2024 Hemingway Society Board Elections - Candidate Statements

This year, Society members will elect two candidates to serve three-year terms.   

Below in alphabetical order, you will find statements for the four candidates who are running for the two open positions.  Please review these statements carefully keeping in mind that the Hemingway Society Board is a working board. 

Voting will open on Tuesday, November 8th, and remain open until December 2 at 11:59 pm.  

After reviewing the statements, members in good standing can vote by clicking on one of the "Vote" buttons below. 

NOTE: You will need to log in the your Society membership account to be able to vote.

The candidates are:


Candidate Statements

Kirk Curnutt - Professor and chair, Department of English, Troy University

I’m deeply appreciative of the opportunity to run for another term on the board.

For those who don’t know me, I’ve taught at Troy University since 1993, first in Montgomery for twenty-three years, then for the past seven at our main campus in Troy, Alabama, where I oversee a multi-campus, multi-platform department of about 80 faculty. I joined the Hemingway Society in 1991 (thirty-three years ago!) while a PhD candidate at LSU as a student of J. Gerald Kennedy. Most recently, I co-edited with Suzanne del Gizzo The New Hemingway Studies for Cambridge University Press, to which I also contributed an essay on biographies since 2000.

My main contributions to Hemingway studies focus on the Key West years: I contributed an essay on “After the Storm” to the Reader’s Guide to Hemingway’s Winner Take Nothing and wrote the guide toTo Have and Have Not (2017), both for Kent State University Press. I’m currently working on an essay for Verna Kale’s Routledge essay collection on Hemingway on why THHN was not an artistic success. I served as program chair for the Key West conference (2004), and between 2017-19 I spoke on Hemingway on behalf of the Society at the Key West Arts and Historical Society’s summer symposiums.

I’ve served on the board since 2005, which may seem like I’m aiming to be the Mitch McConnell of this august body. I have accepted a 2023 nomination, however, due to the responsibilities I’ve undertaken for the Society. Since 2013 I’ve produced ten issues of the Hemingway Society Newsletter, growing us from eight pages in 2014 to (gulp) forty-eight and now back to an economical thirty-six. My hope for a next time is to collect the remembrances of conferences various scholars have contributed into an e-book for members. Since 2007 I have also served as permissions editor for the board, dealing with numerous requests and inquiries and (hopefully) helping scholars navigate the very tricky waters of copyright and fair use. I’ve also spent twenty-eight years now serving on the Kennedy Library liaison committee. One of my great pleasures is working with Hilary Justice and Stephen Plotkin on ways to facilitate scholarship through JFK access.

I would relish the opportunity to volunteer and serve the Hemingway Society for another term. Many thanks for your consideration.

Verna Kale- Associate Research Professor of English and Associate Editor, The Hemingway Letters Project, The Pennsylvania State University

I am happy to stand for re-election to the board of the Hemingway Society and Foundation. I have served two terms on the board and hope to continue the work for another term. I hold a PhD in English from Penn State and am currently Associate Research Professor in English at Penn State and Associate Editor of the Hemingway Letters Project. I have published a biography of Hemingway in the Critical Lives series (Ernest Hemingway, Reaktion/U of Chicago P, 2016), edited a collection of essays in the Teaching Hemingway series (Teaching Hemingway and Gender, Kent State UP, 2016), and appeared in the PBS documentary series HEMINGWAY, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2021). I am co-editor of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway Volume 6 (1934-1936) with Sandra Spanier and Miriam B. Mandel (forthcoming 2024), the Norton Library edition of The Sun Also Rises (forthcoming 2025), and The Routledge Companion to Ernest Hemingway (forthcoming 2025). This fall marks my 20th year teaching English, Rhetoric, and writing at the college level, and it's still fun.

I have enjoyed serving on the board these past two terms and, with your support, I hope to continue to do so. During this time I have served as Treasurer of the Foundation, chair of the PEN/Hemingway Speaker Selection committee, chair of the Founders Fellowship committee, and I am currently co-directing the 20th International Biennial Hemingway Conference in Spain with Iñaki Sagarna and Alberto Lena, and I look forward to seeing many of you there.

In each of these roles I take to heart the original mission of this Society: “awakening, sustaining an interest in, promoting, fostering, stimulating, supporting, improving, and developing literature and all forms of literary composition and expression.” 

