Author Archives: Donna Campbell

About Donna Campbell

Professor of English, Washington State University. Late nineteenth- and early 20th-century Americanist and digital humanities. and

New Books by CWEWh Volume Editors: Pain and the Aesthetics of US Literary Realism by Cynthia J. Davis

Cynthia Davis is the CWEWh Volume Editor for Volume 27, Life Writings

Pain and the Aesthetics of US Literary Realism

Cynthia J. Davis

  • An original study of the vital role that pain plays in US literary realism
  • Pays fresh attention to the ongoing cultural pursuit of painlessness as a critical chapter of the literary history of this period
  • Highlights the realist aesthetic priorities shared by William Dean Howells, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, and Charles Chesnutt

CWEWh welcomes Robin Peel as editor of Volume 14, The Custom of the Country

CWEWh welcomes Robin Peel as editor of Volume 14, The Custom of the Country.

Robin Peel’s principal research interests have been the relationship between politics, culture and writing in the work of Sylvia Plath, Edith Wharton and Emily Dickinson. He has published monographs and essays on these subjects and organised international conferences and edited two essay collections on wider transatlantic themes. He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Plymouth in the UK. 

CWEWh welcomes Cynthia Davis as the Volume Editor for Volume 27, Life Writings.

CWEWh welcomes Cynthia Davis as the Volume Editor for Volume 27, Life Writings.


Volume 27: Life Writings
Edited by Cynthia Davis

Cynthia J. Davis (PhD, Duke University) is a Professor of English at the University of South Carolina, where she specializes in U.S. literature and culture from the Civil War to World War II. Her essays have appeared in journals including American LiteratureAmerican Literary History, and Arizona Quarterly. In addition to both editing and contributing to essay collections, she has published three single-authored books. Her recent monograph, Pain and the Aesthetics of U.S. Literary Realism, contains a chapter on Edith Wharton and was published by Oxford University Press in January 2022.

CWEWh welcomes a new Associate Editor, Paul Ohler.

CWEWh welcomes Paul Ohler as a new Associate Editor. He joins Carol Singley (General Editor) and Associate Editors Frederick Wegener and Donna Campbell.

Professor Ohler is the editor for Volume 2: Short Stories I: 1891-1903

Paul Ohler teaches in the Department of English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He is the author of Edith Wharton’s Evolutionary Conception: Darwinian Allegory in Her Major Novels (Routledge). His work has appeared in The Edith Wharton ReviewEnglish Studies in Canada, and America’s Darwin: Darwinian Theory and U.S. Literary Culture(U of Georgia Press). His most recent publications include an essay in The New Wharton Studies (Cambridge UP), an article on Wharton’s short stories in Studies in American Naturalism, and an essay in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Edith Wharton. He has given numerous talks on Wharton’s fiction at the American Literature Association Conference, the Modern Language Association convention, and other conferences, and he is a past editor of the Edith Wharton Review

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Margaret Jay Jessee as Editor of Volume 8, The Valley of Decision

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Margaret Jay Jessee as Editor of Volume 8, The Valley of Decision.

Margaret Jay Jessee is Associate Professor of English and Director of English Undergraduate Studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is the author of Female Physicians in American Literature: Abortion in 19th-Century Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2022).  Her work on Wharton has appeared in JML: Journal of Modern Literature, Critical Insights: Edith Wharton (edited by Myrto Drizou, Salem Press, 2017), and The Age of Innocence: New Centennial Essays (edited by Arielle Zibrak, Bloomsbury Press, 2019). She co-directed Edith Wharton’s New York conference with Margaret Toth in 2020. She is currently the secretary of the Edith Wharton Society and will begin her term as Vice President in January 2023.

CWEWh welcomes Julie Olin-Ammentorp as the Volume Editor for Volume 16, War Writings: Fiction.

CWEWh welcomes Julie Olin-Ammentorp as the Volume Editor for Volume 16, War Writings: Fiction.

Julie Olin-Ammentorp is a professor of English at Le Moyne College. She is the author of Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, and the Place of Culture (University of Nebraska Press, 2019) and of Edith Wharton’s Writings from the Great War (2004). In addition, she is the editor of a new edition of Wharton’s World War I novel A Son at the Front, forthcoming in 2023 in the Oxford World’s Classics series. She has published over twenty-five articles, including essays on Wharton, Cather, Henry James, and others. She is has served on the Board of Governors of the Willa Cather Foundation and is a past president of the Edith Wharton Society.

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Gianfranca Balestra as Co-Editor of Volume 29, Translations and Adaptations

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Gianfranca Balestra as Co-Editor of Volume 29, Translations and Adaptations.

