Candidate Statements for 2016 Board Elections

(Note: If you have already reviewed the candidate's statements and wish to vote now, scroll down to the end of the candidate's statements on this page.)


JOSEPH FLORA (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

I am deeply honored to have been nominated to serve as President of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/Society.

Hemingway’s writing first became important to me when as a college freshman I read my first Hemingway short stories.  I loved the power that made the natural world so immediate and the action that invited a different way of looking at life.  Then I discovered the novels, chose English for my major, and eventually graduate school and a life teaching English.  Hemingway—always immensely teachable—became increasingly important to my teaching.  Soon I ventured into sharing my ideas about the work in articles.  I haven’t stopped yet.  Eventually came the book Hemingway’s Nick Adams, The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, and most recently Reading Hemingway’s Men without Women.  My articles have appeared in The Hemingway Review, The North Dakota Review, Studies in Short Fiction, The South Atlantic Review, and in collections.  In addition to presenting papers at Hemingway Conferences and the Conference on Hemingway and War held at the Air Force Academy, I have presented papers at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and responded frequently to invitations from civic groups in North Carolina to talk about Hemingway.  “Papa” remains an important part of my life.

As president, I would pledge my full attention to keeping our Society strong and to promoting understanding and appreciation of Ernest Hemingway.  The profile of the Society has never been stronger.  Our conferences in the United States and in Europe are ambitious and rich in their offerings; they regularly increase our strength as graduate students and young professionals join our ranks.  The Hemingway Review continues to hold high standards and attracts some of the best Hemingway scholarship.  The Hemingway Newsletter, in print and on-line, keeps the membership current.  The Hemingway Letters project remains massively important, piquing curiosity of the literary world on a regular basis, the letters sometimes challenging critical and biographical judgments.  Completed, the project will be a monument befitting Hemingway’s singular place in our literature and in popular culture.  As we work to keep our various programs strong, we must also be alert to keeping them “new.”  We will listen for new ideas and promote the fellowship befitting the Hemingway brand.  The premier writer of American literary modernism deserves our best.


JEAN BARTHOLOMEW (Independent Scholar)

I was lucky to live in the house across from the boyhood home on Kenilworth for a few years when I was a young Chicago editor. My husband and I rented the Hemingway driveway, paying the rent in Hem’s old kitchen. I delighted in attending the 1999 Oak Park Centennial Conference, and I remember running with the “Bulls” in Oak Park that year. Since the 2012 Petoskey conference there have been seven papers and a few publications.  I love the rich experience of really diving in, and my affinity for Hemingway goes back to college days. My zest as a Virginia private school teacher encouraging young people’s involvement with Hemingway led to my planting the author into at least 10 of my 35 courses, and some of my students made it to The Finca on enthusiasm built during “Hemingway Seminar” (I, II, or III).

Skills I bring to the table include active professional writing/editing skills (, handy for correspondence, newsletters, or website copy. Ten years in real estate mean I’m pretty good on the phone and in negotiating. Semi-retired means I have TIME! And Independent Scholar means I fill a niche within the Society that is perhaps underrepresented within its leadership.

Goals? Enhance efforts to attract professionals (from both inside/outside the Academy) to the Society through strengthened outreach; extend/enhance educational efforts; provide curriculum sharing or presentations for secondary teachers and young people; and upgrade accurate public knowledge (through P.R.) about Hemingway, beyond The Myth(s). 

Fired up; ready to go!

DEBRA MODDELMOG (University of Nevada, Reno)

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Hemingway Society Board. I have been a member of the Hemingway Society for over 25 years, serving for the past six years as chair of the selection committee for the Lewis-Reynolds-Smith Founders Fellowships. I also serve on the advisory board of the Hemingway Letters Project and on the editorial board of The Hemingway Review. If elected to the Board, I will be committed to the ongoing work it does to support scholarship, teaching, and public engagement around Hemingway’s life and writings. I will also work with the Board to generate new ways to encourage the next generation of scholars, with a range of scholarly interests, to become engaged in Hemingway studies through presentations at our conferences, applications for our fellowships, and submission of their work to The Hemingway Review and other relevant journals, such as Modernism/Modernity and Modernist Cultures (two journals where Hemingway is not currently much of a presence). I would also promote additional fund-raising opportunities for continuation of the prestigious Pen/Hemingway Award and seek to increase the amount of funding available to scholars who apply for the Society’s current scholarships.

