doubt, which translates well to a common struggle for many people of religious communities.


Ana Cristina Camacho

“Were I with thee”: The Distance between Desire and Love in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry


Is desire or the fulfillment of desire the ultimate good in Emily Dickinson’s poems? While poems like “I had been hungry, all the Years” focuses on desire, shying away from fulfillment, poems like “Wild nights - Wild nights!” do the opposite. This presentation analyses these poems in the context of each other, illuminating the difference in Dickinson’s personal framework between a desire for religious realization and the more worthy spirituality of love.


Lauryn Andrew

Emily Dickinson and Involuntary Invasions of Privacy: The Problem with Defining the “Outer – from the Inner”


Dickinson’s “The Outer – from the Inner” (F450) acknowledges that one’s inner self is involuntarily expressed onto the outer. Nevertheless, the full depths of one’s private thoughts are inaccessible by outsiders. Though conclusions are often drawn from what appears at the surface of Dickinson's poetry, this paper argues against such reductive understandings of the complexity of any author or their work.


Megan Fairbairn

“I was the slightest in the House”: Starvation, Smallness, and Self-Denial as Experiences of Anorexia in the Poems of Emily Dickinson


My paper reads Emily Dickinson’s poetry through an experiential lens of anorexia nervosa, with a particular focus on depictions of “oversized experiences” of both the physical and existential self. Dickinson leaves us not with proof for a posthumous diagnosis, but rather a deeply accurate reflection of the often inarticulable subjective particularities of anorexia.