Gianfranca Balestra was Full Professor of American Literature at the University of Siena, Italy. She has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, with monographs on Edith Wharton, Edgar Allan Poe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her latest book Riflessi del Grande Gatsby. Traduzioni, cinema, teatro, musica (Rome: Artemide, 2019) analyzes the numerous Italian translations of Fitzgerald’s novel as well as its film, theater and music adaptations. Her scholarship on Wharton includes a book on the ghost stories (I fantasmi di Edith Wharton, Rome: Bulzoni, 1993), the editing with Introductions of Italian translations of The Reef and The Touchstone, and nearly two dozen essays and reviews. Some of these articles discuss Wharton’s works related to Italy (such as The Valley of Decision, Italian Backgrounds, Italian Villas and their Gardens, and poems about Italian art), are published in Italian, and represent a significant contribution to the writer’s reception in Italy.  Many of her articles in English have appeared in international journals and various collections of essays. Among these: “What the Children Knew: The Manuscript of Disintegration, An Unfinished Novel” (1995), “’For the Use of the Magazine Morons’: Edith Wharton Rewrites the Tale of the Fantastic” (1996), “Edith Wharton’s Italian Tale: Language Exercise and Social Discourse” (1999), “Women Writers on the Verge of the Twentieth Century: Edith Wharton” (2014). Gianfranca  Balestra is co-editor, for the part on Italian translations, of vol. 29 Translations and Adaptations in The Complete Works of Edith Wharton, to be published by Oxford University Press.

Nynke Dorhout Joins CWEWh Advisory Board

CWEWh is pleased to announce that Nynke Dorhout, Librarian at The Mount, has joined the CWEWh Advisory Board.

Nynke Dorhout holds a Master of Arts degree from Leiden University, the Netherlands. She is currently the Librarian at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home in Lenox, Massachusetts. After serving for ten years as Assistant Collections Manager at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum, she has been in charge of Edith Wharton’s 2,700 volume library, archives, and collections at The Mount since 2011. As librarian, she assists researchers from around the world. Her further responsibilities include inventory, documentation, storage, preservation, acquisitions and loans, as well as specialized library tours, programs, online content, and exhibits.

Advisory Board

  • Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor and Professor, Liverpool University
  • Nancy Bentley, Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania 
  • Nynke Dorhout, Librarian, The Mount
  • Susan Goodman, Professor, Department of English, H. Fletcher Brown Chair of the Humanities, University of Delaware (emerita) 
  • Dame Hermione Lee, President, Wolfson College, University of Oxford 
  • Stephen Orgel, Professor, Department of English, The Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor of Humanities, Stanford University
  • Kenneth Price, Hillegass University Professor of American Literature, Department of English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 
  • Wesley Raabe, Graduate Studies Coordinator and Associate Professor, Kent State University 
  • Elaine Showalter, Professor, Department of English, Princeton University (emerita), 
  • Susan Tomlinson, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts Boston 
  • Shafquat Towheed, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), The Open University
  • Linda Wagner-Martin, Frank Borden Hanes Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (emerita) 

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Maureen Montgomery as Editor of Volume 28, The Buccaneers.

The Complete Works of Edith Wharton Welcomes Maureen Montgomery as Editor of Volume 28, The Buccaneers.


My first book, ‘Gilded Prostitution: Money, Migration and Marriage, 1870-1914’ (Routledge, 1989) was a study of transatlantic relations and culture focusing on American women who married into the British peerage. I followed this up with a study of American women in the bourgeois elite, concentrating on New York City and drawing upon the fiction of Edith Wharton, entitled Displaying Women: Spectacles of Leisure in Edith Wharton’s New York (Routledge, 1998). My current book project, Whiteness and Politeness: The Racialization of Civilization, 1880-1930, is another venture into the cultural history of the period and examines travel literature, etiquette manuals, and novels of manners as a way of understanding how the American bourgeois elite conceptualized national identity at a time of fraught racial tensions.

New Books by CWEWh Volume Editors: Stephen Arch, Approaches to Teaching the Novels of James Fenimore Cooper

Stephen Carl Arch is the CWEWh Volume Editor for Volume III, Short Stories II.

Approaches to Teaching the Novels of James Fenimore Cooper

  • Editors: Stephen Carl Arch, Keat Murray

A cosmopolitan author who spent nearly a decade in Europe and was versed in the works of his British and French contemporaries, James Fenimore Cooper was also deeply concerned with the America of his day and its history. His works embrace themes that have dominated American literature since: the frontier; the oppression of Native Americans by Europeans; questions of race, gender, and class; and rugged individualism, as represented by figures like the pirate, the spy, the hunter, and the settler. His most memorable character, Natty Bumppo, has entered into American popular culture.

The essays in this volume offer students bridges to Cooper’s novels, which grapple with complex moral issues that are still crucial today. Engaging with film adaptations, cross-culturalism, animal studies, media history, environmentalism, and Indigenous American poetics, the essays offer new ways to bring these novels to life in the classroom.