The English Institute 2003

2003 Conference

The English Institute 2003:
Divided Loyalties

The 62nd annual meeting of the English Institute continues our custom of exploring exciting new work under four headings, but this year we have attempted to bring these headings under one guiding idea: Divided Loyalties. Inspired in part by how the events of 9/11 have compelled us to see attachments, allegiances, and convictions as never single but always torn, we will have a topic panel about “Cold War,” an author panel devoted to Rudyard Kipling and a genre panel on “Translation” in order to explore how divided loyalties have marked our political, social, and linguistic lives. And for this year’s concluding “Roundtable” we offer not the customary theoretical text for shared reading and group discussion, but a set of poems by Phillis Wheately, herself an instance of “translation” whose loyalties could hardly be more divided: “On being brought from Africa to America,” “Niobe in Distress for her children slain by Apollo,” and “To S.M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works.”

We can no longer accept web-based pre-registrations for the 62nd Session of the English Institute, as we have reached our full capacity. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, you may e-mail your request to, or simply stop by the registration table to sign the list. First come, first served, for any remaining available seating. Thank you for your interest and support of the English Institute!

Friday, 19 September  
9:30 AM Cold War
Richard Rorty, Stanford University,
Cold War Liberals
11 AM Cold War
Robert Reid-Pharr, CUNY Graduate Center,
Once You Go Black: American Intellectuals and the End of African-American Innocence
Lunch at 12:30 PM
2 PM Rudyard Kipling
Srinivas Aravamudan, Duke University,
Metaphysical Intelligence-Gathering, or Kipling’s Guru English
3:30 PM Rudyard Kipling
Lecia Rosenthal, Tufts University,
Vulgar Loyalties
Saturday, 20 September  
9:30 AM Rudyard Kipling
Homi Bhabha, Harvard University,
Divided Loyalties and Split Imperatives: Kipling’s Late Work
11 AM Cold War
Deborah Nelson, University of Chicago,
Table for One: Dining Out with the Pariahs
Lunch at 12:30 PM
2 PM Translation
Jacques Lezra, Wisconsin-Madison,
The Indecisive Muse
3:30 PM Translation
Lydia Liu, University of Michigan,
The Ideograph as a Super-Sign
Sunday, 21 September  
9:30 AM Translation
Andrew Parker, Amherst College, 
Marx Translates Freud
11 AM Roundtable 
Phillis Wheatley: Three Poems 
Discussion directed by Michael Moon, Johns Hopkins University

Participants are encouraged to read these selected poems in preparation for the Sunday Roundtable discussion:

  • On being brought from Africa to America
  • Niobe in Distress for her children slain by Apollo
  • To S.M. a young African Painter, on seeing his Works

There are many wonderful and free on-line publications of Wheatley’s book, “Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral.” We recommend the Renascence Editions version which can be found at If you prefer to buy the full book of poetry, we recommend the 2001 Penguin edition, edited by Vincent Carretta

For more information and registration materials, contact:

Mary Elizabeth Wilkes, Conference Coordinator
12 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Divided Loyalties
62nd Session, 2003
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Harvard University
Date of publication: 
September 19-21, 2003
Past Conferences Date: 
Friday, September 19, 2003 to Sunday, September 21, 2003