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Emily Mitchell Wallace Harvey, 1933 – 2019



[The following obituary was sent to members of the Ezra Pound Society in October and is reprinted here along with the obituary by Bonnie L. Cook printed in The Philadelphia Inquirer on 16 October, and Archie Henderson's collation of Emily's work in Pound Studies, both in print and at many of the Ezra Pound International Conferences. My thanks to Jo Berryman, Mary de Rachewiltz, and Peggy Fox for the text below, to Walter Baumann for permission to reproduce several photos, and to Aya Yoshida for the photograph of Emily at the William Carlos Williams Society Conference in Rome in June 2019. – MB.]

Emily Mitchell Wallace, of Philadelphia and Chester County, died September 29, 2019, at Beaumont in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She was born in Springfield, Missouri on November 17, 1933; her parents were Prewitt Carlyle Evans and George Lafayette Mitchell Sr. For nearly 50 years, Dr. Wallace was married to prominent Philadelphia lawyer Gregory M. Harvey who died in 2018.

Dr. Wallace earned a Bachelor of Arts from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in 1958; a Master of Arts and a PhD from Bryn Mawr College in 1959 and 1965, respectively. Dr. Wallace was a writer, editor, educator, and scholar. She started teaching history and literature at The Curtis Institute of Music and The Shipley School, and became an assistant professor at both the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College. Dr. Wallace returned to the Curtis Institute of Music as the chair of the English Department from 1976 to 1983, taking a brief interlude to serve as a leader in the Interdisciplinary Seminar at Yale University.

Dr. Wallace maintained a position as a research associate in the Center of Visual Culture at Bryn Mawr College, and served as an interdisciplinary research scholar in poetry and the visual arts at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She served on both the sponsoring and advisory committees of the Rosenbach Museum & Library, the Marianne Moore Fund for Poetry at Bryn Mawr College, and the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library. She was a shareholder of The Library Company of Philadelphia, a member of Yale Library Associates at the Yale University Library, and served on the board of directors of The American Foundation and Bok Tower Gardens in Florida.

Throughout her academic career, Dr. Wallace organized conferences, wrote photographic essays, and created multimedia lectures for scholarly and academic audiences around the world. As recently as this past June, she spoke at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre in Rome. She was a guest editor for “PAIDEUMA, Special James Laughlin Volume,” (2002); and “W.C. Williams Review, Centennial Issue,” (1983). She was the prolific author of dozens of scholarly papers, including “Why Not Spirits? -The Universe is Alive, in Ezra Pound and China,” (2003); “Saffron Honey: A Love Song by William Carlos Williams,” The Idea and The Thing in Modernist American Poetry (2001); “Some Friends of Ezra Pound,” Yale Review (1986); “Athena’s Owls: The Education of Marianne Moore and Hilda Doolittle, Bryn Mawr ’09,” Poesis (1985); “Youthful Days and Costly Hours: The Education of Ol’ Ez and Billy Williams at Penn,” University of Pennsylvania Conference Papers (1983); and “A Bibliography of William Carlos Williams” (1969).

She was a member of the Modern Language Association, the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics, the Ernest Hemingway Society, the Emily Dickinson Society, the Ezra Pound Society, the Marianne Moore Society, the William Carlos Williams Society, the Wallace Stevens Society, the Henry James Society, and The Franklin Inn Club.

She enjoyed traveling and playing tennis with her husband at The Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, PA. Dr. Wallace is survived by her brother George Mitchell Jr. of Turners, Missouri, her sister Elizabeth Pace of Bolivar, Missouri, and two nieces and six nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 1 pm at Christ Church, 20 North American Street, Philadelphia, followed by a reception at The Franklin Inn Club, 205 South Camac Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19107. Contributions in her memory may be made to The Franklin Inn Club.