At this year's American Literature Association Annual Conference, held 30 May-2 June 2002, the Society also sponsored two sessions. The first session, "Private Lies in Social Contexts in Howells's Fiction," was chaired by Society president and emeritus faculty member at Kent State University Sanford E. Marovitz and included papers by Susan Goodman from the University of Delaware ("The Foregone Hazard of New Fictions"), Hildegard Hoeller from the College of Staten Island ( ... The Grotesque Confusion of our Economic': William Dean Howells and the Lost Language of the Gift"), and Laura K. Johnson from Harvard University ("Romance as Reform: The Marriage Fiction of William Dean Howells"); Elsa, Emerita faculty member from the College of William and Mary, chaired the second session, "Philanthropy and Reform in Howells's Fiction," at which Melissa M. Pennell from the University of MassachusettsLowell presented "Social Capital and the Problem of Benevolence in Howells's Annie Kilburn," David J.; Nordloh from Indiana University delivered ... The Sensation of Doing Good': The Uneasy Status of Charity in Howells's The Minister's Charge," and Agnieszka Zylowska Goeller from Rutgers University read "Charity and Realism." As in the past, sessions on Howells drew large audiences at the Conference.
Recently, another relative of Howells joined the Society. Mrs. Philip Toynbee, second cousin twice removed from the Dean, who lives in Clinmor, Oxfordshire, England, has been working closely with Sandy Marovitz both to establish her exact connection with the American branch of the Howells family and to extend the Howells family tree in England beyond her great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Howells, who was William Dean Howells's great-grandfather. Thomas was born in 1739 in Wales, married his wife Susannah in 1772 in London, where they lived for a few years before returning to Wales where he died in 1821. Of their eleven children, the two youngest, one of which was Joseph William Howells (1783-1858), William Dean's grandfather, in about 1810 immigrated to America as young men. Perhaps at some future date this and other genealogical information on Howells's antecedents and relatives could be presented at a conference in a session sponsored by the Society.
[Note: Members also received an updated membership list with this issue of The Howellsian.]