Biography: My works on Hemingway include Reading Desire: In Pursuit of Ernest Hemingway (1999; Japanese translation 2002) and Ernest Hemingway in Context (co-edited with Suzanne del Gizzo, 2012; paperback 2015) as well as articles published in American Literature, Prospects, The Hemingway Review, Narrative and chapters in Teaching Hemingway and Gender, Hemingway and Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice, New Essays on Hemingway’s Short Fiction, and Modernism on File: Writers, Artists, and the FBI, 1920-1950. I spent much of my academic career at Ohio State University; while there, I served in several leadership roles, including Associate Dean of Humanities and chair of the Department of English. Currently, I am Dean of Liberal Arts and Professor of English at University of Nevada, Reno.

MATTHEW NICKEL (Misericordia University)

Matthew Nickel is an Assistant Professor of English at Misericordia University. The Ernest Hemingway Society has been an integral part of his academic and professional life since 2002, when he attended his first conference in Stresa. He has given papers at every conference since 2004, and he is overjoyed to be hard at work as Conference Co-Director of the 18th International Hemingway Conference in Paris, July 2018. His previous experience serving literary societies (Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society and International Richard Aldington Society) as president, board member, and conference director has afforded him a unique learning experience and has prepared him for serving as a board member of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation & Society.

Nickel’s scholarly commitment to Hemingway studies includes numerous publications such as Hemingway’s Dark Night: Catholic Influences and Intertextualities (New Street), and essays in North Dakota Quarterly, War + Ink: New Perspectives (Kent State UP), Ernest Hemingway in Context (Cambridge UP), and many others. In addition, Nickel’s service to the Society includes: appointments to the Editorial Advisory Board of The Hemingway Review and the Advisory Council of Younger Scholars for the Hemingway Foundation and Society; responsibilities as the ALA/MLA/SAMLA Conference Panel Coordinator; organization of a poetry reading for the Society Fundraiser in Oak Park 2016; an invitation to be a critical plenary speaker for Oak Park 2016.

On a personal note: I am profoundly committed to serving the Ernest Hemingway Society and will do so throughout my career. The Society is made up of the best scholars and some of the best people I know. It would be a privilege to work hard for one of the best literary societies in the world.

MARK OTT (Deerfield Academy)

I am honored to be nominated for the Hemingway Society Board. Since the 2nd International Colloquium in Havana in 1997, Hemingway Society conferences have been at the center of my scholarship. I have participated in nearly every conference since then. Co-directing the Venice conference in 2014 and organizing the teaching colloquium at the Oak Park conference this past summer allowed me to get to know even better many of the members of the Hemingway Society. 

My first book was Sea of Change: Hemingway and the Gulf Stream, followed by (with Mark Cirino) Ernest Hemingway and the Geography of Memory.  Forthcoming in 2017 are (with Mark Cirino) Hemingway and Italy: 21st Century Perspectives and Simply Hemingway. I have also contributed to Hemingway in Context, The Key West Hemingway, Hemingway and the Black Renaissance, Hemingway’s Spain, as well as The Hemingway Review. 

I teach at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. The focus of my work is to provide fresh perspectives on teaching Hemingway’s fiction to the next generations of readers and scholars. I am the General Editor of Kent State University Press’s Teaching Hemingway series which recently published volumes on modernism, war, and gender; three future volumes treat Hemingway and race, the natural world, and his short fiction.

As a board member, I would work to encourage and support graduate students and young scholars, to continue fostering relationships with international scholars, and to enrich the conversation with educators at all levels about how we teach Hemingway’s work. I would welcome the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given me so much.

GAIL SINCLAIR (Executive Director and Scholar in Residence, Winter Park Institute, Rollins College)

I have a longstanding leadership history with the Hemingway Foundation and Society-- co-director of two conferences and three board terms--currently serving as vice president, treasurer, and membership liaison.  Society history and continuity are qualities I would bring to a fourth term.  I understand membership needs, Society finances, organizing and running a conference, and working with the board on crucial governance issues and other important initiatives.

Having said that, I would be eager through my continued service to also mentor rising leaders by helping younger scholars find their place in leadership roles as the Society transitions into the next decade.  In particular, I can offer practical advice and application relative to organizing and executing a successful conference on the front side, managing the budget on the back side, working with the membership in cooperation with our business manager and assistant treasurer, and taking an active role on the board.  I would spend the next three years diligently striving to accomplish Society goals while also building toward our future leadership.

My Hemingway scholarship includes co-edited collections War + Ink: New Perspectives on Hemingway’s Early Life and Writings and Key West Hemingway: A Reassessment, as well as essays in Ernest Hemingway in Context, Teaching Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway’s Women: Female Critics and the Female Voice in Hemingway, and essays and interviews in The Hemingway Review.

 It would be my honor to continue serving the Society in the capacity I have filled for the past nine years.