This is a vibrant, active author society that advances both rigorous academic work (The Hemingway Review and conferences at MLA, ALA, SAMLA, and our own biennial conference) as well as the equally important work of public-facing humanities (PEN/Hemingway, One True Podcast, the Hemingway Review Blog, and our own conference).  Yes--I listed our conference twice: it's the only academic conference I know that also welcomes independent scholars, creative artists, and fans in equal measure. 

If elected I will continue to work to increase the presence of the Hemingway Society in academia as the flagship organization of a diverse and relevant subdiscipline (even as humanities programs across the United States are under fire). I also recognize the necessity of bringing more students, independent scholars, international scholars and creative writers into our circle, expanding our outreach, and diversifying our programming. I’m happy to answer questions members have about how, specifically, I have worked and will continue to work toward these goals and to hear and share ideas about what the Society can do to remain an active, important, and sustainable presence.

Ai Ogasawara- Professor of English, Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan

I am Professor at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan and President of the Hemingway Society of Japan. I am the author of Avant-Garde Hemingway: Paris, Modernism, and How One American Writer Made Them His Own (Takanashi Shobou, 2021), which received the ALSJ (American Literature Society of Japan) Book Award in 2022. I am honored to have had the opportunity to introduce the book in the Hemingway Newsletter (No.73).

As a Hemingway scholar, my work primarily focuses on the inter-relationship between Hemingway’s works and the visual arts, and I have written numerous papers and book chapters in Japanese on this subject. I have been an active member of the Hemingway Society of Japan for approximately 30 years. For the most recent project of the Society, I served as the chief editor for Three Decades of Hemingway Studies in Japan, a collection of 25 papers published in 2022 to celebrate the Society’s 30th anniversary.

My involvement with the (US) Hemingway Society began in 2006 when I first attended the Hemingway conference held in Ronda and presented my paper entitled “Stein, Picasso, and Cinema: the Visual in In Our Time.” That was my first presentation in English at an international conference, and I fondly recall receiving warm applause from the audience after my reading. Since then, I have presented papers at the conferences held in Kansas City, Venice, Oak Park, and Paris. Just as the Hemingway Society of Japan has been a place of stimulating academic fellowship and familiarity, the Hemingway Society has also been a constant source of new academic encounters and warm exchanges.

Alongside our shared objective of advancing Hemingway’s legacy, it is also my mission to serve as a bridge between American Hemingway scholars and their Japanese counterparts. Considerable scholarship has accumulated in Japan over the past 30 years, resulting in numerous books about Hemingway written in Japanese. If accepted, I would like to invite my Japanese colleagues to introduce their books in English at conferences or for the Hemingway Newsletter. Additionally, I would like to coordinate panels such as “Hemingway and Japan” or “Hemingway and Asia” for biennial conferences.

Edward “Mac” Test- Professor, Boise State University

I would be delighted to serve on the Board for the Hemingway Society. I am currently a Professor at Boise State University where I teach a Hemingway Seminar for Honors Students, among other courses. I lead the Hemingway Center on Boise State’s Campus (founded in 1986), which runs a Writing Retreat in the Sawtooth Mountains, and holds lectures, readings, and performances at the Hemingway Building. We are also affiliated with the annual Hemingway Seminar in Ketchum, Idaho, where I have delivered several talks on Hemingway’s work over the years.

I have an abundance of Board-type experience. I am currently the Vice-Chair of the Idaho Humanities Council, having served for five years. At my university, I served for four years on the Faculty Senate, eventually becoming Faculty Senate President; I also chaired the English Department for three years; and I have served on numerous university committees. This experience dovetails with many of the areas important to the Hemingway Society, such as: membership communications, event programming, conference planning, financial/treasury management, and grants and awards.

I would also bring some unique life experiences to the Hemingway Society Board. For 13 years I was a fisherman in the Bering Sea, working as a mate and medic aboard Factory Trawlers. When not at sea, I traveled the world, finally settling in Mexico, where I delved into the literary scene. Later, I got a MA Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, and then went on to get a PhD in English Renaissance Literature, publishing essays, books of poetry, translations, and academic scholarship. I am currently adapting a 17th century play about a transgender person, called Lieutenant Nun.

Thank you for considering my nomination.