The Eliot Society on the Web

… to any who think such elucidation of the poem worth the trouble …

The Society’s original website, launched ca. October 2001, was developed by Raj Singh at the University of Alberta at the behest of then-president Shyamal Bagchee. The early instantiations of the site included several familiar features. After Shyamal’s term as president ended in 2004, David Chinitz, who had been appointed the Society’s historian the previous year, offered to take over the website, which then moved to his institution.

The first instantiation of the site at Loyola University Chicago, dating from May 2004, looks much like the original, with the addition of an “Annual Meeting” page. The site evolved slowly from there, as this version from 2009 illustrates. David did a major rewrite in the winter of 2014-15, updating the site’s design and aesthetics.

In 2019, the Society began discussions about updating the website. The Covid pandemic slowed down our exchange of ideas, but a list of desired characteristics gradually emerged. Frances Dickey and Julia Daniel were particularly involved in designing the portion of the site devoted to the Annual, Patrick Query the Time Present section, and Tony Cuda the Summer School pages. John Whittier-Ferguson was delighted to discover extensive (and free) support for WordPress from the IT Web and App Development Services at the University of Michigan, and he and the Society are especially indebted to Jessica Wolking, who heads up the web design team for faculty and Alyssa Longo who works on that team as well. John Morgenstern designed our new logo:

and also found a suitable model in the Melville Society’s site. (The Melville Society were generous in our correspondence with them, glad that we’d found in their work a model for our own.) Jayme Stayer reviewed an early version of the site and made helpful suggestions, as did Ria Banerjee.  All the Eliot Society board members named in this document contributed to the overall design of the site. If you’ve used the old website for any time at all, you’ll probably recognize that we brought much of the content of that site—written by David Chinitz and other Society members—over to the new one.

This site will be redesigned and superseded in the years to come and will be modified and added to on a regular basis. We welcome suggestions from any of its users at any time. Send those to